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How Have Women’s Protests Changed History?

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Aug 20 • 6:00 pm

(All times are in PDT)

The first of the three-part event series When Women Vote, co-presented with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

There are few forces of nature more formidable than a group of women fed up with the status quo. From the French Revolution—which was sparked in part by a 7,000-woman march from Paris to Versailles—to Black Lives Matter—which was founded by three women—some of the most important protest movements in global history have been women-led.

In addition to organizing many of summer 2020’s continuing marches, over the past century women have taken to the streets to rally for voting and equal rights, to condemn sexual and gun violence, and to stand against the sitting president. But protest has taken other forms too, including the #MeToo movement, anti-colonial mobilizations from Ethiopia to Southeast Asia, women taking the wheel in Saudi Arabia to demand the right to drive, and boycotts and strikes like the Women’s Political Council Montgomery bus boycott.

How have women risen up collectively to create change—and influenced broader movements in the process? What has made women particularly effective protesters, and what ideas have women come up with that have changed the art of protest?

USC labor historian Francille Rusan Wilson, Northeastern University feminist sociologist Valentine Moghadam, and UCLA gender studies professor Ju Hui Judy Han visit Zócalo to discuss the power of women saying “no” throughout history.