Music has played a significant role in the movement for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Songs have the ability to send a powerful message; strong enough to redefine the social norms in society and heavily influence others to join the movement of women’s empowerment. Whether it’s Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera or Helen Reddy, these women are all a part of inspiring radical change.
1. “Who Run The World (Girls)” – Beyoncé (2011)
If you’re anything like Queen B, you strut your stuff like a model on the runway, and you hold your head up high above the haters. You’re fearless, you slay, and you definitely run this world. Beyoncé empowers women to reach far beyond their potential to build a nation.
2. “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child (2001)
Throughout history, women have been dubbed subservient to men because they were considered inferior. In order to challenge this notion, Destiny’s Child created the song “Survivor” to spread the message that women are more than capable to achieve success without any man. All you need is hard-work, perseverance and determination to achieve success. In other words, everything you need to be successful exists within you.
3. “Keep Ya Head Up” by Tupac (1993)
Tupac used his fame and fortune to call the oppression of women into question, while attempting to inspire women to ‘keep your head up.’ Having this message heard by millions of people, especially from a male rapper, opens the door for a brighter future for both women and victims of sexual assault and physical abuse.
4. “Can’t Hold Us Down” by Christina Aguilera ft. Lil Kim (2002)
Christina Aguilera used her influence to spread the message that “Nobody can hold us down.” Because of the expectations placed within gender roles in society, women don’t receive the same type of respect men do whenever they voice their opinion. Men are typically rewarded, while women are shamed. Even though this song was released in 2002, this issue still exists within society today. Christina calls out to women around the world to stand their ground against men, because they never can, and they never will, hold women down.
5. “Just a Girl” by No Doubt (Gwen Stefani) (1995)
Having to always dress pretty in pink is what finally pushed Gwen Stefani over the edge. She explains that being a woman is like living as an animal in captivity; forced to obey the commands society provides. Gwen is trying to raise awareness around the way women are treated, and she wants people to know that this behavior will not be tolerated anymore!
6. “Independent Women, Pt 1” by Destiny’s Child (2001)
Being independent means you’re responsible for buying the shoes on your feet, the clothes on your back, the house you live in and the car you drive. Being an independent woman means you buy all of this stuff on your own! This message reminds women that they’re more than capable of living a luxurious life without having to depend on a man for financial means. No one has the power to control you as long as you remain in control of yourself.
7. “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys (2007)
Alicia Keys believes that even on your darkest days, the ‘S’ on your chest will never fade. Whether you’re on your highest high or your lowest low, you will forever remain a Superwoman simply because you are a woman. Unlike Superman, Superwoman exists in the real world and she lives within every single woman.
8. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor (1979)
Sometimes being strong and independent is way easier said than done. Gloria Gaynor admits to having fears and doubts when she’s forced to stand on her own two feet. If not for both her faith in herself and her ability to succeed, she wouldn’t have been able to survive this battle and come out on top. Gloria tries to encourage women to find their inner strength and take back anything that is rightfully theirs.
9. “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy (1971)
If anyone defines strong and invincible,’ it’s Helen Reddy. Helen’s message to the world is that she won’t stop until men finally understand that women can’t be broken. You can try to do whatever you want to stop women, but you will never succeed. If you’re a woman then you are strong.
10. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin (1967)
R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what that means to Aretha Franklin! Aretha believes that she has have everything men want and everything they need. All she asks in return is their respect. She’s willing to give everything she can just to have the respect she knows she deserves, which just goes to show you how important it is to her. If women aren’t given this type of respect from a man then they must use their voices to get it!
A message exists behind a simple melody and a poetic verse, so it’s up to influencers to use that message in order to accelerate change! If you add a splash of Beyoncé, a pinch of Christina Aguilera and a teaspoon of Helen Reddy, then you have the proper ingredients to spark a revolution.
If you like this track, be sure to check out…