Today in the United States, it is evident that there is an astounding amount of women and men of all different backgrounds and walks of life standing in solidarity to fight for the rights of women all over the globe. With March being National Women’s History Month, we have a perfect opportunity to share stories of incredible women in history who helped pave the way for women of the future to allow them to do things like peacefully protest in marches, hold positions in office and more. These three female revolutionaries are perfect examples of women in history shattering the glass ceiling.
Ruby Bridges was extremely young when she first became an activist in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. At just six years old, Bridges passed an entrance exam allowing her to be admitted to an all-white school in a time where schools were racially segregated. Although they were afraid for her safety, her parents allowed her to attend William Frantz Elementary School so that she would have access to significantly better education. Due to protests and large and violent crowds, Bridges was escorted to school every day by four federal marshals. In the late 1990s, Bridges began the Ruby Bridges Foundation to further fight and be an activist for equality and tolerance in education.
This woman whose true identity is still unknown is referred to as Agent 355. She served under George Washington in an elite, American spy ring during the American Revolution. The work she did and the information she received was crucial in helping the colonies succeed during the time of the Revolution. While much about Agent 355 is still relatively unknown, her work in the spy ring proved her to be a revolutionary for women, especially during a time in which the rights and opportunities for women were few.
Focused on women’s rights and civil rights, Dorothy Height was influential in bettering the lives of and creating more opportunities for African American women. After graduating from New York University with a master’s degree in educational psychology, she served 40 years as the president of the National Council of Negro Women and helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus. Throughout her 80 year career, Height oversaw programs for issues including women’s rights, African American rights, AIDS, poverty and voting rights. While Height is a relatively unsung hero of her time, her work, commitment and energy all helped better the lives of women in the past, present and future.