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United StatesActivistDoctor

Ann Preston

Ann Preston (1813-1872) was the first woman dean of a medical school, the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, and a trailblazer in the field of medicine. Despite facing numerous challenges and prejudices, Preston dedicated her life to education and equality for women, leaving a lasting impact on the medical profession.

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Dominican RepublicActivistDoctor

Andrea Evangelina Rodríguez Perozo

Andrea Evangelina Rodríguez Perozo (1879–1947) was a trailblazing figure in the Dominican Republic, known for being the country’s first female medical school graduate. Her life is a testament to resilience, determination, and the power of education to overcome adversity.

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ChileActivistDoctor

Eloísa Díaz

Eloísa Díaz Inzunza was a remarkable Chilean medical doctor who paved the way for women in the field of medicine. Born in Santiago, Chile in 1866, she became the first female medical student to attend the University of Chile. In 1886, she graduated and became the first woman in South America to earn her medical license. Throughout her career, Díaz dedicated herself to public health, disease prevention, and women’s rights, leaving behind a lasting legacy for future generations of female doctors. She passed away in 1950, but her memory and contributions continue to be celebrated.

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United StatesActivistDoctor

Susan La Flesche Picotte

Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915) was a Native American medical doctor and reformer who became the first Indigenous woman to earn a medical degree. She dedicated her life to improving public health and advocating for the rights of Native Americans. Picotte established the first hospital on the Omaha Reservation and played a pivotal role in advancing the rights and well-being of Native American communities.

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United KingdomActivistDoctor

Marion Gilchrist

Marion Gilchrist (1864-1952) was a pioneering figure in Scottish medicine and a leading activist in the Women’s suffrage Movement. Facing numerous challenges, she became the first female graduate of the University of Glasgow and was one of the first two women to qualify in medicine from a Scottish university. Her determination and passion for equality made her a trailblazer in both medicine and the fight for women’s rights.

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Great BritainActivistDoctor

Edith Pechey

Mary Edith Pechey was a pioneering figure in medicine and a relentless campaigner for women’s rights. Born in 1845 to parents who instilled a thirst for knowledge in her, Pechey became one of the Edinburgh Seven, laying the foundation for future generations of female doctors. Despite facing challenges, she excelled academically and went on to spend over 20 years in India, providing medical care and fighting for women’s rights. Pechey’s legacy as a trailblazer and advocate continues to inspire women to this day.

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SudanActivistDoctor

Nahid Toubia

Nahid Toubia, a Sudanese surgeon and women’s health rights activist, dedicated her career to studying and combating female genital mutilation (FGM). As the first female surgeon in Sudan, she conducted important research on the cultural, social, and medical aspects of FGM, raising awareness about the practice and proposing solutions to eliminate it. Toubia’s activism extended further through her co-founding and directing of RAINBO, an international organization that works towards eliminating FGM through women’s empowerment and social change.

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BangladeshMyanmarPakistan

Anita Schug

Anita Schug, M.D., is a Rohingya neurosurgeon and human rights activist who has made significant contributions to the medical field and the advocacy for the Rohingya community. She was born in Rangoon, Myanmar, and her childhood was marked by the discrimination faced by her family due to their Rohingya Muslim identity.

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IranActivist

Badri Teymourtash

Badri Teymourtash, known as the “Mother of Dentistry” in Iran, was a pioneering figure in the field of dentistry and a prominent social activist. She shattered gender barriers and inspired women to pursue their dreams in male-dominated fields. Her dedication and contributions to dentistry and women’s rights left a lasting impact on Iranian society.

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CambodiaActivist

Kek Galabru

Pung Chhiv Kek Galabru, also known as Kek Galabru, is a prominent Cambodian human rights activist who played a vital role in bringing peace to Cambodia after years of Civil War. As the founder of LICADHO, she is considered “one of Cambodia’s foremost defenders of human rights” and her efforts have been commended worldwide. Through her organization, she continues to advocate for justice and equality, making her an inspiration to many.

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SomaliaActivistNurse

Edna Adan Ismail

Edna Adan Ismail, born in 1937 in Hargeisa, British Somaliland, is a prominent figure in Somali society known for her tireless efforts in nursing, midwifery, activism, and politics. Raised in a family that prioritized education and healthcare, she became the first qualified nurse-midwife from Somaliland and the first Somali girl to study in Britain. Ismail’s work in promoting women’s rights, fighting against female genital mutilation, and establishing the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital has had a profound impact on Somali society and earned her numerous accolades, including the UN Person of the Year and Women’s Creativity in Rural Life Prize.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Claudia L. Thomas

Claudia L. Thomas, the first African-American female orthopedic surgeon in the United States, was born and raised in Brooklyn and Queens, New York. Inspired by her childhood pediatrician, Claudia pursued a career in medicine and overcame discrimination and hardships to achieve groundbreaking success. She has also been an advocate for increasing minority representation in medical school and combatting racial bias in healthcare.

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AustraliaActivistBiologist

Freda Bage

Anna Frederika (Freda) Bage was an Australian biologist, university professor, principal, and women’s activist. She paved the way for women’s education at The Women’s College, University of Queensland, where she served as the first principal for 32 years. Bage’s outstanding contributions in the field of biology, her leadership skills, and dedication to women’s rights left a lasting impact on academia in Australia. Her legacy continues to inspire women in their pursuit of knowledge and success.

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United StatesActivistDoctor

Mabel Seagrave

Mabel Alexandria Seagrave, an American medical doctor, made significant contributions during World War I. Despite facing gender barriers, she graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and became a respected figure in the medical community. Her true impact on society became apparent when she joined the national effort to aid those affected by the war and provided critical medical care in France. Her dedication and selflessness earned her the admiration and gratitude of the French people, leading to the award of the silver Médaille d’honneur.

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CanadaActivistBiologist

Lynne Quarmby

Lynne Quarmby is a Canadian scientist, activist, and politician. She is currently serving as a professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Quarmby has made significant contributions to the field of molecular biology and her research has focused on understanding the signals and mechanisms of deflagellation, the process by which cells shed their cilia into the environment.

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ScotlandUnited KingdomActivist

Chrystal Macmillan

Jessie Chrystal Macmillan, a remarkable suffragist, peace activist, barrister, and feminist, was born on June 13, 1872, in Edinburgh, Scotland. She became a pioneer in women’s education, playing a crucial role in the fight for women’s rights and peace during a time of significant social and political change. Macmillan’s unwavering dedication and determination made her a prominent figure in women’s history, paving the way for future generations of women and advocating for a world governed by peace, justice, and equality.

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SwitzerlandActivistEducator

Annie Leuch-Reineck

Annie Leuch-Reineck was a Swiss mathematician and women’s rights activist who played a crucial role in the Swiss women’s movement during the 1920s and 1930s. Motivated by a deep belief in the equality of women, she dedicated her life to advocating for women’s rights and challenging societal norms. Her contributions paved the way for progress in gender equality and women’s empowerment in Swiss society.

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DenmarkActivist

Line Luplau

Line Luplau (1823–1891) was a Danish feminist and suffragist who played a significant role in the women’s suffrage movement in Denmark. Her dedication and tireless efforts contributed greatly to the advancement of women’s rights in Denmark, and her influence continues to be recognized to this day.

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FinlandActivistEducator

Hilda Käkikoski

Hilda Maria Käkikoski was a Finnish politician, writer, and schoolteacher who played a significant role in women’s history in Finland. Known for her tomboyish nature, she moved to Helsinki at 14 to pursue an education. Käkikoski’s unconventional teaching methods and assertive demeanor made her a fascinating role model. She became an advocate for women’s rights, and in 1907, she became one of the pioneering 19 women elected to the newly established Parliament of Finland, marking a groundbreaking achievement. Despite facing health problems, Käkikoski made notable contributions to literature and maintained several romantic relationships throughout her life. Her impact on Finnish society, particularly in the realm of women’s rights, continues to inspire.

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IrelandActivist

Anna Haslam

Anna Maria Haslam (née Fisher; 1829–1922) was a suffragist and a major figure in the 19th and early 20th-century women’s movement in Ireland. She strongly believed in gender equality and supported causes such as temperance and pacifism. She married Thomas Haslam, a fellow teacher and feminist theorist, and both were expelled from the Society of Friends for their involvement in social reform. Anna Haslam tirelessly fought for women’s suffrage and organized important meetings and events to further the cause.

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NorwayActivistEducator

Gina Krog

Gina Krog was a Norwegian suffragist, teacher, politician, writer, and editor, known for her role in the Norwegian liberal women’s rights movement. She co-founded multiple women’s rights organizations and played a pivotal role in advocating for women’s suffrage. Krog’s tireless efforts paid off when women in Norway were granted universal voting rights in 1913. Her legacy continues to inspire and empower women today, and she was the first woman in Norway to receive a state funeral.

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RussiaActivistMathematician

Tatyana Velikanova

Tatyana Mikhailovna Velikanova was a mathematician and Soviet dissident who played a crucial role in the human rights movement. She fearlessly declared her affiliation with the underground periodical A Chronicle of Current Events, exposing human rights abuses in the Soviet Union. Velikanova became a target of the regime and was sentenced to prison and exile. Her unwavering dedication to the cause of human rights and contributions to the movement make her a significant figure in women’s history.

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GermanyActivistMathematician

Marie Torhorst

Marie Torhorst (1888-1989) was a German school teacher, political activist, and East German politician. She was the Minister for People’s Education in Thuringia from 1947 to 1950, making her the first-ever female minister in the state. Torhorst’s contributions in education and mathematics, including the Carathéodory-Torhorst theorem, solidify her legacy as a pioneering figure in German politics and academia.

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ItalyActivistMathematician

Tina Pizzardo

Tina Pizzardo, an Italian mathematician and anti-fascist, dedicated her life to fighting against the oppressive regime of fascism in Italy. Her passion for mathematics led her to excel academically, and her commitment to opposing fascism shaped the course of her life. Despite facing imprisonment and personal struggles, Pizzardo’s unwavering determination and resilience continue to inspire generations of women.

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GermanyActivistMathematician

Frieda Nugel

Frieda Nugel (1884–1966) was a German mathematician and civil rights activist. She was one of the first German women to earn a doctorate in mathematics. Despite facing numerous challenges in her career, Nugel made significant contributions to the field of mathematics and actively promoted civil rights and better education for women. She retired in 1945 and passed away in 1966, leaving behind a legacy of academic excellence and advocacy for women’s rights.

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United KingdomActivistWriter

Jane Austen

Jane Austen, born in 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, was an English novelist. Known for her insightful perspective on the British landed gentry during the late 18th century, Austen’s novels, such as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility,” offer a critique of societal values and women’s dependence on marriage for standing. Her keen social commentary, biting irony, and realism have earned her immense acclaim. Although her novels gained popularity after her death, her life remains shrouded in mystery.

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KenyaActivistMathematician

Cecilia Wangechi Mwathi

Cecilia Wangechi Mwathi, the first woman in Kenya to become a mathematics professor, was known for her activism for higher education and inspiring Kenyan girls to study STEM. Despite growing up in poverty, she pursued education and eventually obtained a Ph.D. in mathematics. She dedicated her career to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and fought for the rights of faculty members as the secretary general of the UASU-JKUAT faculty union chapter. Her legacy lives on through her contributions to academia and the lives she touched.

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RussiaActivist

Nadezhda Stasova

Nadezhda Stasova (1822–1895) was a Russian philanthropist and feminist who dedicated her life to advancing the social and educational rights of women in Russia. As one of the pioneer founders and leaders of the first organized women’s movement in Russia, she played a crucial role in empowering women and advocating for their equal rights.

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ChileActivistEducator

María Rivera Urquieta

María Mercedes Rivera Urquieta, a renowned professor and feminist, played a significant role in advancing women’s rights and empowering women in Chile. As one of the founding members of the Pro-Emancipation Movement of Chilean Women, she worked tirelessly to champion feminist ideals and create a platform for women’s voices to be heard. Her dedication extended internationally, where she represented numerous organizations and participated in discussions on nuclear power and atomic bomb use. Rivera’s contributions have left a lasting impact on society, making her a prominent figure in Chilean women’s history.

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ChinaActivist

Li Tingting

Li Tingting, also known as Li Maizi, is a prominent Chinese activist and campaigner for gender equality, sexual harassment awareness, and sexuality. Despite growing up in a patriarchal household and facing adversity, she pursued education and became an advocate for equal rights. Her activism drew international attention and inspired others to stand up against injustice.

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ChinaActivist

Lin Zongsu

Lin Zongsu (1878–1944) was a Chinese suffragist and writer who played a significant role in promoting women’s rights and advocating for social and political change in early 20th century China. She was a fearless and progressive feminist, known for her influential writings and her pioneering work in women’s suffrage.

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ChinaActivistWriter

Liu-Wang Liming

Liu-Wang Liming was a Chinese feminist, suffragette, and publisher of the Women’s Voice. Despite facing political persecution, she fought for women’s rights and education. She died in prison but was later acknowledged by the Chinese Government for her contributions on women’s issues.

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ChinaActivistFilmmaker

Wei Tingting

Wei Tingting is a Chinese LGBTI+ and feminist activist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. She played a crucial role in coordinating productions of The Vagina Monologues and has been involved in various women’s and LGBT rights movements. Wei has dedicated her career to advocating for gender and sexual diversity, raising awareness about gender inequities, and supporting marginalized communities.

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United StatesActivistSurfer

Lisa Andersen

Lisa Andersen is an American four-time world surfing champion who made a significant impact on the sport and inspired generations of female surfers. Born on March 8, 1969, Andersen’s passion for surfing started at the age of 15 in Ormond Beach, Florida. During the early 1980s, women’s surfing was still underground, and surfing as a whole was considered a male-dominated sport. However, Andersen’s smooth yet aggressive style quickly caught the attention of her peers.

