Women Involvement in World History


The experiences of these women reflects problem the society encountered in the 20th century. Emma Mashinini has been forced to spend half a year in jail without knowing the reason and when she can be released because she was a leader of black shop workers union. Gloria Wade-Gayles who have been a member of Congress of Racial Equality has been fired from college in Atlanta were she successfully worked because of her continuous civil rights activism. Vera Brittain was a writer, who focused her attention on women’s rights and post war problems. Vijaya Pandit was political leader and diplomat and also one of the world’s leading woman in public life in 20th century. Since some of women referred to groups of people that have been degraded moreover they were brave enough to express incompliance, many times they have encountered a radical response on their attempts to point out at substantial problems in society. Each woman was concerned with the insufficient extend or lack of fairness towards different groups of people. The concerns women express are intercepted very often and the same pattern can be found in their attitude towards such essential international issues as racism and humiliation of human rights. These problems emerged from crucial historical events that affected society in variety of ways. Unfortunately, some of the changes led to extremely negative social and political consequences in the way that various classes and groups of people whose rights were profoundly humiliated on racial and gender basis. All mentioned women appeared to live when those issues were most relevant and experienced negative outcome on them. Their intention to somehow fight comes out of their great disagreement and resistance to the way society was.



In making contribution to the historical development of the modern world, women have had their fair share of contribution to the historical development through advancement of causes. Women, since the ancient times have has the major role to play in ensuring that the cities and the countries where they come from have the right governance systems and infrastructure to facilitate social and economic development of the populace to whom they represent. The lead women who have had their fair share of the modern history have some traits and experiences that are in common. The common experiences revolve around the background that the women share and the circumstances that shape the circumstances and historical context of that which they go through and define in history. As such, though the geographical and historical contexts of the said women may vary, their lives and experiences revolve around a common theme. This paper aims to discuss the contribution of four women, that is, Vera Brittain, Emma Mashinini, Vijaya Pandit and Gloria Wade-Gayles regarding their major involvement in the major developments in modern world history. 

Vera Brittain

Vera Brittain is not only an author but a feminist and a pacifist too. The life of Vera Brittai n is mainly documented through her contribution to ensure that the world is a better place after the First World War. During the years of the war, Vera is known to make an impact and a contribution in ensuring the British troops got medication. However, the passion of Vera is clearly not evident in the pursuit of the medical related course while at the University as she strives to write books in the form of memoirs to document that life and the experience that she had to go through as a woman who is struggling to come to terms with the intrigues and the quest to ensure a society free of war. At the young age, Vera comes to birth by having to go against the will that has been set by her father and the loss of her fiancée and her brother. The circumstances under which Vera finds herself in are not only empathizing but shape her thought besides driving her motivation to shape her memoirs to lay deep reflection on the expectations that the populace have on the leadership of their countries and state. Through the books that have been written by Vera, in the book Testament of the youth in particular, the focus of Vera is on the rights of women during the period of the war. Vera shares on the agony that women have to go through during the war and the need to ensure that the women have an equal support and consultation in the major issues that affect the state and the country. In the memoirs that are jotted by Vera, the state of hopelessness and the complacency that women face during the world war period is well evident and her experience as a nurse and the losses that she has to bear is a testimony to the sad experience that women have to go through. 

Emma Mashinini

In the 20th Century, women are known to have taken a reserved role in matters governance within the respective countries where they hail from. Emma Mashinini is known to take up a different role and is known to play a role in ensuring that the women have an equal role and stake in dictating the happenings within the states that they come from. Emma is lead activist and is known to be a crusader of the black people. In her representation of the blacks through her role as the leader of the black shop workers union, she is known to be a defender of the blacks in ensuring that there is eq2uaity in their taxation and treatment by the colonial government of South Africa. Emma is a pro poor speaker and is known for her eloquence in articulating the issues that the black people are going through in South Africa. As such, the main theme that tags along with the life of Emma Mashini is labor rights of the blacks and the need to effect and articulate the rights of the black people through the labor unions that represent them.  

