Apart from swiping past news notifications about Harvey Weinstein, the Women’s March and the Time's Up protests, many millennials seem to be unaware of what feminism actually is.

In fact, the most searched word of 2017 was feminism, writes Neetu Singh.

Although this country's journey towards achieving gender equality began well before 1918, this date was a pivotal moment for Britons as some women finally gained the right to vote.

To find out what feminism really means for London's youth, Get West London asked six teenagers about their take on gender equality.

Nevroz Fehimli, 18

Sixth form student, Nevroz, told Get West London : "Feminism, for me, in its most simplest form, is the equality of the sexes.

"There are complexities of feminism. Women of colour and women of [different classes] face difficulties when classifying as a feminist."

She said she identifies as a womanist, rather than a feminist - a movement which focuses on the history and experiences of women of marginalised groups.

Nevroz emphasised the importance of identifying intersectionality such as class and race when considering different women's identities.

She said: "Feminism promotes equality of the sexes but not within the female sex."

After speaking to Nevroz, it is clear that as the feminist movement has grown, it has become a lot more complex previously perceived.

Lynna Haltalli, 17

"My mum was born and raised in a Third World [country] and is only learning about things like feminism in her 50s", Lynna said.

Recalling her family history, Lynna thinks that "there is a privilege in what history a country has knowledge of, based on the socio-economic and political status."

"There is a privilege in what history a country has knowledge of," said Lynna Haltalli

She argued that this could be the reason why her Algerian-born mother was "so amazed" to learn about Britain's suffrage movement.

She said her mother "saw a news story about [the suffrage movement] on the morning of the 100th anniversary [she] was so amazed."

Lynna, on the other hand said she feels privileged to have access to such information and said feminism enables her to explore the the same opportunities and experiences as her male counterparts.

Clara Njie, 18

When asked whether she was aware of the recent 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, Clara responded: "I watched Celebrity Big Brother and that’s all they talked about."

She added that she wouldn't have been aware of the democratic milestone had she not tuned into the reality show.

After speaking to Clara, it became clear that while gaining such knowledge from TV might not be considered ideal by many, it shows modern technology plays a key part in sharing important messages among our youth.

Brian Vodzi, 17

"You should be as capable of following your career and goals just as well as I can," said Brian Vodzi

It's important to remember feminism is not gender exclusive and the participation of men is just as valid and relevant as the role of women.

I spoke to Brian who explained: "You should be as capable of following your career and goals just as well as I can. Sex shouldn’t be a limiting factor, your ability should."

Brian said he would "consider [himself] a feminist because [he believes] in the core of the message of both [men and women] having the same opportunities to excel."

Amelia Elfari, 17

When Amelia shared her thoughts on feminism, she raised concerns over the diminishing importance of the movement among young people.

She told Get West London that the media plays an important role in the portrayal of feminists as "feminazis".

She said feminism "is leaning towards [becoming regressive] in the sense that it’s become scrutinised in the media because of feminazis."

The media plays an important role in the portrayal of feminists as "feminazis", thinks Amelia Elfari

A sense of hopelessness was portrayed when Amelia added that she often felt feminism "is just there to make people feel comfortable and make us feel like something is going to change."

Despite this, Amelia added that she does identify as feminist.

Latifa Njie, 18

Latifa echoed the famous suffragette slogan, 'deeds not words' when she said that "a feminist isn’t just someone who believes in equality, it’s someone who takes action in achieving that".

Similar to Amelia, Latifa also questioned the motivation behind the feminism movement.

She said because she isn't actively participating in such "action", she would not label herself a feminist.

She questioned: "Why should I actively fight for something that should already exist? ... It is a bad mentality to have, I guess but it’s just not realistic."

Latifa's account particularly struck me because it captured the uncertainty surrounding women’s rights - an ongoing issue that is now a century old.

While the majority of these young Londoners identify as feminists, it is clear that we have a long way to go.

The fact that a 21st century teenager in Britain can think the possibility of gender equality is unrealistic leads me to question, how far have we come since gaining the vote in 1918?

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