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United StatesActivistBusiness

Nancy Hogshead

Nancy Hogshead-Makar is an American swimmer and CEO of Champion Women. She won three gold medals and one silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Her advocacy work focuses on equality and accountability in sports, addressing issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse.

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IndiaActivistMilitary

Rani of Jhansi

Rani Lakshmibai, also known as the Rani of Jhansi, was a fearless warrior and leader during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Despite facing adversity, she displayed remarkable courage and fought against British rule. Her unwavering spirit and refusal to accept injustice made her a national hero and an inspiration for the Indian independence movement.

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IndiaActivistMilitary

Kittur Chennamma

Kittur Chennamma, an Indian Queen of Kittur, valiantly fought against British colonization. Born in 1778, she faced tragedy when her husband and son passed away. Chennamma’s decision to adopt an heir and resist British control led to a war with the East India Company. Although she initially emerged victorious, the British eventually annexed Kittur and took Chennamma prisoner. She died as a prisoner of war, but her courageous spirit and dedication to her people made her a revered figure in women’s history and the Indian independence movement.

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United StatesActivistLawyer

Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly is an American activist, human rights lawyer, and Mormon feminist who founded Ordain Women, an organization advocating for the ordination of women in the LDS Church. Excommunicated in 2014, she is also known for her advocacy for the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion access. Kelly has recently come out as queer and is in a same-sex relationship with a Catholic writer with similar goals.

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United StatesActivist

Carrie Chapman Catt

Carrie Chapman Catt, born in 1859, was a pioneering American women’s suffrage leader who played a crucial role in the fight for women’s rights and equality. Her tireless efforts and strategic leadership paved the way for the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote. Catt’s advocacy extended beyond the United States, as she founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance to promote women’s suffrage globally. Her dedication, perseverance, and lasting impact make her a prominent figure in women’s history.

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WalesActivist

Kate Williams Evans

Kate Williams Evans (1 October 1866 – 2 February 1961) was a Welsh suffragette, activist, and campaigner for women’s rights. Her hunger strike, imprisonment, and commitment to the cause serve as a testament to her determination and dedication to achieving gender equality.

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United KingdomActivist

Emily Davison

Emily Wilding Davison was an English suffragette who fought tirelessly for women’s right to vote in Britain during the early twentieth century. She remains one of the most iconic and influential figures in the history of the suffrage movement. Davison’s unwavering commitment to her cause led her to participate in numerous acts of civil disobedience, endure multiple arrests and hunger strikes, and ultimately make the ultimate sacrifice for women’s rights.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe is an American professional soccer player who has become a symbol of excellence and activism in women’s soccer. With numerous accolades and accomplishments on and off the field, she has solidified her place in women’s sports history and continues to inspire individuals worldwide. Recently, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her outstanding achievements and commitment to equality and human rights.

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FranceUnited KingdomActivist

Christine Loudes

Dr. Christine Marie-Helene Loudes (1972 – 2016), a human rights lawyer, dedicated her life to advocating for gender equality and women’s rights. She played a pivotal role in ending female genital mutilation (FGM) as the head of Amnesty International’s End FGM campaign. Through her tireless efforts, Dr. Loudes raised awareness, changed policies, and protected women’s rights. Her influential career and academic achievements continue to inspire others to fight for justice and human rights.

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GermanyActivistEducator

Alice Salomon

Alice Salomon (1872-1948) was a German social reformer and pioneer of social work as an academic discipline. She played a crucial role in the development of social work in Germany, to the extent that she was honored with a commemorative postage stamp by the German post office in 1989. Her impact on the field was so significant that a university, a park, and a square in Berlin bear her name.

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NetherlandsActivist

Caecilia Loots

Caecilia Antonia Maria “Cilia” Loots, also known as “Tante Ciel,” was a Dutch teacher and antifascist resistance member, who gained recognition for her heroic efforts in saving Jewish children during World War II.

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New ZealandActivistRowing

Emma Twigg

Emma Kimberley Twigg MNZM (born 1 March 1987) is a New Zealand rower known for her exceptional achievements in the sport. As a single sculler, Twigg has consistently displayed her prowess and determination, becoming a world champion and winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Her remarkable journey in rowing is filled with triumphs, retirements, and comebacks, reflecting her unwavering dedication and passion for the sport.

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IranActivistRoyalty

Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh

Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh, also known as Princess Qajar, was a feminist and women’s rights activist from Iran. Through her memoirs, she shed light on the limitations faced by Persian women and challenged the restrictive nature of Qajar society. Zahra Khanom defied societal norms by divorcing her husband, becoming one of the first women in the royal family to do so, and advocating for women’s empowerment in Iran. Her activism and contributions to women’s history continue to inspire generations of women striving for gender equality and social justice.

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CanadaActivistWriter

Edith Archibald

Edith Jessie Archibald was a Canadian suffragist and writer who played a significant role in the women’s movement in Canada. She was a tireless advocate for women’s rights and social justice, known for her work with the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and the National Council of Women of Canada. Her dedication to healthcare and child welfare also made a lasting impact on society. Edith’s contributions were recognized when she was designated as a Person of National Historic Significance in 1997.

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IrelandActivist

Mary Elmes

Mary Elmes, an Irish aid worker, saved over 200 Jewish children during the Holocaust. She was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel in 2015 for her bravery and dedication. Mary’s story is a testament to the power of individual action in the face of adversity, inspiring generations to stand up against injustice.

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United StatesActivistSkier

Andrea Mead Lawrence

Andrea Mead Lawrence was an American alpine ski racer and environmentalist who won two Olympic gold medals. She was born into an alpine skiing family and made the national team at age 14. Mead Lawrence went on to compete in three Winter Olympics and was the captain of the U.S. women’s team at age 19. After retiring from competition, she fought against development and served as a Mono County supervisor. Mead Lawrence also founded a non-profit organization committed to conservation.

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KenyaActivistLGBTQIA

Audrey Mbugua

Audrey Mbugua, born in 1984, is a transgender activist who has made significant contributions in the fight for transgender rights. Her tireless efforts and landmark legal victories have paved the way for greater recognition and acceptance of transgender individuals in Kenya and beyond.

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AzerbaijanActivistLawyer

Shahla Humbatova

Shahla Humbatova is an Azerbaijani human rights lawyer known for her fearless advocacy and dedication to defending the rights of marginalized individuals in her country. Despite facing online abuse and threats, she continues to champion human rights causes, including representing political prisoners and vulnerable clients. Her work has garnered both criticism and admiration, and she was recognized as an International Woman of Courage in 2020 for her bravery and commitment to justice.

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CanadaChinaActivist

Denise Ho

Denise Ho Wan-see, born in Hong Kong in 1977, is a Canadian Cantopop singer and actress known for her pro-democracy and human rights activism. She made history in 2012 by publicly coming out as a lesbian, breaking barriers in the Asian entertainment industry. Despite facing backlash and being blacklisted by the Chinese government, Ho remained steadfast in her commitment to fighting for democratic rights and using her platform to advocate for equality. Her resilience and determination have made her an inspiration to many.

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United StatesActivistFilmmaker

Jari Jones

Jari Jones, born in 1991, is an American trans Femme activist, performance artist, and creative. Throughout her life, Jones has made significant contributions to the fields of film, fashion, and activism, becoming a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ community. Her dedication to advocating for transgender rights and representation has cemented her status as a trailblazer and an inspiration for many.

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United KingdomActivistBusiness

Linda Bellos

Linda Ann Bellos OBE (born 13 December 1950) is a British businesswoman, radical feminist, and gay-rights activist. She has made significant contributions to the feminist movement, particularly as the first non-white lesbian to join the Spare Rib feminist collective in 1981. Bellos’ steadfast commitment to social justice and equality has led her to advocate for the rights of marginalized communities and challenge the discourse surrounding race and gender.

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AustraliaActivistDisabled

Libby Kosmala

Elizabeth Kosmala is an Australian shooter with paraplegia who has left an indelible mark on the world of para shooting. Despite facing early challenges, she has earned thirteen medals, with an outstanding nine of them being gold. Kosmala’s strength, determination, and impact on society make her an inspiration to people worldwide.

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JapanActivistLGBTQIA

Aya Kamikawa

Aya Kamikawa, born in Tokyo’s Taitō Ward in 1968, made history in 2003 as the first openly transgender person in Japan to seek and win elected office. Her journey towards activism and public service began during her time in school, and she later underwent hormone replacement therapy to embrace her true self. Kamikawa’s groundbreaking campaign focused on improving the rights of marginalized communities, and she continues to be an advocate for transgender rights in Japan.

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United StatesActivistGovernment

Roberta Achtenberg

Roberta Achtenberg (born July 20, 1950) is an American attorney and civil rights advocate who has made significant contributions to the field of civil rights in the United States. She is widely recognized for her work as a commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights and as the first openly lesbian or gay public official in the country to have her appointment to a federal position confirmed by the United States Senate.

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DenmarkActivistLGBTQIA

Lili Elbe

Lili Elbe, a Danish painter and trans woman, made history as one of the early recipients of gender-affirming surgery. Her journey of self-discovery and determination to live her true identity made her an influential figure in LGBTQ+ history. Despite societal challenges, Elbe’s courage to live authentically inspired many others who struggled with their own identities. Her legacy lives on, highlighting the importance of self-acceptance and the pursuit of happiness.

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PolandActivistJewish

Ala Gertner

Ala Gertner, born in Będzin, Poland in 1912, was one of four women hanged in Auschwitz for her involvement in the Sonderkommando revolt. Despite facing unimaginable horrors, Gertner displayed unwavering determination and courage, resisting her captors until the end. Her brave actions serve as a powerful testament to the indomitable spirit of resistance during one of history’s darkest times.

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IsraelActivistJewish

Michal Rozin

Michal Rozin is an Israeli politician and advocate for women’s rights. Known for her dedication to gender equality, she fought for the rights of marginalized groups and chaired the Committee on Foreign Workers. Rozin also championed gender equality in multiple leadership positions and made significant contributions to LGBTQ+ rights. Her impactful career has left a lasting impression on Israeli politics and society.

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PolandActivistJewish

Niuta Teitelbaum

Niuta Teitelbaum, a Jewish resistance fighter in Warsaw during World War II, was known for her courage and determination. Her strategic actions included smuggling weapons and people, as well as executing missions disguised as a Polish peasant girl. Teitelbaum’s marksmanship and commitment to the cause made her a feared adversary of the Nazis. Despite challenges from historians, her story has been highlighted in Judy Batalion’s book, shedding light on the important role of women in the resistance movement.

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AustraliaActivistLaw Enforcement

Kate Cocks

Kate Cocks, one of the first female police officers in South Australia, dedicated her life to helping unmarried mothers and their babies. Her tireless efforts led to the establishment of the Kate Cocks Memorial Babies Home, which was named in her honor. Cocks’ groundbreaking appointment paved the way for more women to join the police force and her legacy as a pioneer for women in law enforcement continues to inspire.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile, an American singer-songwriter and activist, has made a name for herself in the music industry with her emotionally charged lyrics and powerful vocals. From her early days in Ravensdale, Washington, to her rise to fame with hits like “The Story,” Carlile’s music resonates with audiences worldwide. In addition to her musical talents, Carlile is also a dedicated activist, using her platform to advocate for social justice and LGBTQ+ rights. With nine Grammy Awards and numerous nominations under her belt, Carlile has secured her place as an influential artist in the industry.

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NorwayUnited StatesActivist

Margarethe Cammermeyer

Margarethe “Grethe” Cammermeyer, a former Norwegian-American military officer, fought for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. Her battle against the military’s ban on gays and lesbians in the armed forces gained attention, and she was honorably discharged in 1992. Cammermeyer’s lawsuit challenging the decision ultimately led to a ruling that the ban was unconstitutional, allowing her to return to the National Guard and setting a legal precedent for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the military. Her bravery and advocacy continue to inspire.

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ColombiaActivistLawyer

Angélica Lozano Correa

Angélica Lozano Correa, the first openly bisexual legislator in Colombia, is a lawyer, politician, and LGBTQ+ rights activist. Her dedication to human rights began while studying law, where she volunteered to protect the rights of indigenous communities. Throughout her political career, Lozano has fought for marginalized communities and advocated for inclusive policies. Her election to the Chamber of Representatives in 2014 broke barriers and paved the way for LGBTQ+ representation in the country’s political landscape. Lozano’s unwavering commitment to equality and justice extends beyond Colombia’s borders.

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United StatesActivistArtist

Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

Hinaleimoana Kwai Kong Wong-Kalu, also known as Kumu Hina, is a Native Hawaiian māhū, a traditional third gender person who occupies “a place in the middle” between male and female, as well as a modern transgender woman. She is renowned for her work as a kumu hula, filmmaker, artist, activist, and community leader in the field of Kanaka Maoli language and cultural preservation. Kumu Hina teaches Kanaka Maoli philosophy and traditions that promote cross-cultural alliances throughout the Pacific Islands. Her contributions to society have solidified her status as a powerful performer, cultural icon, and advocate for indigenous rights.

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Great BritainActivistLGBTQIA

Hannah Graf

Hannah Graf is a former officer of the British Army, transgender rights activist, and a prominent figure in women’s history. Born as Captain Hannah Graf MBE (née Winterbourne), she made history as the highest-ranking transgender officer in the British Army, commanding a company of a hundred soldiers. Her journey of self-discovery and unwavering dedication to transgender rights has left an indelible mark on society.

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VenezuelaActivistLGBTQIA

Tamara Adrián

Tamara Adrián, a Venezuelan politician and influential LGBT activist, made history as the first transgender person to hold public office in Venezuela and only the second transgender member of a national legislature in the Western Hemisphere. Despite facing challenges due to Venezuelan laws that did not allow transgender individuals to legally change their names, Tamara persevered, fighting for transgender rights and promoting equality and access to human rights. Her unwavering dedication continues to inspire others to challenge societal norms and strive for equality.

