(mainly or initiated by) women

WOMEN (mainly or initiated by). Includes any cases initiated by transwomen, that is, women who were born as anatomically men but changed their expression of their gender. There are struggles, for example for democracy, that are initiated by women but grow far beyond that category. This tag enables readers still to find such cases, in which women played a key role.

Afghan policewomen form human chain to protect women's rights activists in Kabul, 2009


In March 2009 the Afghan Parliament passed the Shia Personal Status Law, which provided many restrictions and guidelines for the personal lives of Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslims, who made up between fifteen and twenty percent of the total population. The law was drafted by Shia Clerics and then passed by congress and signed by President Hamid Karzai.

Lawrence, MA factory workers strike "for Bread and Roses," U.S. 1912


As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women's children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
- James Oppenheim (Used as the rallying cry for the movement)

Mills College students win divestment from South African apartheid government, 1984-1988

South Africa Apartheid Divestment Movement (1970s-1980s)

The Dutch and British colonization of South Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries brought a system of segregation to the region that remained in place well into the twentieth century. From 1948 to 1994 this took the form of apartheid, a system of legal racial segregation that ensured the continued rule of the country by the white minority.

Houston janitors campaign for economic justice, 2005-2006


In Houston, the largest cleaning companies paid their janitors an average of $5.25 per hour and did not provide health benefits. Meanwhile, in other cities the average salary for a janitor position was between $10-20 an hour and family health benefits were provided. The Service Employee’s International Union (SEIU), under the leadership of its president, Stephen Lerner, utilized the Justice for Janitors Campaign, which involved over 200,000 janitors in more than 28 cities across the United States, to fight to improve the working conditions and benefits for these workers.

Icelandic women strike for economic and social equality, 1975


There were many organizations dedicated to the realization of full women’s rights in Iceland in 1975, drawing from a history of previous women’s movements that dealt with the issues of suffrage, national independence, and equal rights. Such movements had lost momentum since the 1920s when groups of women had put together women’s slates for election to parliament and municipal governments.

Kenyan mothers win release of political prisoners and press for democratic reform, 1992-1993

African Democracy Campaigns (early 1990s)

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the political atmosphere in Kenya was characterized by brutal government repression and terror. Under the single-party rule of President Daniel arap Moi, any form of political dissension was swiftly met with government interrogation, detention, and torture. Many students, journalists, lawyers, and human rights advocates were among those imprisoned for perceived anti-government statements, ideas, and actions.

Japanese protest security treaty with U.S. and unseat Prime Minister, 1959-1960


The political atmosphere in Japan in the 1950s was anything but calm. Still reeling from the Second World War, citizens were coming to terms with their newly democratic leaders—politicians who, before the war, had been ardently fascist. A growing nationalist movement was forming, as well as strong leftist political factions. These two movements opposed Japan’s strong ties with the United States, and disagreed with the American military presence in their country.

Igbo women campaign for rights (The Women's War) in Nigeria, 1929


By November 1929, Igbo women in southeastern Nigeria had had enough. From the perspective of the British colonizers, the women became loud, angry, and disruptive. They marched through cities and towns and demanded political leaders to step down. The women took their British rulers completely by surprise. The British were ignorant of the discontent among women that had been building for years, and that had recently bubbled over the surface. They mistook the women’s organized action for spontaneous, ‘crazy’ outbursts.

Women form peace camp to protest housing of cruise missiles at Greenham Common, 1981-1993


Greenham Commons outside Newbury, England was purchased in 1939 by the Newbury District Council for the public use of Newbury inhabitants, including the collection of firewood. In 1941 this area was requisitioned by the Air Ministry for an airfield, which was later decommissioned. Despite the decommissioning of the airfield, public ownership of the land was not fully restored. Then in 1979 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization ) bought the land from the British government for the building of a military base that would house 96 Tomahawk Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs).

Bolivian tin miners' wives fast, win amnesty, jobs, freedom, 1977-1978


The 1977-1978 economic justice and human rights campaign in Bolivia stemmed from tensions that began with the 1952 Bolivian Revolution, which left the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement in power. This group implemented a nationalization of the tin mines, agrarian reforms, and universal franchises. These policies and reforms lasted until 1964, when a military coup led to the regime of General Barrientos. This regime clashed with miners and broke down worker power and cultivated the peasantry.

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