Women were integral in kick-starting the French Revolution with the Women's March on Versailles. On Oct. 5, 1789, Parisian women rioted over the high price and low quantity of bread in the marketplace. The protesting market women were then joined by revolutionaries for political reform, and together the mob besieged the royal palace at Versailles and made their demands of King Louis XVI.
The modern movement for women's suffrage, or the right for women to vote and run for office, began in France in the 1780s, but it wasn't until World War I that the women's right to vote really became widespread. American women won the vote in 1920, and British women won equal voting rights in 1928. Here Mrs. Norman Whitehouse made a suffrage speech in 1913.
British activist Emmeline Pankhurst sold her home and traveled throughout Britain and the United States giving speeches for the women's suffragist movement. Here she was in New York City in 1913.
Women's suffragists took part in a National Suffrage Association demonstration in 1913.
Protesters gathered in front of a banner that read "The right to vote to women" in 1917 in Petrograd during the revolution that led to the collapse of the czarist government.
Suffragists Kenyon Hayden Rector, Mary Dubrow, and Alice Paul held a sign outside the 1920 Republican Convention in Chicago that says, "No self respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a party that ignores her self. Susan B. Anthony, 1872."
In 1937, Chinese women took up the cause of their military. Here, Mrs. Chiang Kai-shek, wife of China's generalissimo, presented a women's committee for aiding Chinese troops resisting the Japanese invasion.
South African women participated in a demonstration after people died during riots against the closing of underground distilleries in Durban in 1959.
Policemen grabbed hold of 18-year-old Elizabeth Victoria Spencer, a city youth council delegate, during a segregation protest in 1963. Women were really at the root of the civil rights movement in the US, thanks to Rosa Parks and her fellow African-American women who boycotted segregated buses.
Singer Eartha Kitt took part in 1968's Poor People March in Washington DC to demand economic help for America's poorest communities.
A woman protested cuts in the Chicano Studios student program at the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, CA. The Chicano Movement of the '60s encompassed rights and awareness of the Mexican-American community.
Women attended the "Call to the Nation's Conscience" ERA rally in Washington DC during the NOW National Conference in 1981.
Former First Lady Betty Ford and NOW President Eleanor Smeal attended the "Call to the Nation's Conscience" ERA rally in Washington DC during the NOW National Conference in 1981.
Girls held banners supporting women's equality at the "Call to the Nation's Conscience" ERA rally in Washington DC during the NOW National Conference in 1981.
Members of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo human rights organization marched for their missing sons and daughters in Buenos Aires in 1982.
Around 2,000 Filipino women, students, teachers, businesswomen, and nuns protested during International Women's Day in 1985.
Women protested at the National Organization for Women's pro-choice rally in 1991 in New York City. NOW was the first national organization to call for the legalization of abortion and for the repeal of all anti-abortion laws.
Women took part in a NOW pro-choice rally in New York City.
Semi-naked PETA activists rode a float during a 1993 parade in New York.
Activist Gloria Steinem marched during a women's rights rally in New York City protesting Pope John Paul II's conservative doctrine on sex and abortion issues.
Women took part in the Lesbian Pride Parade in New York City that commemorated the Stonewall riots of 1969.
Members of the Women's Action Coalition wore Nicole Brown Simpson masks to protest domestic abuse during the OJ Simpson murder trial in LA.
A woman carried an Algerian flag during a demonstration in Paris protesting the murder of Nabila Djahnine, the leader of the women's group Tighri Net Mettouth (Women's Cry).
The Federal Minister for Women Development, Attiya Inayatullah, and the Federal Minister for Education, Zubaida Jalal, took part in a procession for International Women's Day in Islamabad.
A woman held an Egyptian flag during a protest calling for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in London. This 2011 demonstration was one of the early sparks that ignited the Arab Spring protests, a movement that has forced out rulers across the region.
Topless protesters from the Ukrainian protest group Femen held signs during a demonstration in Rome that protested Silvio Berlusconi's sex scandal.
A girl took part in Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.
A Libyan woman made the V-sign for victory with the colors of Libya's new flag on her fingers as she took part in the Arab Spring movement.
Inspired by the Arab Spring protests, a group of Saudi Arabian women started the Women to Drive campaign in 2011 to continue their battle to be allowed to drive on public roads in their country. The movement began in 1990, but it was revamped in June 2011 with around 70 women driving in defiance of the laws. Here topless Ukrainian Femen activists held signs that say, "Cars for women, camels for men!" and "Give me a way!" on behalf of Saudi Arabian women.
Women held a sign while they marched in Kolkata to protest against physical assaults and rape of women.
A woman held a banner during a "Droits des Femmes" demonstration for abortion rights in Bordeaux, southwestern France.
Polish feminists held signs saying, "Enough exploitation, we quit!" during a march on International Women's Day in Warsaw.
Muslim girl students held signs on International Women's Day in Srinagar, India, against the violence married women face for poor dowries.
A nude activist did her best meat impression on Meatout Day in Cali, Valle del Cauca Department, Colombia.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws protested in Washington DC against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's position on women's health care.
Girls took part in the One Billion Rising campaign for women's rights in Kolkata, India.
Members of the Peasant Women Movement took part in a demonstration against violence against women in Brazil.
A disguised woman protested in front of the Supreme Court of Justice in Montevideo after the Court's decision to declare unconstitutional a law of 2011 which considered imprescriptible the crimes committed during the last military dictatorship (1973-1984) in Uruguay.
Kurdish women chanted slogans as they protested in front of the French consulate in Istanbul against the killings of three female Kurdish activists in France.
Women threw bras in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris during an event called "Pink Bra Bazzar" by a French organization fighting against breast cancer.