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United StatesActivistJudge

Phyllis Frye

Phyllis Randolph Frye, born circa 1946 in San Antonio, Texas, is a transgender woman who has made significant strides in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Frye’s journey towards becoming the first openly transgender judge appointed in the world has been marked with obstacles and challenges, which she faced with resilience and unwavering determination.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a trans woman author, activist, and community organizer, has played a significant role in activism and community organizing for transgender rights. She has made substantial contributions to oral history collections and published her memoir, Miss Major Speaks: Conversations with a Black Trans Revolutionary. Her resilience, courage, and commitment to justice have solidified her place as a pioneering figure in the transgender rights movement and women’s history.

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MalaysiaActivistLGBTQIA

Nisha Ayub

Nisha Ayub is a Malaysian transgender rights activist who has dedicated her life to advancing transgender rights in her country and beyond. Despite facing discrimination and legal challenges, Ayub has been a tireless advocate for the rights and well-being of transgender individuals in Malaysia. Her activism has earned her international recognition and she continues to inspire others to fight for justice and equality.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning, an American activist and whistleblower, made a courageous decision in 2010 to leak classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks. Her actions sparked important conversations about government transparency and accountability, and she has also played a significant role in raising awareness about gender identity as a trans woman. Manning’s impact on society and her dedication to revealing the truth have made her a significant figure in women’s history.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Dylan Mulvaney

Dylan Mulvaney (born December 29, 1996) is an American actress, comedian, and TikTok personality. Mulvaney gained widespread recognition for sharing her gender transition journey through daily videos on TikTok starting in early 2022. Her impactful storytelling and authenticity have touched millions of viewers, making her an influential figure in transgender representation.

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SenegalActivistComputer Scientist

Fatimata Seye Sylla

Fatimata Seye Sylla is an influential figure in Senegal’s digital landscape. Known for her work in promoting the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education and advocating for internet accessibility, she has made significant contributions to the development of ICT initiatives in Africa.

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United StatesActivistActor

Geraldine Lawhorn

Geraldine Jerrie Lawhorn, a prominent figure in the American deafblind community, was a multi-talented performer, pianist, actress, and instructor. She made history as the first deafblind African American to earn a college degree in the United States. Despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles, she dedicated her life to advocating for the rights and inclusivity of individuals with disabilities, leaving behind a lasting legacy. Geraldine’s accomplishments continue to inspire and empower deafblind individuals worldwide.

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United StatesActivistGame Developer

Anna Anthropy

Anna Anthropy, an American video game designer, has made a significant impact in the world of gaming. Born in California in 1984, Anthropy has dedicated her career to creating unique and thought-provoking games that challenge conventional norms and explore a wide range of themes. Her games often examine the relationship between sadism and player experiences, pushing players to question the conventions of the gaming industry. Anthropy’s advocacy for inclusivity and diversity in the gaming industry continues to inspire aspiring game developers to tell their own stories and perspectives.

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GermanyUnited StatesActivist

Wilhelmine Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett

Wilhelmine Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett was a Native Hawaiian suffragist who played a pivotal role in the fight for women’s voting rights in Hawaii. With her background in politics and support from her husband, Dowsett organized the National Women’s Equal Suffrage Association of Hawaii and continued to advocate for women’s rights even after the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment. Her dedication and leadership had a lasting impact on Hawaiian society.

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RussiaActivistJournalist

Elena Kostyuchenko

Elena Kostyuchenko, a Russian journalist and gay rights activist, has made significant contributions as an investigative reporter for Novaya Gazeta. She has shed light on important issues such as the punk protest band Pussy Riot, the Zhanaozen massacre, the construction of a controversial highway, and Russia’s involvement in Eastern Ukraine. Despite facing challenges and physical assault, Kostyuchenko remains dedicated to uncovering the truth and advocating for human rights in Russia.

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South AfricaActivistIntersex

Sally Gross

Sally Gross (born Selwyn Gross; 22 August 1953 – 14 February 2014) was an anti-apartheid and intersex activist who founded Intersex South Africa. She played a crucial role in supporting intersex activists and securing the first mention of intersex in national law in South Africa. Despite facing challenges with her own gender classification, Gross advocated for intersex rights and left a lasting impact on the understanding and acceptance of gender diversity.

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United StatesActivistActor

Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee (1922-2014) was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and civil rights activist. She gained national recognition for her role in the film “The Jackie Robinson Story” and went on to have a successful career in film and theater. Dee was also actively involved in television and used her platform to advocate for racial equality and social justice. Her outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry and dedication to activism have left a lasting legacy.

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IsraelActivistJewish

Yael Dayan

Yaël Dayan, an Israeli politician and author, has made significant contributions through her political activism and literary work. From being a Captain in the IDF to serving in the Knesset, she championed peace, women’s rights, and social justice. Her writing showcased her talent for storytelling and insightful commentary, while her political career reflected her dedication to creating a more egalitarian society.

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CubaActivistLGBTQIA

Mariela Castro

Mariela Castro Espín, born into a family deeply involved in Cuban politics, has become a prominent advocate for LGBT+ rights in Cuba. As the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX), she has worked tirelessly to dissolve stigmas surrounding the community. Castro’s efforts have extended beyond Cuba’s borders, making her a prominent figure in international forums on LGBT+ rights. Her influence and dedication to promoting inclusivity have made a lasting impact on society.

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United StatesActivistBusiness

Mary Birdsall

Mary B. Thistlethwaite Birdsall, an American suffragette and journalist, dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights. From her early career as the woman’s editor at the Indiana Farmer newspaper to her ownership of The Lily, a newspaper for women, Birdsall played a crucial role in advancing the suffrage movement. Her contributions and leadership within the Indiana Woman’s Suffrage Association were instrumental in the fight for equality. Mary Birdsall’s legacy continues to inspire generations of activists.

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CubaUnited StatesActivist

Ada Bello

Ada C. Bello (1933-2023) was a Cuban-American LGBT rights activist and medical laboratory researcher. She played a crucial role in advancing LGBTQ+ rights in Philadelphia and was dedicated to fighting for equality and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community throughout her life. Bello’s activism began in the late 1960s when she co-founded the Philadelphia Chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, and she later became an instrumental member of the Homophile Action League. Her advocacy work and determination have left an indelible mark on Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ community and the broader fight for equality.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Christia Adair

Christia V. Daniels Adair was an African-American suffragist and civil rights worker who played a significant role in advocating for women’s suffrage and fighting against racial discrimination in early 20th century Texas. Her dedication to both causes made her a prominent figure in Texas history.

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United StatesActivistBasketball

Swin Cash

Swintayla Marie “Swin” Cash Canal, born on September 22, 1979, is an American former professional basketball player who made a significant impact on and off the court. She played a crucial role in leading the UConn Huskies to national titles in 2000 and 2002, and achieved an undefeated 39-0 season in 2002. Cash’s contributions to the game helped shape women’s basketball and inspire a new generation of athletes. Off the court, she is a vocal advocate for social justice issues, using her platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, racial equality, and gender equity. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022.

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IranActivistLGBTQIA

Shadi Amin

Shadi Amin is an Iranian writer and activist known for her advocacy for women’s rights and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Born in 1964, Amin became politically active at a young age, opposing the rule of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 when she was only 14 years old. Her activism led to her being forced to leave Iran in the early 1980s.

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GermanyActivist

Helene Stöcker

Helene Stöcker was a prominent German feminist, pacifist, and gender activist who fought for women’s rights and societal change in early 20th-century Germany. She was instrumental in advocating for legal protections for same-sex relationships between women. Although her efforts to legalize abortion were unsuccessful, her legacy as a champion for women’s rights and equality continues to inspire feminist activists around the world.

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CanadaActivistEducator

Anne Bishop

Anne Charlotte Bishop is a Canadian lesbian activist, educator, grassroots organizer, and LGBT rights advocate. With a commitment to social justice and a passion for community development, Bishop has dedicated over thirty years to working in the field of international development and engaging in various social justice movements.

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IndiaActivistActor

Kalki Subramaniam

Kalki Subramaniam, a transgender rights activist, artist, actress, writer, inspirational speaker, and entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu, has faced numerous challenges and struggles in her life. However, her resilience and determination have made her a powerful advocate for transgender rights in India. Through her activism, artistic contributions, and entrepreneurial ventures, Kalki has paved the way for greater acceptance and inclusion of transgender individuals in society.

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CubaActivistJournalist

Sandra Abd’Allah-Alvarez Ramírez

Sandra Abd’Allah-Alvarez Ramírez, a Cuban writer and activist, has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of women, Afro-Cubans, and LGBT individuals. Through her work as an editor, blogger, and journalist, Ramírez has challenged societal biases and discrimination, sparking important conversations on racism, sexism, and homophobia. Her tireless activism and commitment to social justice have made her a prominent figure in shaping the trajectory of women’s history in Cuba and beyond.

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IsraelActivistJewish

Dana Olmert

Dana Olmert is an Israeli left-wing activist, literary theorist, and editor. She is widely recognized for her contributions to literature and her work in advocating for social justice issues. Born in Jerusalem, Olmert’s academic achievements are noteworthy. She obtained a PhD in literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in “The Growth of Hebrew Poetry by Women During the Twenties: Psychoanalytical and Feminist Perspectives.” Her dedication to social justice is evident through her involvement with the organization Machsom Watch, and her courage and unwavering commitment to equal rights have made her a role model for young LGBTQ+ individuals.

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United StatesActivistFilmmaker

Robin Maxkii

Robin Maxkii is a Native American technology activist, filmmaker, and writer. She is known for her work in broadening the participation of Native Americans in education and technology. Maxkii’s passion for technology began at a young age when she taught herself to code. She has made significant strides in activism, raising awareness on issues within Indian country and preserving Navajo oral history. Maxkii’s breakthrough came in 2016 when she co-starred in the Microsoft-funded PBS series “Code Trip.” Her impact has extended beyond her own journey, inspiring Native Americans to pursue careers in technology.

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PakistanActivistLawyer

Nisha Rao

Nisha Rao, a Pakistani transgender lawyer and activist, overcame numerous obstacles to become the first transgender law graduate in Pakistan. Her passion for justice and equality drives her to advocate for the rights of marginalized communities. Rao aspires to establish her own NGO to further support the transgender community and create a safer, more inclusive society for all.

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BrazilActivistJournalist

Míriam Martinho

Míriam Martinho (born 1954) is one of the leading feminists in Brazil and part of the second generation of feminist journalists, who emerged in the 1980s. She was one of the first people to bring lesbianism openly into the fold of feminism and founded one of the first Lesbian-Feminist organizations in the country. She and Rosely Roth gained recognition for staging a protest, known as the “Brazilian Stonewall,” at Ferro’s Bar in 1983.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Carlotta Walls LaNier

Carlotta Walls LaNier, the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine, broke racial barriers as one of the first African-American students to attend Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Despite facing intense opposition and a bomb attack on her home, LaNier’s determination paved the way for future generations of African-Americans to access quality education. Her remarkable journey and advocacy for equal opportunities continue to inspire social progress.

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ChinaActivistIntersex

Small Luk

Small Luk, the first intersex person to openly acknowledge her biological sex characteristics in Hong Kong, has made significant contributions towards advocating for the rights of intersex individuals. Born with partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, Luk underwent a series of surgeries in her childhood to construct a urethra. However, the surgeries proved unsuccessful, leading to immense physical and emotional pain for Luk, causing her to attempt suicide several times. Luk’s journey of self-discovery and acceptance has played a vital role in raising awareness about intersex conditions and promoting the rights of intersex people.

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PolandActivistLawyer

Marta Lempart

Marta Mirosława Lempart, born in 1979 in Lwówek Śląski, Poland, is an influential women’s rights activist and the founder of the All-Poland Women’s Strike. She has been at the forefront of the fight for women’s reproductive rights in Poland and has championed other marginalized groups, including the LGBT community and people with disabilities. Lempart’s activism has brought her both admiration and personal hardships, including multiple arrests and death threats.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Nancy Gooch

Nancy Gooch was an early African-American settler in California and one of the state’s most successful 19th-century black female landowners. She overcame the adversity of slavery and worked tirelessly to bring her son to California while accumulating land and wealth. Her story is a testament to the strength and determination of African-American women during a time of social change.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Kitty Foster

Catherine “Kitty” Foster (c. 1790–1863) was a freed African American woman who defied societal expectations and became a landowner at a time of immense discrimination. She owned property near the University of Virginia from 1833 until her death in 1863, leaving a lasting legacy. Foster’s story of resilience and determination challenges the prevailing narrative of her time and highlights the impact of individuals like her on women’s history and the struggle for equality.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen, also known as Mother Allen, was an American abolitionist and missionary for the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Born into slavery, she found freedom in Philadelphia and married Richard Allen, the founder of the AME Church. Sarah played a crucial role in establishing the church and supporting its growth. She also actively participated in the Underground Railroad, providing shelter and assistance to runaway slaves. Sarah’s dedication to the AME Church and the fight against slavery left behind a legacy of resilience, faith, and activism.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Glennon Doyle

Glennon Doyle is a renowned American author, activist, and speaker who has left an indelible mark on society with her powerful writings. With a honest and open approach, she has become a prominent voice in the feminist movement, advocating for self-acceptance and empowerment. Her memoirs have resonated deeply with readers, especially women, as she fearlessly delves into topics like addiction, mental health, and faith. Doyle’s bravery and authenticity have made her a beacon of inspiration for many.

