For centuries we have demonstrated against the wrongdoings of governments or individuals. But in the last few months there seems to have been a steep increase in the number of women protesting. But is this a new phenomenon or has social media opened up the way for greater exposure?
In my 20 years on Earth, I have been to a total of three protests: one NUS march, a women’s march and an anti-Trump protest. And I loved them all. There’s a great feeling of unity at a protest – I can’t tell you that the protesters of the past felt this way too but I’m sure they must have felt some sort of pride in taking part in something which eventually marked history.
History has been built by those who protest. Without the actions of the Chartists in 1848 – campaigners who fought for the right to vote for the working classes – I doubt very much that we would be where we are today. But that’s not to say everything is perfect.
Women’s rights and just giving women the right to vote have been topics of concern not only in Britain but globally.
In the UK, women received the same voting rights as men in 1928. The credit for this momentous occasion can easily be handed over to the Suffragette Movement in Britain. Without this band of women, votes for women may never have been achieved; at least not as early as it was. And what did they do to reach this success? Well they protested! Some peaceful, some not so much; one Suffragette, Emily Davison even threw herself under the King’s horse just to raise awareness of the women’s efforts!
Women have done so much for society just through protesting. The Suffragette Movement paved the way for women’s rights, but modern movements will shape our future even more.
For me, 2016 was the year of the protest. In Poland in October, women marched over a proposed law which would criminalize abortion (even in the event of a rape). The protest was a success, and the law was reconsidered. But legislators came back with another law which would ban the abortion of a child who was unlikely to survive or who would be disabled – women marched again.
“My views are all over my Twitter, Facebook and even my Instagram and Snapchat! I would feel sorry for my followers but I really don’t!”
Social media has allowed people to share their experiences online in a way in which modern media just can’t. Campaigners have used this to their advantage. I know that when I’ve gone on a protest or if something I’ve seen in the news has bothered me I go straight to social media.
My views are all over my Twitter, Facebook and even my Instagram and Snapchat! I would feel sorry for my followers but I really don’t!
2017 has continued the trend of protests we saw in 2016, and for good reason. The Women’s March on January 21st had participants from hundreds of cities and towns across more than 20 countries. And this was only the first step in a new wave of female protests.
And just a heads up – it’s International Women’s Day on the 8th of March so best to steer clear of my social media if political rants aren’t your thing!