Working at Collective Evolution, your interests have to be quite diverse. But one common theme here is a strong desire to change the human experience for the better, create a world where everybody can thrive and break down the barriers that prevent us from doing so. There are many ways to do this, from creating awareness on important/sensitive issues, to more action based projects that can help others, all the way to making changes in your own life.
I came across this idea from an article making its way around the web at wizzpast. Since it had a pretty good reach, I decided to change up the list a bit and pick some new people, as it is a big one to provide more diversity on.
One thing that’s common to come across are “revolutionary” type figures that have sparked great changes throughout human history and have had a lasting impact on global consciousness. Names that come to mind are Ghandi, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Che Guevara, Nelson Mandela and more. We see them in literature everywhere, in textbooks and more. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s great, but why are the names that come to mind always male revolutionaries when there have been female figures who’ve accomplished and made just as much of an impact, if not more?
It’s not a hard question to answer, it’s because for a very long time, Earth has been dominated by males, they’ve held positions of power, and suppressed, ridiculed and controlled the role of the female gender. It’s no different from racism, or the many other examples of inequality that still exist in our world today.
One common theme here, is that all of these people felt the deep urge to “fight” for equality and raise awareness on some very important issues. The movement that these women sparked, and continue to be (some) involved in has now grown so much so that today, it’s massive. The desire for global change, equality, and a world where everybody can thrive is possible. Nobody on this planet should suffer, and nobody has to. We have a lot of work to do to create a new world, and to break down the barriers that prevent us from achieving it. The small steps the human race has taken over the decades continue to increase exponentially, we are now leaping and running as we move forward through 2015 and beyond. Exciting times are ahead as human beings are waking up, and awareness, new information and change is occurring on multiple levels, and in multiple fields.
Here are some related CE article that you might be interested in:
Tawakkol Karman is a Yemeni journalist, politician and chair of Women Journalists Without Chains. An organization that works towards the development of effective community-based media partnership; promotes knowledge; fights corruption: triumph; rights and freedoms. She is all about a peaceful approach to bringing about change, and is also the first Arab women to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She is considered to be one of the most powerful women of the past century, and is Yemen’s most active activist. She has been fighting to end a dictatorship that presents itself as a democracy. This is a common theme here at CE, on our side of the pond, we try to create awareness regarding politicians, how they are two wings of the same bird and the flight path doesn’t change. We live with the illusion of democracy, where corporations dictate government policy and laws that go against the will of the majority. You can learn and read more about Tawakkol Karman here.
Kathleen Neal Cleaver an American law professor, that is known for her involvement in the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary nationalist and socialist organization fighting for equality, standing up against injustice, police brutality and much more for approximately two decades – starting in the 1960’s. She has spent her entire life fighting the struggle against human rights, and that’s why she is such an important figure. She and other women, such as Angela Davis, made up around 2/3 of the Party at one point, despite the notion that the BPP was overwhelmingly masculine. She has accomplished so much and has sparked wide spread global change on so many different levels. You can learn more about her here.
Aung San Suu Kyi was only recently granted freedom after 15 long years of arrest for speaking out against the violent rule of dictator U Ne Win. She started a nonviolent movement toward equality, peace and human rights. The movement became so large that the government placed her under house arrest. In 1991 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. She is known as “the Lady” to millions of Burmese citizens who consider her more of a goddess than a rebel. You can learn more about her and her efforts here and here.
Nwanyeruwa Ojim was a woman like Rosa Parks. A Nigerian woman who refused to see the colonial (British) government “take over,” influence, brainwash, force their ideals and dictate how other human beings should live. She gathered a very significant amount, approximately 25,000 women from Eastern Nigeria at the time in protest. Her resistance alone sparked what was known as “the woman’s war” in 1929. You can read and learn more about her here, from the book titled “The Feminization of Development Processes in Africa: Current and Future.”
Phoolan Devi, known in India as the “Bandit Queen” and one of the nations most infamous “outlaws,” she comes from a very dark past. Being the victim of a non consensual marriage, and several sexual abductions. She was responsible for a string of robberies across the nation targeting the “upper class” of the caste system that comes out of India. In 1981 she was responsible for the murder of more than 20 men in a “high-caste” village where her former “husband” was also killed. She was sentenced to prison for a decade, and when she was released she became a member of parliament. Her opposition to the caste system in India is what made her such a giant symbol of hope, although many do not agree with the extreme actions she took, it is something I personally cannot comment on given the fact that I cannot even begin to imagine what was sparked within her having gone through what she had. In 2001 she was killed by a group of “high caste” men. You can read more about her here
Asmaa Mahfouz is an Egyptian activist and was a key player in sparking the Egyptian Revolution. You can watch the video I am referring to here. The video went viral, where she urged people to protest the “corrupt government” of Hosni Mubarak by rallying in Tahrir Square on January 25th. You can learn more about her story here.
Emmeline Pankhurst was a leading women’s rights activist who led the movement to win the right for women to vote (suffragette movement). She’s considered to be one of the most important people of the 20th century. She was arrested numerous times for her activism, and although she faced a lot of hardships, she never quit in her quest of equality. She was also a strong advocate of public revolt. You can learn more about her here, but a simple Google search would also suffice.
Mary Wollstonecraft, in the 18th century was a strong advocate for women’s rights. Can you imagine the backlash she must have received? Although we still live in a male dominated society today, it was pretty ridiculous in the 18th century. She was a strong defender of women’s rights, fighting for others to realize that they should be equal to men. She expressed that women were brought up to be “empty-headed play things,” and she felt that society was morally bankrupt. She is one of the earliest known rebellious women, and definitely one that was not able to be brainwashed. People like her, and the rest on this list serve as an inspiration to all of us, and they would smile knowing that many more souls like them exist on the planet today in great numbers. I often think how lonely these people must have felt. You can learn a little more about her here.
Leymah Gbowee helped organize and lead what is known as the the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a coalition of Christian and Muslim women who sat in public protest, confronting Liberia’s president and warlords. She even held a sex strike. As a result of her actions, she emerged as an international leader/activist who changed history, she’s a symbol for women taking control of their political destiny around the world. She helped bring an end to the second Liberian war in 2003.
Rachel Carson was a major player in the environmentalist movement today, and she sparked the entire movement in the 1960’s with her book Silent Spring. She was a writer, biologist, environmentalist and ecologist. The book documented the dangers of pesticides and herbicides, something that we are STILL trying to create awareness about today. She showed what toxic chemicals in water and on land and the presence of DDT can to do humans and animals. We create a lot awareness regarding herbicides and pesticides today, this is why I chose her as one of my 10. She also had access to a lot of classified material after the second world war, which also drew my attention to her. She is a well known figure, and a simple Google search will tell you a lot more about her.
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