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UgandaActivistLGBTQIA

Clare Byarugaba

Clare Byarugaba is a prominent Ugandan LGBT activist who has fearlessly spoken out against her government’s anti-LGBT rhetoric. Raised in southwestern Uganda, Clare has faced immense challenges and threats to her safety, but her unwavering commitment to fighting for equality and justice has made her an iconic figure in the struggle for LGBT rights in Uganda and beyond.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Virginia Apuzzo

Virginia “Ginny” Apuzzo, born on June 26, 1941, is an American gay rights and AIDS activist. She is widely known for her significant contributions to the LGBTQ+ community and her role as the former executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. Throughout her career, she has held various influential positions in government and played a crucial role in shaping policies and advocating for equality.

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ItalyActivistLGBTQIA

Imma Battaglia

Immacolata “Imma” Battaglia, born on March 28, 1960, in Portici, province of Naples, is an influential figure in Italian politics and a dedicated LGBT activist. Her impact on society, especially in the areas of gay rights and advocacy, has left a lasting mark in the fight for equality.

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ItalyActivistLGBTQIA

Mariasilvia Spolato

Mariasilvia Spolato (1935-2018) was an influential Italian activist for LGBT rights, a lesbian feminist, and a magazine founder and publisher. She played a crucial role as one of the pioneers of the homosexual rights movement in Italy, and she was renowned for being the first woman in the country to publicly declare her homosexuality. Spolato’s unwavering commitment to fighting for equality and her resilience in the face of discrimination and persecution shaped her remarkable life and inspired many others in the process.

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PortugalActivistJournalist

Virgínia Quaresma

Virgínia Sofia Guerra Quaresma, the first woman to pursue professional journalism in Portugal, was a lesbian, feminist, and advocate for gender equality. She brought attention to violence against women through her coverage of a murder case in Brazil. Quaresma relocated to Brazil in the 1930s but continued to travel internationally advocating for women’s rights. She was honored with a street renaming in Lisbon and a stamp bearing her likeness in 2010.

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Puerto RicoActivistLawyer

Ana Irma Rivera Lassén

Ana Irma Rivera Lassén is an Afro-Puerto Rican attorney, feminist, and human rights activist. Throughout her career, Rivera Lassén has been at the forefront of championing human rights and fighting against discrimination. Recognized for her expertise and dedication to legal advocacy, Rivera Lassén served as the head of the Bar Association of Puerto Rico from 2012 to 2014. Her impact and dedication to social justice and women’s rights have been recognized with numerous prestigious awards and honors. As an openly lesbian woman of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, she has been a trailblazer in breaking barriers and challenging societal norms.

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United KingdomActivistBusiness

Jayne Ozanne

Jayne Margaret Ozanne, a British evangelical Anglican, has made significant contributions to LGBTQI rights and advocacy. She has been involved in various organizations and initiatives, and her story exemplifies the power of faith, activism, and personal integrity in effecting positive change in society.

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United StatesActivistJewish

Debra Kolodny

Debra Kolodny is a prominent figure in the fields of bisexual rights activism and congregational rabbinic ministry. Throughout their life, Kolodny has played a crucial role in advocating for the rights and acceptance of bisexual individuals within religious communities. Their relentless dedication to social justice and their pioneering work have made a lasting impact on both the LGBTQ+ community and religious organizations.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Mary Glasspool

Mary Douglas Glasspool, born in 1954 in Staten Island, New York, became the first avowed lesbian to be consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican Communion. Her dedication to her faith and her role as an openly lesbian bishop have had a profound impact on both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, making her a pioneer for inclusivity and acceptance within the church.

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IraqActivistJudge

Zakia Hakki

Zakia Ismael Hakki was a Feyli Kurdish lawyer who became Iraq’s first female judge in 1959. She played a crucial role in advocating for the rights of Kurdish women and fought against injustice and discrimination throughout her career. Despite facing persecution and danger, Hakki remained resilient and dedicated to the pursuit of justice and equality. Her contributions to the legal landscape of Iraq and the Middle East have left a lasting impact and serve as an inspiration to women worldwide.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Allyson Robinson

Allyson Dylan Robinson, an American human rights activist, was born in Newport, Arkansas, in 1970. She embarked on a journey of activism and advocacy after excelling academically at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Robinson’s commitment to promoting LGBT rights through her leadership roles at the Human Rights Campaign and OutServe-SLDN has had a lasting impact on the fight for equality and inclusivity in the United States.

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TaiwanActivistLGBTQIA

Audrey Tang

Audrey Tang Feng is a Taiwanese free software programmer and the inaugural Minister of Digital Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan). She has been described as one of the “ten greatest Taiwanese computing personalities”. In August 2016, Tang was invited to join Taiwan’s Executive Yuan as a minister without portfolio, making her the first transgender person and the first non-binary official in the top executive cabinet.

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IndiaActivistEngineer

Grace Banu

Grace Banu is an Indian software engineer and transgender activist who has made significant contributions to both the LGBTQ+ community and the fight against caste discrimination. Born and raised in the Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu, Banu belongs to the Dalit community, a historically marginalized group in India. From an early age, Banu faced discrimination and untouchability due to both her caste and gender identity.

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United StatesActivistDoctor

Rebecca Allison

Rebecca Anne “Becky” Allison, an American cardiologist and transgender activist, had a lasting impact on society through her contributions to the medical field and advocacy efforts for the LGBTQ+ community. Her work as a physician, including her role as Chief of Cardiology at CIGNA, and her creation of drbecky.com provided valuable healthcare resources for transgender individuals. She also played significant roles in LGBTQ+ organizations, championing equality and inclusivity in the medical system.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera (1951-2002) was an American gay liberation and transgender rights activist who fought for the rights of marginalized individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. Raised in New York City, she faced adversity from a young age and turned to survival sex as a child prostitute. Rivera found support among drag queens, including her best friend Marsha P. Johnson. Together, they co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and fought for equality and inclusion within the LGBTQ+ movement. Rivera’s resilience and dedication continue to inspire activists today.

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IndiaActivistLaw Enforcement

K. Prithika Yashini

K. Prithika Yashini, the first transgender woman to be a police officer in India, has made waves in breaking barriers and challenging societal norms. After a long and arduous legal battle, Yashini successfully challenged the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board’s decision to reject her application and became a sub-inspector of police. Her determination and resilience have made her a true trailblazer and role model for the transgender community.

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CanadaUnited StatesActivist

Tanya X. Short

Tanya X. Short, an influential American video game designer, co-founded Kitfox Games and has made significant contributions to the gaming industry. Her passion for gaming grew during her teenage years, leading her to pursue a career in the video game industry. Short is known for her dedication to inclusivity and has actively advocated for gender diversity and representation in game development. Her innovative approach to game design, as showcased in titles like Shattered Planet and Moon Hunters, has solidified her position as a trailblazer in the industry.

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United StatesActivistEsports

Tanya DePass

Tanya DePass, also known as Cypheroftyr, is an American journalist, activist, and streamer who has made significant contributions to the gaming industry. Dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity, she has written articles for respected publications, founded the nonprofit organization I Need Diverse Games, and developed the Fifth Season RPG. Despite facing harassment, she remains committed to her mission and has organized charity streams to support causes beyond gaming. DePass has received numerous awards and honors, solidifying her position as a leading figure in gaming and activism.

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CanadaUnited StatesActivist

Anita Sarkeesian

Anita Sarkeesian is a Canadian-American feminist media critic and public speaker. She is best known as the founder of Feminist Frequency, a website that hosts videos and commentary analyzing portrayals of women in popular culture. Sarkeesian’s work has had a significant impact on how women are represented in media and has sparked important discussions about gender equality.

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United StatesActivistJewish

Edith Windsor

Edith “Edie” Windsor, an American LGBT rights activist and technology manager at IBM, played a pivotal role in the advancement of same-sex marriage rights. Her landmark Supreme Court case, United States v. Windsor, led to the declaration of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. Edie’s determination and courage made her a symbol of hope for many LGBTQ+ individuals.

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BelgiumActivistActor

Lydia Chagoll

Lydia Chagoll (1931-2020) was a Dutch-born dancer, choreographer, film director, screenwriter, writer, and actress. Her experiences during World War II, including being held in Japanese Internment Camps in Indonesia, shaped her worldview and fueled her commitment to shedding light on injustice. Chagoll’s impactful work in film, such as “In the Name of the Führer” and “Voor de glimlach van een kind,” brought attention to important social issues and led to the founding of organizations dedicated to protecting vulnerable children. Her contributions to the arts and social activism have left a lasting impact on Dutch and Belgian society.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson, born Malcolm Michaels Jr., was a pivotal figure in the Stonewall uprising and an influential American gay liberation activist. She co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.) and was an AIDS activist with ACT UP. Johnson’s legacy as a fearless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights lives on, inspiring others to fight for equality and justice.

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United StatesActivistJewish

Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Cecile Rich (1929-2012) was a highly influential American poet, essayist, and feminist. She challenged rigid forms of feminist identities, advocating for a more inclusive and fluid understanding of womanhood. Rich’s profound contributions to literature, feminism, and social justice continue to inspire and provoke conversation today. Her unapologetic exploration of power dynamics and her relentless fight for equality and justice have left an enduring mark on the literary canon and the feminist movement.

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CanadaActivistJewish

Barbara Findlay

Barbara Findlay is a Canadian lawyer and passionate advocate for LGBT rights. Her career, dedicated to fighting for equality and justice for the LGBTQ+ community, has had a profound impact on society, making her a prominent figure in women’s history.

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United StatesActivistActor

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox, born in 1972, is an American actress and LGBT advocate. She made history as the first transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her role in Orange Is the New Black. Her impactful portrayal, advocacy work, and resilience continue to inspire and empower the transgender community. Cox’s contributions to women’s history and the LGBTQ+ community cannot be overstated.

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United StatesActivistArtist

Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, artist, and writer, has dedicated her life to advocating for marginalized communities and creating social change. Raised in Los Angeles, she experienced firsthand the systemic inequalities that plague marginalized communities, which ignited her passion for fighting against social injustice. With her unwavering dedication to justice and powerful advocacy, Cullors has inspired countless individuals to take action and work towards a more equitable society.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Aurelia Browder

Aurelia Shines Browder Coleman was an African-American civil rights activist born on January 29, 1919, in Montgomery, Alabama. Throughout her life, Browder played a crucial role in the fight for racial equality, leaving an indelible mark on history.

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IndiaActivistLGBTQIA

Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli

Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli is an Indian transgender activist, RTI activist, singer, and motivational speaker. Born and raised in Hyderabad, Vyjayanti had a challenging childhood marked by school abuse, conversion therapy, bullying, and assault. Despite facing these hardships, she emerged as a strong advocate for the rights and dignity of transgender individuals.

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MexicoActivistLGBTQIA

Lorena Borjas

Lorena Borjas (1960-2020) was a Mexican-American transgender and immigrant rights activist who dedicated her life to advocating for the rights and well-being of transgender and immigrant communities. Through her work, she became known as the mother of the transgender Latinx community in Queens, New York. Borjas’s tireless efforts and leadership made a significant impact on the LGBTQ+ rights movement, leaving a lasting legacy.

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ArgentinaActivistLGBTQIA

Diana Sacayán

Diana Sacayán was an influential Argentinian LGBT activist who fought passionately for the rights of transgender individuals in Argentina. Through her work with the Anti-Discrimination Movement of Liberation (MAL), she advocated for non-discriminatory healthcare policies and raised awareness about transgender rights. Her efforts played a significant role in the recognition of self-perceived gender identities by the State and the enactment of the National Gender Identity Law. Diana’s life was tragically cut short, but her legacy continues to inspire the ongoing fight for transgender rights.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Cori Bush

Cori Anika Bush, a nurse, pastor, and Black Lives Matter activist, was born on July 21, 1976, in St. Louis, Missouri. She has made a significant impact on her community and the nation as a whole, serving as a U.S. representative for Missouri’s 1st congressional district. Bush’s journey towards political leadership began with her early education and was influenced by her politically active family. She has become a powerful force for change and representation, advocating for social justice and equality.

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IndiaActivistLGBTQIA

Akkai Padmashali

Akkai Padmashali, an Indian transgender activist, has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of transgender individuals. She overcame countless obstacles and fought for social inclusion while educating the public about transgender rights. Her activism garnered recognition, with honors such as the Rajyotsava Prashasti and an honorary doctorate, and she made history as the first transgender person to register her marriage in Karnataka. Her impact extends globally, with invitations to the White House and a Town Hall event during former US President Barack Obama’s visit to India.

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IrelandActivistGovernment

Ivana Bacik

Ivana Catherine Bacik, born on May 25, 1968, is an Irish Labour Party politician who has made significant contributions to Irish politics and society. Bacik has been a prominent figure in both the Seanad and the Dáil, making her mark on various issues, particularly her advocacy for abortion rights. Her dedication to her work and her progressive values have established her as a key figure in the fight for women’s rights in Ireland.

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PakistanActivistArcher

Aisha Mughal

Aisha Mughal, a renowned Pakistani transgender rights expert and researcher, has emerged as a prominent figure in the fight for transgender rights in her country. Born and raised in Pakistan, Mughal has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights and well-being of transgender individuals.

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United KingdomActivistEngineer

Clara Barker

Clara Michelle Barker, a British engineer and material scientist, has become an influential role model for the LGBT+ community. Her outstanding work has earned her recognition and numerous awards. Clara’s dedication and expertise in the field of material science are showcased in her completed thesis on thin film coating at Manchester Metropolitan University. As a transgender woman, she is passionately involved in advocating for LGBT+ diversity and women in STEM, working to create a supportive and inclusive environment in places like the University of Oxford. Clara’s commitment to fostering diversity and visibility in STEM has earned her well-deserved recognition, including the Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister’s Office in 2017 and the Individual Champion/Role Model award from the University of Oxford in 2018. Her inspiring journey and impactful contributions establish her as a prominent figure and influential role model.

