Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2020

Thesis Advisor(s)

Jeremy Pressman; Matthew Singer

Honors Major

Political Science


Political Science


Between 2017 and 2018, the gender equality movement exploded in Spain and the United States due to two independent catalysts. In each respective country, there was one main grassroots coalition that channeled public outrage into a coherent display of protest. As the initial passion from the catalyst events diminished, these coalitions did not fade away. Instead, they grew into their nation's face of women’s advocacy. Given the comparable set of circumstances in Spain and the U.S., I identify how two temporary, newborn coalitions were able to capitalize on a burst of fame and develop into leading organizations. This paper examines the role of the latest grassroots mobilization tactics in gender-based protests and how they translate to the qualities of a successful social movement. I show that a combination of inclusive framing, coalition building, social media use, and decentralized structure are utilized by both Women’s March and Comisión 8M and explain the rapid ascent to national prominence and the power to move millions of people.