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What is Feminism?

Updated: Jun 16

Written By: Tanushree Jaiswal, University of Allahabad

Feminism is a belief, social movement, and ideology that fights for the Political, Economic, and Social rights for women.


The concept of Feminism was like as it is concerned with the Gender Equality and the promotion of equal rights for Men & Women. The expression of these concerns through theory or action, and the valuing of individuals for their contribution to society rather than their biological or sexual characteristics or roles.

Feminists believe that Men & Women are equal deserve the same rights as men in society.

The Feminist movement also known as the Women's movement or simply 'Feminism' refers to a series of political campaigns for reforms on various issues.


The Feminist movement has fought for many different causes, such as:

  1. The right to vote,

  2. To hold public office,

  3. To work,

  4. To earn fair wages,

  5. Equal pay and eliminate the gender pay gap,

  6. To own property,

  7. To receive Education,

  8. ·To enter into Contracts,

  9. ·To have equal rights within marriage, and

  10. To have Maternity leave.

Feminists have worked to ensure access to legal abortions and social integration and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.

Changes in dress and acceptable physical activity have been part of Feminist movements.

Waves of Feminism

The roots of feminism are buried in ancient Greece, most recognize the movement by the three waves of Feminism. It is empowered by the constant connectivity of the internet and the strength of the trending # MeToo Movement, a new wave of Feminists.

"A new era for Feminism has begun, FULL OF PASSION, SOCIAL-INFLUENCING POWER, and DEMANDING CHANGE".

The First Wave (1830's early 1900's)

Women's are often TAKEN FOR GRANTED.

In the late 19th century to early 20th centuries, realized that they must First gain political power including: (the Right to vote) to bring change was how to FUEL THE FIRE.

The Second Wave (1960's- 1980's)

The second wave of Feminism focused on the workplace, sexuality, family, and reproductive rights.

Many women during the second wave were initially part of:

-The Black Civil Rights Movement,

-Anti Vietnam Movement,

-Chicano Rights Movement,

-Asian-American Civil Rights Movement,

-Gay and Lesbian Movement and many other groups fighting for Equality.

The Third Wave (1990's- early 2000's)

This wave is about acceptance and a true understanding of the term 'Feminism'. This wave introduced more complexity to the movement through Gender Equality and a focus on the individual battles 'Women Face'.

Fourth Wave (around 2012)

More recently, there is a New wave hitting the Feminism coast.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEWEST WAVE

The #MeToo Movement: is a social movement among women, advocating for survivors of sexual harassment or violence to speak out about their experiences in order to expose and combat various forms of sexual misconduct.


Today the FEMINISM is the radical idea that women's safety is more important than men's feelings.

Some Famous Feminists are: Anna Maria Lenngren, Lucretia Mott, Sarah Ponsonby, Mary Sheliey.


Margaret Fuller : Women in the nineteenth Century by Margaret Fuller has been considered the First major Feminist work in the United States and is often compared to Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women.

INDIAN FEMINIST, Savitribai Phule : One of the earliest Indian Feminists. Started the First School for Girls in the subcontinent.


On various instances Women have risen whether it is - The CHIPKO Movement, where the village women literally "Hugged" trees, interposing their bodies between the trees and the loggers to prevent their being cut down or it's the GULABI GANG of women to empower themselves and fight against Gender Violence, Caste Oppression and Corruption.

"Today FEMINISM isn't about making women strong. Women are already Brave & Strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives the STRENGTH OF A WOMEN because it is seen that Each time a women stands up for HERSELF, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, She stands up for - ALL WOMEN".


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