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United StatesActivistIndigenous

Heather Purser

Heather Purser, a member of the Suquamish tribe in Seattle, Washington, has been a trailblazer in the fight for marriage equality within her tribe. Despite facing challenges as a lesbian in a society that often discriminates against the LGBTQ+ community, Purser never gave up on her mission. Her efforts led to the legal recognition of same-sex marriage within the Suquamish tribe, and her activism has had a lasting impact on Native American tribes across the country. Heather Purser’s dedication to equality and social justice makes her an inspiration for future generations.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Lisa Ben

Edythe D. Eyde, better known as Lisa Ben, was a pioneer in the LGBT movement. She created the first known lesbian publication in North America, Vice Versa, and used her music to entertain and unite the lesbian community during a time when their voices were often silenced. Her contributions continue to inspire and remind us of the importance of representation and community.

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CanadaActivistLGBTQIA

Brenda Murphy

Brenda Murphy, the 32nd lieutenant governor of New Brunswick, is a Canadian activist and politician known for her advocacy on poverty and domestic violence issues. She made history as the first openly LGBTQ person to hold any viceregal office in Canadian history. Throughout her career, Murphy has worked tirelessly to empower women and address the challenges faced by marginalized communities, serving on advisory councils and shaping policies aimed at reducing poverty and improving women’s lives. As lieutenant governor, she continues to champion LGBTQ rights and promote inclusivity and equality.

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ArgentinaActivistLGBTQIA

Claudia Pía Baudracco

Claudia Pía Baudracco (1970-2012) was an Argentine activist who fought for the rights of women, sexual minorities, and LGBT people. Despite facing discrimination and mistreatment, she co-founded the Association of Cross-dressers of Argentina and played a significant role in campaigning for the repeal of laws criminalizing trans identities. Baudracco also advocated for the approval of the Gender Identity Law in Argentina, granting transgender individuals the right to choose their name and access healthcare. Sadly, she passed away before benefitting from the healthcare provisions she fought for.

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BotswanaActivistArtist

Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile

Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile (born January 1988), also known as Kat Kai Kol-Kes, is a performance artist, musician, writer, and LGBT activist from Botswana. She is known for being the first public figure from the country to openly identify as a transgender person. Kolanyane-Kesupile has made significant contributions to the arts, activism, and the LGBTQ+ community in Botswana and beyond.

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United StatesActivistComputer Scientist

Lynn Conway

Lynn Ann Conway, an American computer scientist and transgender activist, made significant contributions to the field of computer science. She overcame personal challenges and revolutionized the computer industry through her innovative work in microchip design and instruction handling. Her journey as a transgender woman has inspired future generations and promoted diversity and inclusion in technology.

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UgandaActivistLGBTQIA

Cleopatra Kambugu Kentaro

Cleopatra Kambugu Kentaro is a Ugandan transgender woman and human rights activist. Growing up in Bakuli, Uganda, Cleopatra faced numerous challenges as she navigated her transition. She pursued higher education at Makerere University and now holds the position of Director of Programmes for UHAI EASHRI, an organization dedicated to supporting the sexual health and rights of marginalized communities. Cleopatra’s tireless efforts in advocating for equality and social justice make her an inspiring figure in women’s history.

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United StatesActivistEngineer

Liz Fong-Jones

Liz Fong-Jones is a prominent site reliability engineer and developer advocate known not only for her technical expertise but also for her significant contributions to labor activism and worker organization efforts within the tech industry. As the president of the board of directors of the Solidarity Fund by Coworker, she has been instrumental in supporting and empowering workers. Fong-Jones continues to inspire and advocate for the rights of workers in the tech industry, leveraging her technical expertise and passion for social justice.

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NetherlandsActivistGovernment

Annelien Kappeyne van de Coppello

Annelien Kappeyne van de Coppello, born on October 24, 1936, was a Dutch politician who dedicated her career to championing women’s rights and progressive causes. She made significant contributions to Dutch politics and was known for her advocacy for social justice issues. Her tireless work continues to inspire women and activists worldwide.

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United StatesActivistMuslim

Blair Imani

Blair Imani is an American author, historian, and activist who has made significant contributions to social activism. She focuses on fighting for equality, challenging gender and racial norms, and advocating for marginalized communities. Imani has founded organizations, worked with Planned Parenthood, and authored books that highlight the achievements of overlooked individuals. She remains dedicated to raising awareness through her writing and informative videos, and her activism during the protest in Baton Rouge showcased her resilience and determination. Blair Imani’s commitment to social justice has earned her recognition and admiration.

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United StatesActivistBroadcaster

Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings, an American YouTube personality, TV personality, and LGBT rights activist, gained national attention at a young age for her open and articulate perspective on being transgender. Supported by her family, Jazz has used various platforms to advocate for transgender rights and raise awareness about gender identity issues. Through her show “I Am Jazz” and her engaging YouTube videos, she has become an inspiration for others on their own journeys of self-discovery and acceptance.

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United StatesActivistFilmmaker

Fiona Dawson

Fiona Jane Dawson, born in 1977, is a renowned writer, producer, and film director who has made a significant impact on the world of documentary filmmaking. Through her passionate storytelling and dedication to shedding light on important social issues, she has earned critical acclaim and numerous accolades, establishing herself as one of the industry’s most accomplished filmmakers.

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United StatesActivistJewish

Madeline Davis

Madeline Davis, an American LGBT activist and historian, dedicated her life to advocating for gay rights and preserving the history of the lesbian community in Buffalo, New York. From co-founding the first gay rights organization in Western New York to becoming the first openly lesbian delegate at a major party national convention, Davis made significant contributions to LGBTQ+ rights. Her groundbreaking book, “Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community,” remains an important work in LGBTQ+ history.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Elle Hearns

Elle Hearns (born 1986/1987) is an American transgender rights activist who has made significant contributions to the fight for social justice and equality. She co-founded the Black Lives Matter Global Network and served as a strategic partner and organizing coordinator. Additionally, she founded The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, where she currently serves as the executive director.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Henrietta Duterte

Henrietta Duterte (1817 – December 23, 1903) was an African-American funeral home owner, philanthropist, and abolitionist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the first American woman to own a mortuary, and her business operated as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Known for her fashionable attire, Duterte played a significant role in aiding runaway slaves, using her funeral parlor as a safe haven. She was also a devoted philanthropist, making generous contributions to various organizations in her community.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Zipporah Potter Atkins

Zipporah Potter Atkins, a free African American woman, defied societal norms by owning land in colonial Boston. Her purchase of a home in 1670 made her the first African American to own land in the city. Despite facing limited rights and opportunities, Zipporah persevered and even learned to read, leaving her mark on history as a trailblazer for African American empowerment and women’s rights.

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United StatesActivistWrestler

Mildred Burke

Mildred Burke, an influential figure in women’s wrestling, held the NWA World Women’s Championship for nearly two decades. Despite facing personal and professional challenges, she paved the way for female athletes and left an indelible impact on women’s history. Burke’s resilience and determination earned her a well-deserved place in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Legacy Wing, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.

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United StatesActivistLGBTQIA

Florrie R. Burke

Florrie Burke, a renowned human rights advocate, has dedicated her life to combating human trafficking. Her sustained dedication and unparalleled leadership in this field led to her receiving the inaugural Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons in 2013. With her expertise in victim-centered approaches and collaborative efforts between criminal justice and victim care providers, Florrie Burke has made significant contributions to the fight against modern slavery. Her impact extends beyond the United States, as she has conducted training and consultations internationally and contributed to global efforts at the UNODC in Vienna.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks, born Loretta Pleasant in 1920, had a profound impact on medical research. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout her life, Lacks is best known as the unwitting donor of the HeLa cell line, which revolutionized science and medicine. Her enduring legacy serves as a testament to the important role that individuals, like Lacks, can play in shaping the future of medicine.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King, born in 1927 in Heiberger, Alabama, was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader. She played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement and continued her advocacy for equality even after her husband, Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated. Her tireless dedication to the cause earned her the title “First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement.”

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BulgariaActivistEducator

Eugenia Kisimova

Eugenia Kisimova (1831–1885) was a Bulgarian feminist and women’s rights activist who founded the first women’s organization in Bulgaria, Женска община, in 1869. She dedicated her life to empowering women and promoting equal educational opportunities, establishing schools for girls and offering scholarships for higher education abroad. Kisimova’s commitment to philanthropy and her tireless advocacy for women’s rights left a lasting impact on Bulgarian society.

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AustraliaActivist

Vida Goldstein

Vida Goldstein, Australian suffragist and social reformer, championed women’s rights and played a crucial role in the suffrage movement. Despite initial defeats in politics, she persevered in advocating for social justice and women’s participation in politics. Goldstein’s dedication to gender equality and her unwavering efforts left an indelible impact on Australian society.

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ChinaActivist

Wu Rongrong

Wu Rongrong is a Chinese feminist and women’s rights activist. She was a member of the feminist collective known as the “Feminist Five” and dedicated her life to fighting for justice and equality for women in China. Despite facing numerous obstacles, Wu’s unwavering dedication to women’s rights and her resilience make her a prominent figure in the fight for gender equality.

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EgyptActivistJournalist

Engy Ghozlan

Engy Ayman Ghozlan, born in Cairo in 1985, is a prominent social activist and journalist who has dedicated her career to addressing the issue of sexual harassment of women in Egypt. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Cairo University in 2007 and has since become a leading advocate for women’s rights in the country.

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CroatiaActivistJournalist

Marija Jurić Zagorka

Marija Jurić Zagorka, born on March 2, 1873, in the village of Negovec, was a Croatian journalist, writer, and women’s rights activist. Known by her pen name Zagorka, she was the first female journalist in Croatia and among the most read Croatian writers. Her life was full of challenges and triumphs, and her influence on society and women’s history is undeniable.

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NigeriaActivistEducator

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, known as the “Lioness of Lisabi,” was a Nigerian educator, suffragist, and women’s rights activist. She founded the Abeokuta Women’s Union and played a significant role in the Nigerian independence movement. Her bravery and determination earned her international recognition, and she continues to be celebrated as a pioneer in Nigerian feminism and a champion for women’s rights.

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United StatesActivist

Yeshimabeit Milner

Yeshimabeit “Yeshi” Milner is an American technologist and activist known for her work in leveraging data to advance social change. She is the executive director and co-founder of Data for Black Lives, an organization dedicated to using data science as a tool for racial justice. Milner’s dedication to bridging the gap between technology and social justice has made her an influential figure in the field of data science.

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PakistanActivist

Abia Akram

Abia Akram is a Pakistani disability rights activist and the founder of the National Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan. Despite being bound to a wheelchair due to a genetic form of rickets, she pursued her education and graduated from a mainstream school with top honors. Abia’s dedication to disability rights has led her to establish various organizations and initiatives, and she has become a prominent figure in the disability rights movement in Pakistan and beyond. In recognition of her remarkable achievements, she was named as one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2021.

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EthiopiaActivistLawyer

Yetnebersh Nigussie

Yetnebersh Nigussie, an Ethiopian lawyer and disability rights activist, has dedicated her life to promoting the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. Despite losing her eyesight at a young age, Nigussie pursued an education and went on to earn a degree in law and a master’s in social work. Her inspiring work has earned her numerous awards, including the Right Livelihood Award, for her efforts in changing mindsets and empowering those with disabilities. Nigussie’s commitment to equality and inclusion has made her a significant figure in women’s history and a champion for the rights of persons with disabilities.

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United StatesActivistWriter

Lizzie Velásquez

Elizabeth Anne Velásquez is a resilient American motivational speaker and activist, who was born with an extremely rare congenital disease. Despite enduring severe bullying and cyberbullying, she transformed adversity into personal growth and empowerment. Lizzie has become a beacon of hope, advocating for kindness, self-acceptance, and anti-bullying. Her incredible journey and remarkable achievements have left an indelible mark on women’s history.

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United StatesActivistWriter

Jude Milhon

Judith Milhon, known as St. Jude, was a self-taught programmer, civil rights advocate, and writer. She made significant contributions to programming and activism and played a role in the countercultural movement. Milhon’s legacy as an advocate for women in computing and civil rights remains influential today.

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United StatesActivistAerospace Engineer

Frances Northcutt

Frances “Poppy” Northcutt, an American engineer and attorney, made significant contributions to NASA’s Apollo program during the Space Race. She became the first female engineer to work in NASA’s Mission Control during the Apollo 8 mission and later transitioned to law, specializing in women’s rights. Northcutt actively advocates for abortion rights and volunteers for various organizations in Houston.

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ChileActivistLawyer

María Soledad Cisternas

María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, a Chilean lawyer and disability rights activist, has dedicated her career to advocating for the rights and empowerment of individuals with disabilities. Despite facing personal challenges, she has left an indelible mark on Chilean society and the global stage, shaping the international framework for disability rights and driving the agenda for greater accessibility and inclusion. Her accomplishments have established a powerful legacy that continues to inspire future generations to champion the rights of marginalized individuals.

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BoliviaActivistPolitician

Rhina Aguirre

Rhina Aguirre Amézaga (1939-2021) was a Bolivian disability activist, politician, and sociologist known for her unwavering commitment to social justice. Overcoming adversity, she became the first blind person in Bolivian history to be elected to the Senate. Aguirre advocated for disability rights, inclusive education, and equal opportunities, leaving a lasting impact on Bolivia and beyond. Her legacy continues to inspire individuals to fight for equality and inclusion.

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United StatesActivist

Helen Keller

Helen Keller, born in 1880 in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, overcame the challenges of being both blind and deaf to become a symbol of hope and inspiration for people with disabilities. With the help of her teacher and lifelong companion, Anne Sullivan, Keller excelled academically and emotionally. She went on to become the first deafblind person in the United States to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.

