Recently, according to Huffington Post, photographer Jonathan Bachman was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, covering the Black Lives Matter movement protests for the Reuters news agency.
He was photographing one protestor arguing with a police officer when he saw a woman later identified as Ieshia Evans, a 28 year-old mom and nurse from Brooklyn, staging a nonviolent, but defiant act of civil disobedience by simply standing, unmoving in front of a wall of police officers.
The image has since gone viral on social media and many media outlets have called it iconic.
Ieshia was one of more than 100 people who were arrested during the protests. She was released from custody the next evening according to this Facebook comment thread by Shaun King, a journalist for New York Daily News.
Ieshia posted a status, seemingly after she was released, saying she appreciated all the well-wishes and love and that she did not witness any casualties first hand.
We take a look at other women who were instrumental in fighting for great causes:
Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams De Bruyn – the women who led the march to the union buildings on 9 August 1956.
The march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria of more than 20 000 women of different ages and races was organised to deliver petitions to the then Prime Minister JG Strijdom against the carrying of passes by women. According to Media Club South Africa, the march was organised by the Federation of South African Women (FSAW) and led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams De Bruyn. These women sang songs of freedom, including the now famous “You strike a woman, you strike a rock”
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela – activist, freedom fighter and ex-wife of late former president Nelson Mandela
No matter what your feelings are towards her, there’s no denying Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s credentials as an important struggle icon in South African history. Madikizela-Mandela, who was married to late former president Nelson Mandela for 38 years, was an active freedom figher in her own right throughout her life. She was regularly arrested, tortured, subjected to house arrest and held in solitary confinement for her activism during apartheid. During her former husband’s years in prison she campaigned for equal rights, organised local clinics and became a symbol of the struggle against apartheid, often being called the “mother of the nation.”
Rosa Parks – civil rights activist famous for refusing to surrender her seat on a bus to a white passenger
Rosa Parks is arguably the most famous female civil rights icon in the United States. By refusing to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, she was arrested and sparked a city-wide bus boycott. Rosa Park’s act of defiance and the subsequent boycott, which lasted for over a year, have become international symbols of the civil rights movement.
Even though she became famous for this gesture, she wasn’t the first black woman arrested for refusing to give up her seat in that area. The lesser-known Claudette Colvin was arrested 9 months before Rosa Parks made headlines and other women were arrested in other areas. Regardless, Rosa Parks, is still a symbol of hope to many.
Malala Yousafzai – Pakistani education activist and youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate
Malala Yousafzai (who is now19 years old) grabbed the attention of the world when she was shot in the head when she was 15 by the Taliban for demanding that girls in Pakistan be allowed to receive an education. She survived and continues to speak about the importance of education. She won the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism in 2014, making her he youngest-ever person to win the award. Yousafzai actively campaigned for the right of education for years before her shooting.