This International Women’s Day, we are dedicating our channels to celebrating women’s achievements and providing a platform to magnify women’s voices; raising awareness for women who have challenged and continue to challenge gender bias as well as transformed the face of their industries.
In line with this year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme, “Choose to Challenge”, we are showcasing particularly poignant pieces of feminist imagery. The old adage goes that a picture is worth one thousand words and these posters speak volumes.
Deva Pardue – For All Womenkind
A present-day icon, Irish Graphic Designer, Deva Pardue’s, Femme Fist poster design encapsulates the intersectionality of modern-day feminism. What started out as a free download for Women’s March activists to print and take to protests blew up overnight when Rihanna posted Pardue’s design on her Instagram. Since then, Pardue has been able to use merch with her design to raise more than $25,000 for organisations that help women worldwide.
Riot Grrrl, a group of “punk-feminists,” emerged in the early 1990s in Washington, D.C. and Olympia. The Riot Grrrl movement encouraged women to become more involved in the male-dominated punk scene. In the 1970’s, women were generally only considered “punk” through the association of being a girlfriend of one of the male members of the group and although there were many female punks, the emergence of “hardcore punk” in the early 1980s brought hypermasculinity and women’s influences further declined.
To remedy this, women began creating their own magazines, fanzines or “zines”, to share ideas that eventually led to spreading the movement nationwide. The increasing awareness led to the creation of local Riot Grrrl weekly meeting that eventually turned into national conventions.
The See Red Women’s Poster Collective
In the 1970s, The Women's Liberation Movement saw itself as the 'True Left' and poster makers extended this ideology to the production process. The See Red Women's Poster Collective (1974-1989) was a notable example of co-operative and non-hierarchical work methods. Their output focused on the domestic issues of women's everyday lives.
The 'split woman' represents women who stood proud and strong, despite having to work a double shift in employment and in the home and being undervalued in both.
We Can Do It!
In 1942, Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller was hired by the Westinghouse Company's War Production Coordinating Committee to create a series of posters for the war effort. One of these posters became the famous "We Can Do It!" image, an image that in later years would also be called "Rosie the Riveter" although it had never been given that title during the war.
This poster, amongst others were part of a widespread campaign for a recruitment drive to encourage women to join the war effort and work in traditionally male dominated workplaces such as ammunition factories to fill the vacancies that men had left behind.
The campaign was a roaring success, such to the extent that following the end of the war, some women continued working in heavy industry and the landscape of the workplace was changed forever.