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United StatesActivistAsian American

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, is an American politician and activist. Born on October 13, 1989, she has made significant contributions to American society since taking office as the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th congressional district in 2019. As a member of the Democratic Party, Ocasio-Cortez’s impact on politics and her dedication to public service have made her a prominent figure in modern American history.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer, a prominent civil rights activist, dedicated her life to fighting for racial and gender equality. Despite facing poverty and discrimination, she persevered and became actively involved in voter registration drives and community organizing efforts. Hamer co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and played a vital role in organizing Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. Her legacy as an advocate for justice and empowerment continues to inspire future generations.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Gwen Carr

Gwen Carr (born 1949) is an American activist, public speaker, and author. She is known for her tireless advocacy in the fight against police brutality and for justice in the United States. Carr’s life changed forever on July 17, 2014, when her son, Eric Garner, was killed by a New York Police Department officer during an arrest.

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United StatesActivistWriter

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was a pioneering American orator and advocate for the abolition of slavery and women’s rights. Her impactful political addresses, including being the first woman to speak before the United States Congress, contributed to the Republican Party’s success in the pivotal 1863 elections. Through her powerful speaking skills and unwavering determination, Dickinson left an indelible mark on the fight for equality and social justice in America.

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South AfricaActivistPolitician

Molly Blackburn

Molly Bellhouse Blackburn was a South African anti-apartheid activist known for her tireless efforts in fighting against the apartheid regime. Despite facing death threats and arrests, she remained dedicated to her cause. Tragically, she died in a car accident in 1985, leaving behind a lasting legacy of commitment to justice and equality in South Africa.

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UgandaActivistEngineer

Winnie Byanyima

Winifred Byanyima, also known as Winnie Byanyima, is a Ugandan aeronautical engineer, politician, human rights activist, feminist, and diplomat. Born in 1959 in Mbarara District, Uganda, she has made significant contributions to engineering, politics, and gender equality throughout her career. Byanyima’s dedication to fighting poverty and advocating for marginalized communities has made her a prominent figure in the pursuit of equality and justice.

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KuwaitActivistEngineer

Sara Akbar

Sara Hussein Akbar is a Kuwaiti chemical petroleum engineer, women’s rights advocate, and co-founder and former CEO of Kuwait Energy. She is recognized as a “national hero” for her involvement in the Kuwaiti oil fires. Akbar was awarded the Global 500 Roll of Honour from the United Nations Environmental Program for her firefighting efforts. She is one of the first women oil sector company executives from the Arabian Peninsula.

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United StatesActivistChemist

Gretchen Kalonji

Gretchen Lynn Kalonji, born in 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, is an American materials scientist and academic administrator. Throughout her career, she has made significant contributions to the field of materials science and has held notable positions in academia and international organizations. Kalonji’s diverse upbringing and experiences in different cultures have shaped her perspectives and fostered her curiosity. She is also known for her activism, particularly in advocating against apartheid in South Africa.

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JordanActivist

Noor Al Hussein

Noor Al Hussein, born Lisa Najeeb Halaby, is an American-born Jordanian philanthropist and activist. As the fourth wife and widow of King Hussein of Jordan, she served as the Queen of Jordan from 1978 to 1999. Noor has dedicated her life to various causes, including education and women’s empowerment, and has received recognition for her exceptional public service, including the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award from Princeton University in 2015. She continues to work tirelessly for humanitarian efforts and remains an advocate for social change.

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IndiaActivistPolitician

Amrit Kaur

Amrit Kaur, born into the Ahluwalia family in 1887, played a major role in India’s independence movement and became the country’s first Health Minister. Known for her advocacy for women’s rights and her involvement in shaping the Constitution of India, Kaur dedicated her life to fighting for the rights and well-being of her fellow countrymen. Her legacy as an activist and politician continues to inspire future generations.

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New ZealandActivist

Meri Mangakāhia

Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia was a prominent figure in the campaign for women’s suffrage in New Zealand. Her dedication to the cause and her advocacy for the rights of Māori women inspired future generations and left a lasting impact on New Zealand society. She made history by becoming the first woman to address the Kotahitanga Parliament in 1893 and played a crucial role in securing Māori women’s right to vote. Her legacy as a trailblazer in women’s suffrage and her influential role in Māori politics and welfare movements continue to inspire generations of New Zealanders.

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United StatesActivist

Eagle Woman

Eagle Woman, also known as Wa?blí Ayútepiwi? or Matilda Picotte Galpin, was a prominent Lakota activist, diplomat, trader, and translator. She played a crucial role in mediating conflicts between white settlers, the United States government, and the Sioux, making her a key figure in the history of Native American relations with the U.S. She is widely recognized as the only woman to be acknowledged as a chief among the Sioux. Despite facing numerous challenges, she remained dedicated to her community until her passing in 1888, leaving behind a powerful legacy as a tireless advocate for Native American rights.

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TurkeyActivistPolitician

Leyla Zana

Leyla Zana (born 3 May 1961) is a Turkish politician known for her unwavering dedication to human rights and her advocacy for the Kurdish people in Turkey. Her relentless pursuit of justice and equality has made her a symbol of resistance and resilience.

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South KoreaActivist

Lee Yong-soo

Lee Yong-soo, a former comfort woman from South Korea, bravely shares her painful experiences as a sex slave during World War II. Her testimony as one of the youngest living comfort women sheds light on the atrocities committed against thousands of women during this dark period in history. Lee’s unwavering commitment to seeking justice and her tireless efforts have made her a respected advocate for human rights and a symbol of resilience and strength.

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TaiwanActivistAsian American

Liu Huang A-tao

Liu Huang A-tao (1923 – 2011) was a Taiwanese activist and key figure in the movement for justice and reparations for comfort women. Liu Huang was forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. Despite years of suffering and keeping her experiences a secret, she found inspiration from survivors in South Korea and became the first Taiwanese woman to sue the Japanese government for compensation and a public apology in 1999. Her bravery and dedication brought attention to the plight of comfort women and initiated a national conversation about historical injustices.

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South KoreaActivistArtist

Kim Soon-duk

Kim Soon-duk (1921–2004), also known as Kim Tŏk-chin, was a Korean comfort woman who became one of the best-known survivors due to her vivid paintings that depicted life as “comfort women.” She participated in movements against sex slavery, including the Wednesday Demonstration. She also traveled abroad to attend exhibits that displayed her paintings, participated in international speaking tours, and testified about her experiences.

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United StatesActivistArtist

Peggy Oki

Peggy E. Oki is an American skateboarder, surfer, artist, and environmental activist. As an original member of the Z-Boys, she broke barriers and paved the way for female skateboarders. Oki’s impact extended beyond skateboarding as she founded the Origami Whales Project to raise awareness about commercial whaling. Her legacy as a trailblazer and advocate for the environment continues to inspire others.

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Democratic Republic of the CongoActivist

Julienne Lusenge

Julienne Lusenge is a Congolese human rights activist who has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of survivors of wartime sexual violence. Through her organizations, she has raised awareness about gender-based violence, provided support to survivors, and worked to bridge the gap between local women’s initiatives and international donors. Lusenge has been recognized for her exceptional work with prestigious awards, cementing her contributions to the human rights field. Her unwavering dedication and remarkable impact make her a true champion for human rights.

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FinlandActivist

Alexandra Gripenberg

Alexandra Gripenberg, a Finnish social activist and politician, was a leading figure in the women’s rights movement in Finland. She founded the country’s first women’s rights organization and served as its president for multiple terms. Gripenberg also played a vital role in the establishment of women’s magazines and the international women’s rights movement. Her dedication and contributions continue to inspire future generations in the fight for equality.

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FinlandActivistDoctor

Rosina Heikel

Emma Rosina Heikel, the first female physician in Finland and the Nordic countries, fought for equal access to education for women. She overcame obstacles by studying physiotherapy and midwifery in Sweden before finally being granted permission to study medicine at the University of Helsinki. Heikel dedicated her career to women’s and children’s health, advocating for their well-being and rights. Her legacy as a pioneering physician and advocate for gender equality continues to inspire women today.

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GermanyActivistJewish

Clara Zetkin

Clara Zetkin was a prominent figure in the German Marxist movement and a leading advocate for women’s rights. Her dedication to socialism and women’s liberation left an indelible mark on women’s history and inspired generations of activists.

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IranActivistJournalist

Shahla Sherkat

Shahla Sherkat, an influential Iranian journalist, author, and women’s rights activist, has dedicated her life to advocating for women’s rights and challenging societal norms. Through her groundbreaking publications, such as Zanan magazine, she has shed light on the experiences and struggles of Iranian women, making a lasting impact on society. Despite facing adversity and legal battles, Sherkat remains a symbol of resilience and determination in the fight for gender equality.

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IranActivistJournalist

Shadi Sadr

Shadi Sadr is an Iranian lawyer, human rights advocate, essayist, and journalist. She has made significant contributions to the promotion of human rights, particularly in Iran, where she has actively fought against social injustices and worked to improve the lives of women.

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BulgariaActivistJewish

Julia Malinova

Julia Malinova, née Jakovlevna Scheider (1869-1953), was a Bulgarian suffragist and women’s rights activist. She played a crucial role in advancing the rights and status of women in Bulgaria during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a co-founder and two-time chairperson of the Bulgarian Women’s Union, Malinova tirelessly fought for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

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GhanaActivistJudge

Annie Jiagge

Annie Ruth Jiagge, the first woman in Ghana and the Commonwealth of Nations to become a judge, dedicated her life to advocating for gender equality and empowering women worldwide. As a principal drafter of the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, she played a pivotal role in combating gender-based discrimination globally and co-founded Women’s World Banking, an organization dedicated to advancing women’s economic and social well-being. Her legacy continues to inspire and shape Ghanaian society and women’s history.

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TurkeyActivistJournalist

Nezihe Muhiddin

Nezihe Muhiddin Tepedelengil was a Turkish women’s rights activist, suffragette, journalist, writer, and political leader. She played a major role in the women’s movement in the 20th century Ottoman Empire, advocating for women’s political rights. Through her activism, she founded the Women’s People’s Party and the Turkish Women’s Union, leaving a lasting impact on women’s rights in Turkey.

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JapanActivistJournalist

Hiratsuka Raichō

Hiratsuka Raichō was a pioneering feminist and influential Japanese writer. Born in Tokyo in 1886, she received her education at Japan Women’s University, where she studied European philosophy and Zen Buddhism. Hiratsuka founded Japan’s first all-women literary magazine, Seitō, in 1911, and used her platform to advocate for women’s rights and challenge societal norms. Her courage and dedication to gender equality continue to inspire activists worldwide.

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AustraliaActivist

Bessie Rischbieth

Bessie Mabel Rischbieth was an influential Australian feminist and social activist. She dedicated her life to advocating for women’s rights and social change, both in Australia and internationally. Bessie made headlines when she protested against the reclamation of Mounts Bay at the age of 85, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to environmental preservation. Her contributions to feminism and social reform continue to inspire future generations. Bessie Rischbieth was a remarkable figure in women’s history, showcasing the potential for individuals to effect positive change.

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JapanActivist

Sayaka Osakabe

Sayaka Osakabe, a Japanese women’s rights activist, fought against workplace discrimination and harassment during pregnancy. She founded Matahara Net and successfully challenged her own case of maternity harassment in court. Osakabe’s efforts led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling protecting the rights of pregnant women in Japan. For her contributions, she received the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award in 2015.

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CanadaActivistDoctor

Emily Stowe

Emily Howard Stowe was a Canadian physician who broke barriers for women in medicine. As the first female physician to practice in Canada and the second licensed female physician in the country, she made significant contributions to healthcare and women’s rights. Despite facing rejection and discrimination, she pursued her passion and fought for gender equality. Stowe’s dedication paved the way for future generations of female physicians and activists.

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KenyaActivist

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan social, environmental, and political activist, founded the Green Belt Movement, an NGO focused on tree planting, environmental conservation, and women’s rights. She was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a Ph.D. and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her visionary leadership, environmental activism, and advocacy for peace and human rights. Sadly, Maathai passed away in 2011, leaving a remarkable legacy in women’s history and sustainable development.

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CanadaActivistPolitician

Françoise David

Françoise David CQ (born January 13, 1948) is a former spokesperson of Quebec solidaire – a left-wing, feminist, and sovereigntist political party in the province of Quebec, Canada. She was elected Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Gouin in 2012 and 2014. Her activism and dedication to social justice began early in her career, where she worked to address women’s issues and advocate for their rights. Her work extended beyond Canada, and she was recognized for her contributions to the province, as well as her role in advancing women’s rights and gender equality. She also organized impactful events like the Women’s March against Poverty and the World March of Women against Poverty and Violence. Françoise David’s political career marked a significant milestone for Quebec solidaire, and her retirement served as a reminder of the importance of self-care in the pursuit of social and political change.

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Burkina FasoActivistEducator

Jacqueline Ki-Zerbo

Jacqueline Ki-Zerbo, a prominent women’s rights activist and pro-democracy advocate, defied societal expectations to tirelessly fight for justice, equality, and progress. Born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, she played a pivotal role in shaping the course of history in Mali and beyond, leaving an indelible mark on the struggle for women’s rights and the pursuit of democracy. Her legacy continues to inspire individuals worldwide.

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ChadActivist

Céline Narmadji

Céline Narmadji (born 1964) is a Chadian human rights activist who has dedicated her life to promoting human rights, women’s rights, and social justice. Throughout her career, she has been actively involved in various organizations and initiatives, advocating for the rights of marginalized communities and fighting against injustice. Her tireless efforts have made a significant impact on the lives of many, both in Chad and beyond.

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NorwayActivistPolitician

Randi Blehr

Randi Marie Blehr was a prominent Norwegian feminist, suffragist, and women’s rights activist. As the president of the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights, she fought for improved social and economic conditions for women. Blehr also played a vital role in establishing the Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association and advocated for peace. Her dedication and leadership continue to inspire women in Norway and beyond.

