In a year where the world was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and many of us were forced to stay at home, women and LGBTIQ people refused to give up the fight for equal rights. Here are some of the stories that were most inspired by feminist resistance in 2020.
As women and their allies took to the streets in Poland to protest the adoption of a law that would severely limit access to abortion, in Argentina pro-choice protesters known as the “green wave” were finally able to celebrate a win after a two-year-long fight: its senate legalised abortion up to 14 weeks.
Women also took the street to demand action against murder, rape and sexual abuse. Protesters in Namibia defied tear gas to demand a state of emergency, while in Mexico 80.000 people took to the streets on the international day for women to call on their government to take notice of the country’s horrific femicides.
Russian women and their allies also protested – both online and offline – sexism, after a feminist artist was arrested and charged with spreading "homosexual propaganda" for artwork promoting body positivity, including drawings of vaginas posted on social media.
This was also the year that Black trans people were more visible than ever, campaigning for their lives to be protected in the US, with the Black Lives Matter and LGBTIQ rights movements pulled together by extraordinary circumstances.
But not only did women take the forefront in protests demanding the protection of their rights, they also led pro-democracy protests to protect the rights of all citizens. In India, women demanded that the rights of minorities were acknowledged by protesting a citizenship bill. In Thailand women took to the streets against a patriarchy that controls the military, the monarchy and the Buddhist monkhood – Thailand’s most powerful institutions – challenging sexism. In Belarus, women have been leading the protests for months against falsified elections, defying stereotypes.
This year, the world lost an important defender of our rights: the American Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But her legacy will continue to protect and inspire equality for all. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, but we can take inspiration from all these women all over the world to continue fighting for our lives, our rights, to be taken seriously, and to be respected in 2021.