The world has witnessed some great social movements in its history, which have, to a great extent influenced the way things are at present. In these social movements, people around the world have gathered together and used various means, violent and peaceful, with the purpose of bringing big changes into the society. These were carried out with the aim to build a better tomorrow for the generations to come, and many of them have been successful in this regard.
8. Children’s Rights Movement
Another major social movement is Children Rights Movement, which is aimed at protecting the interests of minor children and making sure that they are not discriminated on the basis of caste, religion, color, gender and origin. Also, they have a right to live a life free of physical and mental abuse.
7. Occupy Movement
Occupy movement was carried out to raise a voice against social and economic disparity around the world, with protests going on in more than 950 cities in 82 countries. The main concern of this movement was that the present day world is being controlled by large corporations and financial powers.
6. Arab Spring
Arab Spring is the name given to the social movement, which involved protests and demonstrations to free Arab countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Israel, Iraq and Kuwait, of dictatorship and have democracies established there.
5. Animal Rights Movement
Featuring next among the biggest social movements in the history of the world is Animals Rights Movement, whereby people have joined hands to advocate the protection of rights of animals and prevent their exploitation for trade purposes.
4. Labor Movement
One of the earliest major social movement, which was witnessed by the world is the Labor Movement, which came close at the heels of the Industrial Revolution, when the society was divided between the Capitalists and Labor Class. While the capitalists had the wealth and power which they used to exploit the latter, the labor class made huge protests to get good working conditions and reasonable wages. After a lot of struggle, they were successful in their endeavors.
Anti Apartheid Movement started as the Boycott Movement, in Britain in 1959, to oppose Apartheid system followed in South Africa and support non whites in the country. After a long fight, the system was abolished in South Africa in 1990 and four years later, the country elected Nelson Mandela in its first elections ever.
Another major social movement in world history is feminism, which started with demand for the rights of women to cast their vote and get equal standing with men in the society. The roots of feminism go back to the 18th century, when a widespread protest was carried out by women for being excluded from public life, and it became stronger at the end of 19th century, with women demanding right to vote. This movement had a deep impact on not only the society, but also psychological and political scenario of the world. Also known as the women suffrage movement, it was headed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony and marked events like a huge march in New York City in 1915, which had more than 30000 women participating in it.
1. US Civil Rights Movement
One of the biggest social movements in the history of the world was the US Civil Rights Movement, which was spearheaded by Martin Luther King and demanded equal rights, dignity and social justice for the Blacks in America. King advocated non-violence as the method of struggle to have his demands met, but gradually it turned into a massive movement, which engulfed the whole country and changed everything about it for the times to come.
Some other major social movements in the world are Counter Terrorism Movement, Anti-nuclear Movement, Slutwalk Movement and Non-violence Movement.