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CanadaActivistPolitician

Nellie McClung

Nellie Letitia McClung was a Canadian suffragist, author, and politician who played a crucial role in securing women’s voting rights in Alberta and Manitoba. She was an influential social activist and a member of the Famous Five, who fought for women’s eligibility to serve in the Senate of Canada. McClung’s legacy as a champion of gender equality and social justice continues to inspire generations.

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CanadaActivistJewish

Léa Roback

Léa Roback was a remarkable Canadian trade union organizer, social activist, pacifist, and feminist, known for her relentless campaign against exclusion, violence, racism, and injustice. Her contributions as a polyglot and suffragist made her a pioneer of feminism in Quebec.

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ChinaActivistPolitician

Cai Chang

Cai Chang, a Chinese politician and women’s rights activist, dedicated her life to fighting for gender equality and empowering women in Chinese society. As the first chair of the All-China Women’s Federation, Cai played a crucial role in advancing women’s rights. She faced criticism for her emphasis on technological and economic progress, but her efforts laid the foundation for future advancements in women’s rights in China.

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ChadActivistPolitician

Lydie Beassemda

Lydie Beassemda (born c. 1967) is a Chadian politician. Since 2 May 2021, she has served as the Minister of Higher Education and Research under Chad’s Transitional Military Council. Known for her activism in women’s rights, Beassemda made her foray into politics in 2016 as a prominent member of the Party for Democracy and Full Independence (PDI), which was founded by her father. Following her father’s passing in 2018, she assumed the leadership of the party.

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South AfricaActivistJournalist

Shamima Shaikh

Shamima Shaikh (1960-1998) was a prominent Muslim women’s rights activist, Islamic feminist, and journalist from South Africa. She dedicated her life to fighting for social justice and challenging patriarchal barriers within the Muslim community. Despite her untimely death, her legacy continues to inspire activists and feminists today.

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SerbiaActivistEducator

Katarina Milovuk

Katarina Milovuk (1844–1913) was a Serbian educator and women’s rights activist. She established the first institution of higher learning for women in Serbia and founded the first women’s organization in the country. Milovuk’s dedication to improving women’s education and advocating for women’s rights has left a lasting impact on Serbian society.

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Saudi ArabiaActivistBiologist

Loujain al-Hathloul

Loujain al-Hathloul is a Saudi women’s rights activist who has been at the forefront of the fight for gender equality in Saudi Arabia. Despite facing arrests and detentions, she remains resilient in her mission to defy the ban on women driving and challenge the male guardianship system. Recognized globally for her activism, al-Hathloul has received numerous awards and nominations, including the 2019 PEN America/Barbey Freedom to Write Award and being named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2019”.

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RussiaActivist

Anna Filosofova

Anna Pavlovna Filosofova was a Russian philanthropist and feminist who played a significant role in the early years of the Russian women’s movement. She dedicated her life to charitable work and activism, advocating for social change and women’s rights in Russian society. Through her efforts, she founded societies and provided opportunities for women’s education and employment, leaving a lasting impact on women’s activism in Russia.

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UgandaActivistEducator

Jane Frances Kuka

Jane Frances Kuka, an educator and anti-FGM activist, played a significant role in Uganda’s history. Despite facing opposition and attempts on her life, she remained steadfast in her fight against Female Genital Mutilation. Her unwavering dedication to education, activism, and political service has left a lasting impact on society.

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RussiaActivistJournalist

Tatiana Mamonova

Tatiana Mamonova, also known as Tatyana Mamonova, was a renowned leader in the Russian women’s movement and a respected author, poet, journalist, videographer, artist, editor, and public lecturer. Her journey began in Leningrad after World War II, and she later became the first feminist dissident to be exiled from the Soviet Union in 1980. Mamonova founded the first non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting the human rights of women from the Soviet Union, and her work had a significant impact on the women’s movement internationally.

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United KingdomUnited StatesActivist

Lucy Burns

Lucy Burns was a passionate American suffragist and women’s rights advocate. She played a crucial role in the United States and the United Kingdom suffrage movements, ultimately co-founding the National Woman’s Party with Alice Paul. Burns endured arrests and physical abuse while fighting for women’s rights, and her unwavering commitment made her a significant figure in women’s history.

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SpainActivist

Montserrat Cervera Rodon

Montserrat Cervera Rodon, born in 1949 in Barcelona, is a Catalan anti-militarist, feminist, and women’s health activist. She dedicated her life to advocating for women’s rights, particularly in the areas of abortion rights and women’s health. Her extensive involvement in feminist actions and campaigns has made a significant impact on society.

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Great BritainActivist

Constance Bryer

Constance Elizabeth Bryer (1870-1952) was a British classical violinist and suffragette who dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights. Enduring imprisonment, hunger strikes, and personal sacrifices, Bryer’s unwavering commitment to the feminist cause made her a prominent figure in the suffrage movement. Her legacy as a symbol of strength and inspiration continues to inspire advocates for women’s rights today.

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SwedenActivistPolitician

Ruth Gustafson

Ruth Gustafson, a Swedish politician and women’s rights activist, dedicated her life to advocating for workers’ rights and gender equality. Growing up in a working-class home, she was exposed to socialist ideas and became actively involved in the social democratic movement. Through various roles, such as editor of a social democratic newspaper and participation in women’s suffrage organizations, Gustafson fought for societal change and the empowerment of working-class women. Her commitment to social justice made her an influential figure in Swedish politics and a pioneering advocate for women’s rights.

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SomaliaActivistComputer Scientist

Halima Ali Adan

Halima Ali Adan is a Somali gender rights activist and an expert on female genital mutilation (FGM). She was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya. After completing her schooling, Adan went on to study Computer Science at the University of Greenwich in London, where she earned a BSc degree. She furthered her education by obtaining a MSc in Development Studies.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Caroline Still Anderson

Caroline Still Anderson was a pioneering physician, educator, and activist. She was one of the first Black women to become a physician in the United States and dedicated her medical practice to serving the African-American community in Philadelphia. Despite facing discrimination and challenges, Anderson’s accomplishments and dedication continue to serve as an inspiration for women, particularly women of color, in the pursuit of their dreams and careers.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Hetty Reckless

Amy Hester “Hetty” Reckless (1776–1881) was an influential figure in the American abolitionist movement and a key supporter of the Underground Railroad. Born into slavery in Salem, New Jersey, she overcame the cruelty of her owners to eventually escape to Philadelphia in 1826. Hetty became a founding member of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and played a crucial role in promoting abolitionist ideas. Her dedication to social justice and her tireless efforts in supporting the cause made her an influential leader in the abolitionist community.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Anna Williams

Anna “Ann” Williams, an enslaved woman born in 1791 in Bladensburg, Maryland, successfully sued for freedom for herself and her children. Her daring escape from the F Street Tavern and subsequent legal battle highlighted the atrocities of the slave trade, raising awareness and prompting a Congressional inquiry in 1816. Williams’ victory in court brought attention to the cruelty of slavery and the fight for freedom.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Elizabeth Key Grinstead

Elizabeth Key Grinstead was a pioneer figure in early American history, advocating for the rights of enslaved individuals. Born in 1630 in Warwick County, Virginia, Key challenged the institution of slavery and secured her own freedom, becoming one of the first black women in the Thirteen Colonies to do so. Her landmark legal victory and its subsequent legislation made a significant impact on the future of slavery in the English colonies.

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ArubaActivist

Jeannette Richardson-Baars

Jeannette Richardson-Baars, Director of the Aruba Police Academy, is a renowned figure in the fight against human trafficking. Her exceptional leadership skills and dedication have earned her international recognition, including the U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons report in 2012. Richardson-Baars’ ability to work with limited resources and her advocacy efforts have made a significant impact in raising awareness and combating human trafficking. She has shattered gender stereotypes and continues to inspire others to make a difference.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Alice Stebbins Wells

Alice Stebbins Wells, a trailblazing figure in American law enforcement, became one of the first American-born female police officers in 1910. Her determination to pursue a career in police work was fueled by her study at the Hartford Theological Seminary, which revealed the need for women officers. Despite facing challenges, Wells paved the way for other women to join the force and established the International Policewomen’s Association. Her legacy continues to inspire future generations of women in law enforcement.

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United StatesActivistLaw Enforcement

Lola Baldwin

Lola Baldwin, a pioneering American woman, defied societal norms and became one of the first policewomen in the United States. With an unwavering dedication to improving the lives of vulnerable women, she left a lasting impact on women’s history. Her compassionate approach to crime prevention and her advocacy for women’s rights made her a remarkable figure in law enforcement and social justice.

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KenyaActivistBusiness

Juliana Rotich

Juliana Rotich is a Kenyan information technology professional who made significant contributions to the field. She co-founded iHub and Ushahidi, playing a critical role in promoting innovation and connectivity in Kenya. Rotich’s leadership at Ushahidi gained worldwide recognition for its effectiveness in responding to crises, and she also raised awareness of environmental issues in Africa. Her dedication to leveraging technology for the greater good, combined with her commitment to preserving the environment, make her an inspiring figure in women’s history.

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United StatesActivistAerospace Engineer

Cher Scarlett

Cher Scarlett (born 1984 or 1985) is an American workers’ rights activist, software engineer, and writer. She has made a significant impact in the labor movement with her organizing efforts at major tech companies such as Apple, Activision Blizzard, and Starbucks.

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CanadaGhanaUnited States

Joy Buolamwini

Joy Adowaa Buolamwini is a Ghanaian-American-Canadian computer scientist and digital activist based at the MIT Media Lab. She is widely recognized for her work in challenging bias in decision-making software and advocating for the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI). Buolamwini founded the Algorithmic Justice League, an organization that uses art, advocacy, and research to raise awareness of the social implications and harms of AI.

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PolandActivistComputer Scientist

Małgorzata Kalinowska-Iszkowska

Małgorzata Kalinowska-Iszkowska (born 29 July 1946) is a Polish computer scientist, educator, and activist. She has made significant contributions to the field of information technology (IT) and has been recognized for her achievements with the Polish Gold Cross of Merit. Kalinowska-Iszkowska’s career has been marked by her dedication to promoting the importance of women’s participation in technical professions.

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CanadaNigeriaActivist

Deborah Raji

Deborah Raji is a highly accomplished Nigerian-Canadian computer scientist and activist who has made significant contributions to the field of technology. She is known for her work on algorithmic bias, AI accountability, and algorithmic auditing. Raji’s groundbreaking research on facial recognition technology biases has sparked a global conversation about the ethical implications of artificial intelligence. Her relentless pursuit of fairness and transparency in AI has earned her prestigious awards and recognition, cementing her place in women’s history and the fight for equality in the digital age.

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CanadaActivistChemist

Margaret Benston

Margaret “Maggie” Lowe Benston (1937–1991) was a professor of chemistry, computing science, and women’s studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was a respected feminist and labour activist, as well as a founding member of various feminist organizations. Benston dedicated her life to promoting equality and justice, making significant contributions to academia and activism. Her groundbreaking work challenged societal norms and continues to shape women’s history.

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SpainActivist

Gladys del Estal

Gladys del Estal Ferreño, an ecologist activist born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1956, tragically lost her life in Tudela, Navarre, Spain, in 1979. Coming from a family of Spanish exiles, she became a symbol of peaceful resistance against repression. Her sacrifice has inspired countless individuals to fight for conservation, environmental protection, and social justice, ensuring her memory lives on.

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SwedenActivistComputer Scientist

Elsa-Karin Boestad-Nilsson

Elsa-Karin Boestad-Nilsson, a pioneering figure in computing, made significant contributions to computer programming in Sweden. Her work on the BARK and BESK computers played a key role in the development of computer programming in the country. Boestad-Nilsson’s dedication, expertise, and advocacy for women’s rights continue to inspire and influence generations.

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United StatesActivistEconomist

Carole De Saram

Carole De Saram, born in Queens, New York in 1939, is an American feminist and women’s rights activist. As the former president of the New York chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW), De Saram has played a pivotal role in advocating for women’s equality. With her focus on intersectionality with economics, she has made significant contributions to shaping women’s history and furthering the feminist movement.

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Great BritainUnited KingdomActivist

Sue Black

Susan Elizabeth Black OBE FRSA, born in 1962, is a British computer scientist, academic, and social entrepreneur. She is renowned for her efforts in saving Bletchley Park, the World War II codebreaking center, through her Saving Bletchley Park campaign.

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SwedenActivist

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg, born Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg on January 3, 2003, in Stockholm, Sweden, is a Swedish environmental activist who has made a profound impact on the global stage. Known for her passionate activism and unwavering commitment to addressing climate change, Thunberg has become a prominent figure in the movement for environmental sustainability.

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CanadaActivistPolitician

Sarah Jama

Sarah Jama is a Canadian politician and disability rights activist who has made significant contributions to advocating for the rights of marginalized communities. Born with cerebral palsy, Jama has shown resilience and determination in the face of adversity, becoming an influential figure in the fight for social justice.

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United StatesActivistJournalist

Lady Bird Johnson

Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson was the first lady of the United States from 1963 to 1969. She made significant contributions to American society, actively engaging with Congress and advocating for causes she believed in. One of her lasting legacies is her dedication to the beautification of America’s cities and highways, which led to the passage of the Highway Beautification Act. Lady Bird Johnson’s commitment to environmental conservation and her belief in the power of nature continues to inspire and shape public policy today.

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United StatesActivistJewish

Judith Heumann

Judith Ellen Heumann (1947-2023) was an American disability rights activist, known as the “Mother of the Disability Rights Movement.” She dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and played a significant role in shaping human rights legislation. Heumann’s personal experiences and exceptional leadership skills led to her international recognition and numerous achievements in the field of disability rights.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Eliza Suggs

Eliza Suggs, an African American author and activist, lived a life marked by resilience and determination. Overcoming the challenges of osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, she defied expectations and became an advocate for social reform. Although her life was tragically shortened, her impact on society continues to inspire and empower future generations of African American women.

