Social movements differ in size and can cover just one neighbourhood to an entire continent or even the whole world. Gender has played a significant role in size and number of social movements because once people became aware of the influence gender has in their lives, social movements began materializing basing their ideologies on gender related issues. All social movements have a common social goal in their objectives. This paper primarily focuses on describing three social movements and their impacts on gender.
Social movements are mostly informal unlike clubs or political parties that have leaders and flag bearers who represent the rest of the group. A social movement is based more on an individual's moral standing and belief, and its membership is not fully defined. Additionally, it does not have any legal binding. Therefore, the only way a social movement remains in existence is through commitment and loyalty of its members to its ideologies and objectives. They do not have an exact size because there is no formal registration of members to determine their numbers. Social movements have in their agendas the notion of bringing about social change, and the methods they use to implement their ideals is used to categorize them as either moderate or radical social movements and they can also be legitimate or underground. This categorization is influenced by their nature of conducting business. Revolutionary and radical social movements are prone to reliance on violence and civil disobedience while moderates are more inclined to use dialogue and parliamentary and legal manoeuvring. There are various reasons to explain the emergence of social movements, and they include psychological and social reasons. Psychologically, individuals derive a sense of belonging and attain a status when they belong to a social movement. Social factors, like poverty and age groups, can lead to the formation of a social movement with its members representing a group that needs some change. Most social movements hold regular demonstrations in the hope that they promise delivery of a desired change. Deprivation is another leading cause for the formation of social movements because individuals will come together to address the scarcity, and in doing so, they identify with one common goal of changing the situation. Most social movements do not usually survive to see their ideals and goals come to fruition. This is because they do not garner enough support to warrant their ideologies proper attention to be institutionalized and incorporated into the society, and achieve the desired change. Some social movements usually manage to realize and implement their goals, and these are the ones that are subject to the test of time and have loyal and committed members who strive to ensure their success. Social movements have always had an effect on gender because it influences the type of movement that develops. Males usually form a larger part of social movements more than females. This usually influences the ideology of the group because both the genders have different characteristics, which is also manifested in the group. Social movements have been used to advocate for gender based liberties and the advancement of gender rights. Gender has been used, by many social movements, as a tool to further their ideologies because they understand that it is a debate that is close to people’s hearts. The Lesbian and Gay Rights Activists movement was formed in the early 19th century, but its activities became more pronounced in the 1960s, 70s, 80s to date due to the advent of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, which advocated for equal rights to everyone irrespective of colour, creed, or