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Young feminists around the world leading campaigns have worked with much effort for equal opportunities and common goals. Discover how these feminists are making a difference.
Transiting the 1960s right up till recent times, we have seen three waves of feminism with a fourth wave in making (characterized by new media platforms). However, despite our efforts and collective achievements, chauvinism, sexism and bigotry seem as impregnable obstacles.
The current development paradigm of global economic system is taking us nowhere closer to achieving equality. It doesn’t mean past struggles have been futile; past is a window to the future and women have a long way to go from private to public spheres but still have a long way to go.
There are many feminists all around the world, fighting for social equality, division of domestic labour, against violence and sexual harassment of women at homes and work spaces and many such fronts. But the startling actuality of the matter is the concurrence of young feminists becoming the primary focus of the women-led groups portraying their ideas through creativity and courage.
With United Nations declaring the year 2011 as the United Nations International Year of Youth (IYY) August 2010-2011, the next generation of feminists accounts for the participation of young women (and a few men) most of whom are below 35 years of age.
Here is a list of some of those people.
Detained at the Yarl’s Wood detention centre in 2007, Avcil (only 13 then) was prosecuted for being a Kurd. She was tormented but soon realized she had a choice to be happy and helped those who suffered the same fate. In 2014, she lead a campaign of “Women for Refugee Women” for the support of refugee women, hoping it would put an end to Yarl’s Wood.
Image source – www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk
Creative works held the dominant view of the society of that time. Naoise Dolan student of English at Trinity college Dublin, was stunned to see the use of art, to depict and lie about women. She claims this to be side effect of being a lesser opined member of the patriarchal group. She hence used her artistic skills to represent women in a new and futuristic way, focusing on gender roles and social norms. She is of the opinion that feminists today need to correct these works of art otherwise the future generations would see this work and believe it to be accurate. With the help of digital media, she is set upon giving feminism a new perspective.
Image source – feministing.com
Student of the King’s College London (KCL), Jamie Sweeney set up the KCL London Feminist Club in his college after a talk on feminism held in his college by Laura Bates. He was against the idea of sexism and objectifying women. The KCL Club delivers talks on feminism, eradicating misconceptions and misogyny in the society.
Image source – Twitter
A graduate of journalism from The College of New Jersey, Tammy Tibbetts’s life changed with a volunteer experience where she worked with an organization that helped girls deprived of education in Liberia, to go to school. This inspired her to use her graduate background in helping girls get education and hence “She’s the First” came into being. This organization empowers girls all over the world to demand and receive education, by providing them with financial support and assistance so required. “She’s the First” is currently working in 10 countries.
Image Source – www.txconferenceforwomen.org
Kübra Gümüsay, in 2010 became the first hijabi columnist in a major German daily, Die Tageszeitung. She decided on embarking a career in journalism to counter the angry and voiceless portrayal of Muslim people all over the world. Pursuing media consultancy now, she still desires and makes efforts for breaking the stereotypes of women and Muslims all over. She takes pride in doing the same and will continue to do so.
Image Source -www.deutschlandfunk.de
Victim of a street harassment, Jinan Younis set up a feminist society in her school. She also joined the women’s campaign of the student union and then set up her own group of feminists at her college. She has written many articles in the Gaurdian, like one describing the rape culture at university, leading to the conduct of a sexual consent workshop at Cambridge.
Image Source – www.theguardian.com
Li Tingting, Zheng Churan, Wei Tingting, Wu Rongrong, and Wang Man, together nicknamed the “Feminist Five”, staged activist events on March 8 (International Women’s Day) for which they were arrested on grounds of suspicion of “provoking trouble and picking quarrels,” as said by the government. However, they were only raising awareness and carrying out a non violent campaign regarding the sexual harrassment and abuse faced by women in public transportation. It created a huge buzz in social media and many political leaders around the world spoke against China’s move and within a month the five were released from jail. They now continue to fight for Women’s Rights.
Image Source – www.3cr.org.au
Lili became a feminist at the age of 14; since then she has come a long way. She founded an online group called the Twitter Youth Feminist Army, started a feminist society at her school giving workshops on feminism 101. She aims to educate the students in school about the oppressive structural divisions of the society and dissuading them in believing in such practices as the society stands on more liberal and equal grounds.
Image source – www.thegauardian.com
At 21, Momal left Pakistan for Germany where she came across the value of true liberation of women and the concept of their rights. When she returned to Pakistan, she realized it was a country that frowned upon women walking on streets alone, without supervision. She then decided to bring about a change in her society and dedicated herself to the career of mobilizing women and other such related issues. She has started a blog called ‘The Freedom Traveler’ and conducts speeches and other social events to spread awareness among women.
Image Source – www.soester-anzeiger.de
Inspired by Emma Watson, the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, Malala (17 years old then), is a dedicated propagator of female education. Shot by taliban at a young age, she did not shy away from continuing her crusade for the rights of the girl child. She became a global voice for the Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram. On her 18th birthday, Yousafzai opened a school in the Bekaa Valley, near the Syrian border, for Syrian refugees. She has been nurturing the dream of seeing every girl getting quality education and standing on her two-feet.
Image source – www.malala-yousafzai.com
These are just a handful of young feminists who have made a change through their relentless efforts and we hope to see many more in the years to come.
Belonging to the coterie of feminists, she is a humanities graduate, aspiring to become a
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