14 Famous Women Activists In Recent History
The word “activism” is often used to describe the actions of people who care about a particular cause or issue. But what does it really mean to be an activist?
An activist is someone who takes action to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change.
And though the media may focus on male activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, there have been just as many incredible women fighting the good fight throughout history.
In this article, we'll honor 14 of the most famous women activists in recent history. We will discuss their accomplishments, what they fought for, and how they made a difference in the world.
1. Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political leader who fought for social justice and human rights. She was a prominent figure in the Democratic Party and served as the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She was also a UN diplomat and helped to found the United Nations.
Roosevelt was a civil rights champion and helped pass several important pieces of legislation, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1957. She also worked to end segregation in the military and helped to desegregate public schools in the South.
Though she faced many challenges in her life, Eleanor Roosevelt remained an outspoken advocate for social justice until her dying day. She is remembered as one of the most important women in American history.
Today we honor her memory through our Eleanor Roosevelt collection: Women's Jewel Neck Eleanor Roosevelt Short Sleeve Trailblazer Tee and Eleanor Roosevelt Art Print. Our Eleanor Roosevelt collection reminds us that women are making history every day.
2. Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist and one of history's most famous feminist icons. She is best known for her self-portraits, which often explore the themes of pain and suffering. Kahlo was also a staunch political activist throughout the course of her life.
Kahlo used her art to explore the themes of identity, gender, and class. She was a vocal critic of capitalism and imperialism, and an outspoken advocate for the rights of indigenous people. Kahlo was also a fierce feminist and an early pioneer of the Chicano Art Movement.
Though she died young, Frida Kahlo left a lasting legacy. She is remembered as an important artist and activist, and her work inspires people worldwide.
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3. Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist who has been fighting climate change since she was just 15 years old. In 2018, she started a school strike for climate change, which quickly gained international attention. Thunberg has since become one of the most well-known faces of the climate change movement.
Thunberg has spoken at numerous international events, including the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the World Economic Forum. She has also met with world leaders, including Pope Francis and President Barack Obama. In 2019, she was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year.
Thunberg is a passionate advocate for the environment and has inspired people worldwide to take action on climate change. She is proof that one person can make a difference in the fight against climate change. She is featured in our Earth Heroes Short Sleeve Trailblazer Tee - a group portrait of five young climate activists from around the world. It’s also available in long sleeves.
4. Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist who fought to end slavery in the United States. She was born into a family of slaves, but she rejected the institution of slavery and became a passionate abolitionist.
Tubman was heavily involved in the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses and routes that allowed enslaved people to escape to freedom. She is believed to have helped over 300 enslaved people escape to freedom.
In addition to her work with the Underground Railroad, Tubman spoke out against slavery and worked to end the slave trade.
Though she faced opposition and danger, Harriet Tubman remained committed to her cause. She is remembered as one of the most important women in American history.
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4. Helen Keller
Helen Keller was an American educator, political activist, and author. She was born in Alabama in 1880 and lost her sight and hearing at the age of 19 months. Despite her disabilities, Keller graduated from college and became a world-renowned speaker and author.
Keller was a passionate advocate for the disabled and worked tirelessly to improve their lives. She helped to establish the American Foundation for the Blind and served as its first president.
She also helped pass several important pieces of legislation, including the Social Security Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Keller spent her life fighting for the rights of the disabled and helped to make the world a more inclusive place.
6. Ida B. Wells
Ida B. Wells was an African American journalist, civil rights activist, and sociologist. She was born in Mississippi in 1862 and later moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where she worked as a teacher.
In 1892, Wells' office was destroyed after she wrote an editorial condemning the lynching of an African American man. In response to this, Wells decided to dedicate her life to fighting against racial injustice.
She became a prominent voice in the Civil Rights Movement and worked tirelessly to end lynching. In 1895, she published a book called The Red Record, which detailed the horrific lynchings that were taking place in the United States.
Ida B. Wells is an excellent example of what it means to be an activist. She used her platform to raise awareness about the injustices that were taking place in the world. And she worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone was treated equally and respected.
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7. Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris is the current Vice President of the United States. She is also the first woman and first person of color to hold this office.
Kamala served as the District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011 and as the Attorney General of California from 2011 to 2017.
Throughout her career, Kamala has been an outspoken advocate for social justice and civil rights. She has fought for legislation to improve working families' lives, expand access to healthcare, and reduce gun violence.
