At FIENA, we believe in the power of women as a collective.
Every woman courageously walks her path on this earth that is unique to her, but with much commonality to the larger feminine voice. Before us, there were many women that paved the way so that we can live our lives to our fullest potential, and walk towards our wildest dreams, because every woman owns the right to live a life she loves.
Equality among men and women has a tumultuous history, but it is through honouring the voices and actions of our female ancestors that we are about to truly recognise how far we have come. A woman’s work is never done, and though it is important to acknowledge that there is still a long road ahead before we experience true gender equality, we stand a greater chance at getting there faster if we as women support one another, because we are stronger together than we are apart.
International Women’s Month is an important commemoration to all of the fierce women throughout history who didn’t back down when they were told to, the bonafide warriors who said “enough is enough”.
So for March, FIENA is paying homage to women’s suffrage, and highlighting some of the brave women through history that we are truly grateful for, in no specific order.
Rosa was a trailblazer for civil rights and racial equality in the United States. By making a bold statement and refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger during a time of racial segregation, she became the accelerator to a 381 day boycott of buses in Montgomery, Alabama by the black community. Thanks to Rosa, racial segregation on buses was finally ruled out as “unconstitutional” by the Supreme Coirts of the United States one year after her inspired action. Rosa is now known through history as the “mother of the civil rights movement”.
Coco Chanel was known as a risk-taker of the fashion world, revolutionising the way women wore clothes. She is not only responsible for the “little black dress”, but she designed the famous ‘Chanel Suit’ which was beyond a fashion statement, the outfit was a perfect choice for post-war career women to be taken seriously in a male-dominated workplace. She also “reinvented the silhouette” that paved the way for many great fashion designers after her to be bold, unapologetic and unconventional with design, pattern and shape.
Famously known as the seductress ruler of the Ancient Egyption times, Cleopatra was so much more than a powerful temptress. Noted as perhaps the first woman in Ancient history to have ruled a state alone for over three decades, she also supported the advancements of science and medicine. Cleopatra's independence and ambition made her an amazing leader, she didn’t let her gender determine her ability to rule, and stole the hearts of many of her subjects.
Emmeline was a fearless political activist and leader who organised the UK Suffragette movement and helped women win the right to vote. She was known as a radicalist at the time, as the Suffragette movement adopted the motto ‘deeds not words’. The movement took the law into their own hands by intimidating politicians, smashing windows, and even throwing rocks at the Prime Minister’s home. Her means of inspiring political influence with direct action eventually led to the introduction of the Equal Franchise Act in 1928, which finally gave all women in the UK the right to vote.
Frida was an inspirational Mexican artist who translated the female experience into creative masterpieces. She wasn’t afraid to express the duality of being female, using self portraits to express her passions, and pain. Frida’s vulnerability to paint her real-life experiences have put her in the art world’s hall of fame as one of the greatest ‘painters of all time’.