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11 superb speeches to inspire us to keep fighting for gender equality, even when we're exhausted

Keep fighting, no matter how challenging or hopeless things may feel.

10/21/2020 6:54:00 PM

'Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights.' - HillaryClinton SGS

Keep fighting, no matter how challenging or hopeless things may feel.

is dedicated to exploring pathways to a greater good, spotlighting issues that are essential to making the world a better place.It's been a particularly distressing year full of chaos, heartbreak, and loss. And though circumstances are tough and constantly striving for a better world can be exhausting, it's crucial that women (and men, too) continue in the fight for gender equality.

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Gender discrimination and the gender pay gap are still realities that women face on a daily basis. And in 2020, women's rights to abortion and more may be at risk if a conservative winds up filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat.

NEXT STORY:Thankfully, a whole lot of strong women role models are out there to help lift us up and lead the way. Here are 11 speeches to inspire you to keep fighting for equality, no matter how challenging or hopeless things may feel.1. Hillary Clinton's"Women's Rights are Human Rights" speech

You may recallHillary Clinton's 2016 presidential concession speechas one of her most memorable, but another truly remarkable address took place in September 1995.During an impassioned speech at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, Clinton memorably declared,"Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights."

The then first lady of the United States went on to passionately argue for the rights and freedom of women around the world. She highlighted the need for women to be protected and respected. She called for an end to violence against women and demanded that women be treated equally. She asked that women be given the same access to education, the same freedom of speech, and the same societal and political rights as men. And she lifted women up, as she's done so many times during her career.

2. Leymah Gbowee's 2012 Ted TalkLeymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist, was awarded aNobel Peace Prize in 2011 for the role she played in ending the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Gbowee's nonviolent organizing efforts were historic, and the social worker and women's rights advocate went on to deliver a powerful TED Talk in March 2012 called,"Unlock the intelligence, passion, greatness of girls."

Gbowee shared several formative personal experiences she's had while traveling around the world to speak. She talked about girls she's met and shared bits of their stories. She spoke about her work and the issues she fights for. And she spoke about hope.

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"I don't have much to ask of you. I've also been to places in this U.S. and I know that girls in this country also have wishes — wishes for a better life," Gbowee said."Somewhere in the Bronx... wish for a better life. Somewhere in downtown LA... wish for a better life. Somewhere in Texas... wish for a better life... Somewhere in New Jersey... wish for a better life. Will you journey with me to help that girl?… All they are asking us to do is create that space to unlock the intelligence, unlock the passion, unlock all of the great things that they hold within themselves. Let's journey together."

3. Julia Gillard's famous misogyny speechIn October 2012, Julia Gillard, a formerAustralian politician who served as Australia's 27th prime minister from 2010 to 2013, delivered a powerful parliamentary speech on misogyny.In response to opposition leader Tony Abbott's request to have Peter Slipper removed as Speaker over texts sent to an aide, Gillard took the mic and called Abbott out for his own sexist, misogynistic behavior.

"The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well, I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror. That's what he needs," Gillard began.

Over the course of the nearly 15-minute address, she proceeded to call out Abbott's"repulsive double standards" on misogyny and sexism.Inon Australian'sKitchen Cabinetinterview show, Abbott spoke about Gillard's speech."Look, politics is about theater and at the time I didn't think it was very effective theater at all," he said."But plainly it did strike a chord in a lot of people who had not followed the immediate problem that had brought on that particular parliamentary debate."

Strike a chord it did. Though Gillard's speech was seen as controversial by some, it resonated with so many women who had experienced similar behavior, and her words remain unforgettable.4. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's"We should all be feminists" TEDx talk

Some of you may be familiar withWe Should All Be Feminists, the personal essay by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that was published as a book in 2014. But did you know theNew York Timesbestseller is an adapted version of a TEDx talk that the writer delivered in December 2012?

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"We teach girls that they can have ambition, but not too much... to be successful, but not too successful, or they'll threaten men," the writer says to the audience. You may recognize bits of audio from the song"Flawless" off of Beyoncé's 2016 album,

Lemonade, but Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's full 30-minute discussion of feminism, the role gender plays in today's society, the double standards among men and women, and her own personal experiences is required listening of its own.5. Malala Yousafzai's 16th birthday address to the United Nations

When Nobel Prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai turned 16 years old in July 2013, she delivered a profoundly inspiring address at the United Nations. Yousafzai spoke about how she had been shot by the Taliban in 2012, talked of her recovery and how grateful she was to be alive, and laid out an impassioned plea for equality.

"We call upon all communities to be tolerant — to reject prejudice based on cast, creed, sect, religion, or gender. To ensure freedom and equality for women so that they can flourish. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back," Yousafzai said.

"Dear brothers and sisters, we want schools and education for every child's bright future. We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education for everyone," she continued."No one can stop us. We will speak for our rights and we will bring change through our voice. We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world."

6. Emma Watson's gender equality speech at the United NationsIn September 2014, Emma Watson — British actor, activist, and United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador — delivered a powerful address on gender equality at a UN Women'sHeForShecampaign event.

"Why has the word [feminism] become such an uncomfortable one? I am from Britain, and I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men," Watson said."But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to see these rights. No country in the world can yet say that they achieved gender equality."

Watson went on to explain how she came to understand the word"feminism." She shared personal experiences, discussed how harmful gender stereotypes are, and directly addressed men to remind them,"Gender equality is your issue, too."

7. Lupita Nyong'o speaking at a Black Women in Hollywood eventAtEssence's 2014 Black Women in Hollywood event, actor Lupita Nyong'o was honored for her role in12 Years a Slave.Nyong'o received the award for"Best Breakthrough Performance" and proceeded to give a truly moving speech about what it means to be a Black woman in Hollywood.

Nyong'o began by sharing a passage from a fan letter she received. A young girl wrote to the actor to say,"I think you're really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia's Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me."

"My heart bled a little when I read those words," Nyong'o said."I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned."

Nyong'o shared her own struggles with self-image and self-acceptance growing up, expressing why diversity and on-screen representations are so important in the world.8. Ruth Bader Ginsburg's comments about women on the Supreme CourtThe world continues to mourn the loss of the great Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who

diedon Sept. 18, 2020. But her legacy as a Supreme Court justice and fierce advocate for women's rights and equality will never be forgotten.Justice Ginsburg gave her fair share of powerful speeches on gender equality over the course of her remarkable career, but several beloved RBG quotes were made when she visited Georgetown University in February 2015 and spoke about the many challenges women in her profession face.

Read more: Mashable »

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HillaryClinton Women’s rights are not up for grabs by men who identify as women. WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE NOT FOR SALE! We’re NOT cis, uterus havers, menstruators, pregnant people, people with cervixes & all the other “inclusive” bullshit. WE ARE WOMEN! Women are Adult Human FEMALES! No males! HillaryClinton AriseTheDivineFeminine

HillaryClinton Logically incorrect.

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