Vijaya Pandit

Vijaya Pundit is a freedom advocate in the history of India. Though she is known to be from a well off family, Vijaya is known to defy the odds that the women had to go through in being reserved and in looking forward to men to take up the mantle of liberating the countries where they hailed from. The life of Vijaya is dotted with arrests in three main incidences. Vijaya is known to use her role as a woman to mobilize the populace of India to oppose the tyrannical move and the wave against oppression against the poor. As such, the life of Vijaya is that of defending the rights of the poor an affirming the role that the entire society has to play in ensuring that freedom is realized despite the gender roles and differences.

Gloria Wade-Gayles

She is known to fire up the need to involve women in the realization of the political freedom of black women. In the dawn of the 20th century, blacks experienced segregation and the marginalization of the black women was clearly evident. Gloria is known to user her role to establishment an involvement of the black women in the participatory development of the state where she hailed from and the achievement of political maturity needed for the development of the society. In her quest for a freed bondage of the black women, Gloria is known to rub shoulders with the authorities as is evident from her sacking. Her resilience is further established in the key role that she plays in ensuring that the voter education and registration of women in the southern parts of the United States of America goes on. 

Themes that surround the historical experiences of Vera Brittain, Emma Mashinini, Vijaya Pandit and Gloria Wade-Gayles

The main theme that comes to play in the lives of the four women is that of feminism. The lives of the women is known to elude the role of women in the society besides affirming the strength that the women posses in shaping the history of the countries where they come from. To begin with, the life of Vijaya Pundit is orchestrated with arrests and taking up of the leadership role that later lead up to the spear heading the freedom of India. In the life of Mishanini, she strives to prove that women too have an equal role to prove in shaping up the historical development of the country in which they are living in. In her role as the leader in the black people within the Republic of South Africa, she is known to push for the equal treatment of the South Africans besides advocating for an equal representation and recognition of the black people in the management of the affairs of the black people. Though her quest and her position as a human rights champion, Mashinini affirms the role and the critical position that women play in ensuring that there is equal recognition of women’s role in entrenching sobriety and equality in management of state of affairs within a state. As is also mirrored in the life of Vera Brittain, she documents in the books that she writes on the roles that women have in shaping the destiny of the world through her person involvement in the First World War and the need to appreciate the role that was played by women in the war. Gloria lives up to the theme of freedom by ensuring that the black women of the United States of America are duly registered and given a chance to participate in elections within the United States of America. 

The second theme that is advanced from the stories of the four women is the theme of freedom. The four women in their different capacities are known to play the role of liberating the countries where they come from the bondage of oppression. Freedom is a transcending theme in the characters and the interplay of the experiences of the four women. The continents that the Vijaya. Mashinini and Vera come from are Asia, Africa and the United Kingdom. The two former continents are well known to be third world states while the latter continent is known to represent the developed world. However, the quest by the women to ensuring a word free of oppression is quite evident in their person lives as has been depicted in the discussion presented above. The story of freedom from the perspective of the women further leads to the sub theme of human rights. In sharing the experiences of the World War, Vera details the emotional trauma that she has to go through in her losing both her fiancée and her brother. The nature of cruelty that is directed to the two main important men in her life is dehumanizing and she asserts the need to preserve life by making world war an unnecessary pursuit in the modern world. 


In conclusion, the contribution of women in the development of the history of the world, women have been known to play a lead role in advancing the theme of feminism and freedom. In promoting the theme of feminism, women have been known to affirm the influence that they can create in the field of human rights movement, world War and entrenching freedom within the home countries and the state where they are from. The role of the women, therefore, is well documented in the painful experiences that they have to go through to ensure that they model the countries where they come from to be a lead in having good conditions for humanity. The four women discussed in the paper hail from different continents and are known to influence the societies where they come from different. In the African continent, Mashinini is deeply involvement in the labor movement by using her role as the leader of the black shop owners in South Africa to assert the need to treat the black workers as equals in the labor laws and unions. Vera Brittain is known to use her prowess to document the painful experiences that the women have to undergo in their quest to restore the World back to freedom through her treatment and nursing of the wounded soldiers. Vijayi is known to give up on the royalty that she receives from the affluent family where she hails from to fight for the freedom of her country leading up to her being jailed. In the last case, Gloria is known to be a champion of advancing the right of the black women to have an equal voice in participating in the governance system through voter education and registration. The role that is, therefore, played by the women is critical in analyzing the pre-conditions that the women have to lay and the experiences that the women have to go through in developing a world free from oppression. 

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