When you think of feminism, there is one trailblazing woman who immediately comes to mind: Gloria Steinem. The political activist, who is largely credited for being the most impactful spokeswoman of the American feminist movement in the late sixties and early seventies, has dedicated her life to fighting for women's rights.
She will always be remembered for leading marches, writing thought-provoking books, essays and columns, and touring the US as an in-demand speaker on issues of equality.
Gloria helped launch New York magazine in 1968 where she worked as a political columnist, before joining forces with Patricia Carbine and Letty Cottin Pogrebin in 1972 to co-found liberal feminist publication, Ms. Magazine, which is "more than a magazine; it's a movement".
"We are the women our parents warned us against, and we are proud" - Gloria Steinem
The first meetings of Ms. Magazine took place in Gloria's three-storey New York apartment, which is gradually being taken over by Gloria's Foundation with the goal to assume total ownership one day. The foundation uses Gloria's home as a political centre, and Gloria is happy to welcome activist groups and non-profit organisations to her apartment, to use it as a safe space to convene and share their ideas.
As one of the Founding Mothers of the Ms. Foundation for Women, Gloria has influenced scores of people to get involved in the organisation's mission to achieve gender equity and to spark positive social, cultural and economic change in women's lives.
Gloria has made her mark in several other aspects of the feminist world. She helped found the Women's Action Alliance, which promotes non-sexist, multi-racial children's education, as well as the National Women's Political Caucus, which provides training and support for women who seek elected and appointed offices in government.
She also co-founded the Women's Media Center, an organisation that works to make women visible and powerful in the media, and helped come up with the idea of Take Our Daughters to Work Day, a day that is celebrated in the US and around the world for young girls to learn about future career opportunities. Wow, is there anything Gloria hasn't done?
In 2013, then-President Barack Obama presented Gloria with the well-deserved Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour.
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