Kamala Harris is a role model for many women and girls around the world, and we are proud to honor her through our Kamala Harris collection:
8. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee
Mabel Ping-Hua Lee was a Chinese-American suffragist and civil rights activist. She was born in China but moved to the United States when she was just a child. Lee began her activism at a young age, fighting for women's suffrage in China and the United States.
Lee was also a civil rights activist. She fought against segregation and racism and worked to improve the lives of Chinese Americans living in the United States. In addition to her activism, Lee was also an accomplished speaker and writer.
Though she passed away in 1966, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee's legacy continues today. She is remembered as a passionate advocate for social justice and equality.
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9. Malala Yousafzai
Malala is an education activist in Pakistan and the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. When she was just fifteen years old, she was shot by the Taliban for speaking out against their ban on girls' education.
After surviving the attack, Yousafzai became an international icon for girls’ education. She gave speeches at the United Nations and met with world leaders while still in school. In 2013, she founded the Malala Fund, which provides education to girls worldwide.
Yousafzai's story is one of immense courage in the face of adversity. She is living proof that one person can make a difference in the world.
We honor Malala Yousafzai's activism through our Malala Yousafzai collection:
Our Malala Yousafzai collection serves as a reminder that girls around the world deserve equal opportunities.
10. Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks was an African American civil rights activist recognized for her involvement in the Montgomery bus boycott. In 1955, Parks was arrested for not offering her bus seat to a white passenger. This arrest prompted a year-long boycott of the Montgomery bus system - a turning point in the civil rights movement.
Rosa continued to fight for civil rights throughout her life. In 1965, she helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery march, which was a key moment in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Rosa Parks is a symbol of courage and strength, and her legacy continues to inspire people worldwide.
Today we honor her memory through our Rosa Parks collection:
11. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American Supreme Court Justice and a champion of gender equality. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and served until her death in 2020.
Throughout her career, Ginsburg fought for gender equality and women's rights. She was a vocal critic of the wage gap and worked to end discrimination against women in the workplace. Ginsburg also wrote several important opinions on gender equality, including Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
In addition to her work on gender equality, Ginsburg also fought for the rights of immigrants and minorities. She strongly supported affirmative action and worked to end discrimination against people of color in education and employment.
Ginsburg was an important voice on the Supreme Court and will be remembered as a tireless champion of justice.
Today we honor her memory through our Ruth Bader Ginsburg collection:
Through our Ruth Bader Ginsburg collection, we hope to inspire the next generation of trailblazers who will continue to fight for justice in her memory.
12. Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Chisholm was an American politician and civil rights activist. She was the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress and the first Black person to run for president.
During her time in Congress, Chisholm fought for the rights of minorities and women. She was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War and worked to end poverty and racism. Chisholm also helped to found the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Women's Political Caucus.
After retiring from politics, Chisholm became a professor at Mount Holyoke College. She continued to fight for social justice until her death in 2005.
Chisholm was an incredible trailblazer, and her legacy continues to inspire people worldwide.
13. Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor is an American attorney who works as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. She is the first Latina justice to serve on the Supreme Court.
She was nominated by President Obama to the Supreme Court in 2009. She was later confirmed by the Senate and took her seat on the court in August of that year.
As a young lawyer, she represented the NAACP in a housing discrimination case that went to the Supreme Court. She has also worked on several important cases involving affirmative action, voting rights, and police misconduct.
In recent years, she has been a vocal critic of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allows unlimited spending by corporations in elections.
Sotomayor is an important figure in the fight for equality and justice. She is a role model for women and minorities everywhere and a reminder that everyone deserves a seat at the table.
14. Wangari Maathai
Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmentalist and political activist. She was the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an organization that works to promote the planting of trees in Kenya. Maathai was also a vocal opponent of corruption and dictatorship in her home country.
In 2004, Professor Wangari became the first woman in Africa to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She was recognized for her work in promoting peace and democracy in Africa. Maathai was also a strong advocate for women's rights and gender equality.
After her death in 2011, Wangari Maathai was hailed as a national hero in Kenya. She is remembered for her tireless work to improve the lives of Kenyan people and protect the environment.
Honoring Women Activists Today
Women have always been at the forefront of change. From Shirley Chisholm to Sonia Sotomayor, women have fought for equality, justice, and environmental protection. These amazing women are role models for us all, and their stories inspire us to continue the fight for a better world.
We hope that through this collection, we can help keep these women's legacies alive and inspire our little ones to follow in their footsteps.