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FranceActivistPsychologist

Julie Dachez

Julie Dachez is a French social psychologist, lecturer, and autism rights activist. In 2016, she made history as the first openly autistic person to defend a thesis on autism in France. Dachez is dedicated to challenging societal perceptions of autism and advocating for the rights of autistic individuals. She has also published two books on autism and is actively involved in educating others and combating prejudice associated with autism.

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South KoreaActivistWriter

Lee Soon-ok

Lee Soon-ok (born 1947 in Chongjin, North Korea) is a North Korean defector and author, known for her powerful memoir and her advocacy for human rights in North Korea. Her book, Eyes of the Tailless Animals: Prison Memoirs of a North Korean Woman, sheds light on her harrowing experiences of imprisonment, torture, and eventual escape from the oppressive regime. Her resilient spirit and unwavering determination to share her story have made her a prominent figure in the fight against human rights abuses in North Korea.

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AfghanistanActivist

Jamila Afghani

Jamila Afghani is a feminist and activist for women’s rights and education in Afghanistan. Despite facing challenges due to polio, she founded the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization to empower women and children through education. Afghani also works to challenge misconceptions about Islam and engages religious leaders to promote women’s rights. Her efforts have led to a shift in perception and empowered men to become advocates for women in Afghan society. In 2022, she was awarded the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.

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GermanyActivistDisabled

Nujeen Mustafa

Nujeen Mustafa, a Kurdish Syrian refugee with cerebral palsy, captured the world’s attention when she traveled 3,500 miles by wheelchair to escape the Syrian Civil War and resettle in Germany. Despite facing numerous physical and financial challenges, Mustafa has become an internationally recognized advocate for refugees and disabled individuals, using her own experiences to raise awareness and inspire change. She has received the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism from Human Rights Watch for her remarkable achievements.

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FranceActivistActor

Josephine Baker

Freda Josephine Baker, also known as Josephine Baker, was a renowned American-born French dancer, singer, and actress. Born in 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri, she overcame adversity to become an influential advocate for civil rights. Her talent and activism continue to inspire generations, and she was posthumously inducted into the Panthéon in Paris in 2021, making her the first black woman to receive this prestigious honor in France.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Georgia Ann Robinson

Georgia Ann Robinson, the first African American woman appointed as a police officer in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), broke down racial barriers and improved the lives of women in Los Angeles. She became a symbol of hope and progress for African American club women advocating for black women in law enforcement. Robinson’s dedication, capabilities, and groundbreaking achievements paved the way for greater diversity within the LAPD and inspired future generations of African American women in law enforcement.

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ZimbabweActivistNun

Janice McLaughlin

Janice McLaughlin MM (1942-2021) was an American Catholic nun, missionary, and human rights activist. She fearlessly exposed human rights violations and fought for justice, particularly during her time in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the 1970s. Her work shed light on systemic injustice and discrimination faced by the black population, and she continued her advocacy against human trafficking throughout her life. Her legacy is a testament to her unwavering commitment to fighting injustice and inspiring others to make a positive difference in the world.

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IndiaActivistPolitician

Medha Patkar

Medha Patkar is a well-known politician and activist in India. She has dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of marginalized communities, including tribals, dalits, farmers, laborers, and women. Through her work with organizations like the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People’s Movements, she has been at the forefront of the fight against displacement, inequality, and injustice. Her contributions to society have earned her recognition, including being named one of the “100 heroes of the 20th century” by Time magazine.

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United StatesActivistAsian American

Mari Matsuda

Mari J. Matsuda is an American lawyer, activist, and law professor known for her influential work in critical race theory. Born in 1956, she has made significant contributions to the field of law and has been a strong advocate for social justice and civil rights.

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IndiaActivistJournalist

Jay Mala

Jay Mala (1958-2023) was an Indian journalist, politician, advocate, and social activist. She was a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India, known for filing and winning over 600 cases. Notably, Jay Mala’s landmark case in 1985 brought about significant changes to tort law in India. Her unwavering commitment to justice and activism left a lasting impact on India’s legal and social landscapes.

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United StatesActivistIndigenous

Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Pearl Mankiller was a trailblazing Native American activist, social worker, and community developer. Born in 1945 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, she dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of her people and improving the lives of Native Americans. As the first woman elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, she made transformative changes, building health clinics, establishing education programs, and promoting self-governance. Her legacy continues to inspire others to advocate for marginalized communities.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Minnie M. Kenny

Minnie M. Kenny (1929–August 17, 2005) was a cryptanalyst, educator, and equal opportunity activist who made significant contributions at the National Security Agency (NSA). Throughout her career, she demonstrated exceptional expertise in cryptanalysis, language, and traffic analysis, earning her prestigious awards and recognition. Kenny played a crucial role in transforming the field of cryptography and promoting diversity within the intelligence community.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Florynce Kennedy

Florynce Rae Kennedy was an influential figure in American history, known for her groundbreaking work as a lawyer, radical feminist, civil rights advocate, lecturer, and activist. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Kennedy experienced both poverty during the Great Depression and deep-rooted racism in her mostly white neighborhood. Kennedy’s resilience and intelligence led her to achieve great academic success. She overcame discrimination to become the only black student in her law school class. Kennedy’s activism extended beyond the courtroom. She was a passionate advocate for civil rights and a prominent figure in the Women’s Liberation Movement. Her impact on society laid the foundation for future generations of activists.

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United StatesActivistAmerican Football

Isra Hirsi

Isra Hirsi, born in 2003, is an American environmental activist and co-founder of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike. Her dedication to addressing climate change has made her a prominent figure in the fight for environmental justice. Hirsi’s passion for advocacy stems from her upbringing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her mother’s political career. She has organized numerous student-led strikes and has been recognized for her impactful work, receiving awards such as the Brower Youth Award and being named in Fortune’s 40 Under 40 Government and Politics list. Hirsi continues her activism while pursuing higher education at Barnard College.

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United StatesActivist

Aalayah Eastmond

Aalayah Eastmond, born on March 22, 2001, is an American activist and advocate for gun violence prevention, social justice, and racial equality. Surviving the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, she became a prominent voice in the 2018 United States gun violence protests. Eastmond has testified multiple times to the U.S. Congress and is an executive council member of Team Enough. She co-founded Concerned Citizens of DC to support social justice issues and protests against police brutality.

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South AfricaActivistPolitician

Margaret Ballinger

Margaret Ballinger (née Hodgson; 1894–1980) was the first President of the Liberal Party of South Africa and a South African Member of Parliament. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1894, she relocated to Cape Colony during her childhood. Margaret’s unwavering dedication to the welfare of the black population and her pioneering role as a female politician have left an indelible mark on South Africa’s history.

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United StatesActivistWriter

Emily Parmely Collins

Emily Parmely Collins was a pioneering American suffragist, women’s rights activist, and writer. She established the first woman suffrage and women’s rights society in the United States in 1848. Collins played a significant role in advocating for women’s rights, participating in the abolitionism and temperance movements. Her dedication to women’s educational, industrial, and political rights paved the way for future generations seeking equality.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Irene Moorman Blackstone

Irene Moorman Blackstone (January 1872 – after 1944) was an African-American businesswoman and club member who became active in the fight for women’s suffrage. Along with Alva Belmont, she initiated the interracial cooperation of women in the drive for enfranchisement. When the 19th Amendment passed, she turned her activism toward the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and other programs which worked to uplift the black community and prevent the exclusion of and discrimination against blacks in attaining socio-economic and political equality.

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IndiaActivistGovernment

Yogita Bhayana

Yogita Bhayana is a prominent anti-rape activist in India, known for her tireless efforts to support rape survivors and seek justice for their assailants. She is the head of People Against Rape in India (PARI), an organization dedicated to providing assistance to rape survivors and advocating for their rights. Bhayana has also contributed significantly to the welfare of the homeless population in Delhi, having founded and managed 200 homeless shelters in the city.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams, born on December 9, 1973, in Madison, Wisconsin, is an American politician, lawyer, voting rights activist, and author. She served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017 and was the minority leader from 2011 to 2017. Abrams founded Fair Fight Action in 2018, and her efforts have been widely recognized for boosting voter turnout in Georgia. She was the Democratic nominee in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, becoming the first African-American female major-party gubernatorial nominee in the United States. Abrams continues to be a prominent advocate for voting rights and equal access to the ballot box.

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CubaActivistArcher

Celia Sánchez

Celia Sánchez Manduley was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who played a pivotal role in the Cuban Revolution. She dedicated her life to the cause and became an influential figure in shaping Cuba’s socialist society. Sánchez’s resourcefulness and dedication were evident in her creative methods of communication and her contributions to the revolution continued even after its triumph. Her unwavering commitment to social progress and equality left an indelible impact on the history of Cuba, making her one of the country’s most prominent revolutionaries.

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MexicoActivistIndigenous

Comandanta Ramona

Comandanta Ramona (1959 – January 6, 2006) was an officer of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), a revolutionary indigenous autonomist organization based in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. She led the Zapatista Army into San Cristóbal de las Casas in 1994, and was the first Zapatista to appear publicly in Mexico City. Ramona was born in 1959 in a Tzotzil Maya community in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Growing up in a marginalized community, she experienced poverty and struggled to make a living. Ramona used to sell handmade goods to support herself before she joined the EZLN.

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NicaraguaActivistJudge

Nora Astorga

Nora Josefina Astorga Gadea de Jenkins was a prominent figure in the Nicaraguan Revolution, known for her role as a guerrilla fighter, lawyer, politician, judge, and the Nicaraguan ambassador to the United Nations. Born on December 10, 1948, in Managua, Nicaragua, she hailed from a religious, upper-middle-class family. Her father, Segundo Astorga, had ties to the influential ruling Somoza family, as he was a lumber exporter and rancher. Nora was the eldest child of Segundo and his wife, Mierrel Gadea.

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NicaraguaActivistPoet

Gioconda Belli

Gioconda Belli, born on December 9, 1948, is a Nicaraguan-born novelist and poet who has made significant contributions to Nicaraguan literature. Throughout her career, Belli has demonstrated her literary prowess, with poetry being her primary focus. In 1988, her novel “La Mujer Habitada” gained widespread recognition for introducing gender issues in Nicaraguan revolutionary narratives. With her compelling storytelling and dedication to raising awareness about social issues, Belli remains an influential figure in both Nicaraguan and international literature.

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EgyptActivistMilitary

Rawya Ateya

Rawya Ateya was the first female parliamentarian in the Arab world in 1957. Despite facing obstacles, she defied expectations and became a symbol of progress and change. Ateya’s activism, education, and military service showcased her dedication to her country and paved the way for future generations of women in politics.

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PolandActivistJewish

Roza Robota

Roza Robota, a remarkable and courageous woman, played a significant role in the resistance against the Nazis during the Holocaust. After surviving the initial selection at Auschwitz, she joined the underground resistance within the camp and became involved in smuggling gunpowder for the Sonderkommando’s plan to blow up Crematorium III. Despite being discovered and brutally tortured by the Gestapo, Roza remained steadfast in protecting the identities of her fellow resistance members. She was tragically hanged by the Nazis at the age of 23, leaving behind a legacy of strength and bravery.

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IsraelActivistJewish

Tanya Reinhart

Tanya Reinhart was an influential Israeli linguist and activist who made remarkable contributions to linguistics and the analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Despite facing challenges throughout her career, Reinhart’s work was highly regarded by Noam Chomsky. She explored various aspects of linguistics and her activism earned her respect and admiration. Reinhart passed away in 2007, leaving behind a legacy as a dedicated advocate for Palestinian rights and a prominent figure in the study of linguistics.

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GuadeloupeActivistAfrican American

La Mulâtresse Solitude

La Mulâtresse Solitude (circa 1772 – 1802) was a historical figure and a heroine in the fight against slavery on French Guadeloupe. She has become a legend and a symbol of women’s resistance in the struggle against slavery in the history of the island.

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ChinaActivist

Tang Qunying

Tang Qunying, the first female member of the Tongmenghui, played a pivotal role in the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance and women’s rights movement in China. Her involvement in advocating for suffrage, founding the Women’s Rights Daily, and her contributions to the revolution earned her recognition from Sun Yat-sen himself and the prestigious second-class Order of the Precious Brilliant Golden Grain. Tang’s bravery and determination continue to inspire and empower women in China today.

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BangladeshActivistMountaineer

Wasfia Nazreen

Wasfia Nazreen (born 1982) is a Bangladeshi mountaineer, activist, environmentalist, social worker, and writer. She is widely known as the first Bangladeshi and first Bengali to complete the Seven Summits on 18 November 2015, marking a significant milestone in both her personal achievements and for her country.

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SamoaActivistArcher

Zita Martel

Vaimasenu’u Zita Sefo-Martel, a prominent Samoan women’s rights activist, fautasi skipper, and archer, has made significant contributions to women’s rights, sports, and community development in Samoa. She became the first-ever woman to captain a fautasi in 2001, breaking barriers and inspiring others. With her achievements in skippering and archery, as well as her advocacy against domestic violence, Zita Martel has become an influential figure in Samoan society.

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United StatesActivistTennis

Rosemary Casals

Rosemary “Rosie” Casals, born on September 16, 1948, in San Francisco, California, was an American former professional tennis player who earned her reputation as a rebel in the tennis world during the early 1960s. Despite facing numerous obstacles, Casals had a remarkable tennis career that spanned over two decades, winning more than 90 titles and playing a crucial role in shaping women’s tennis during the 1960s and 1970s.

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JordanActivistJewish

Zein al-Sharaf bint Jamil

Queen Zein al-Sharaf bint Jamil was a prominent figure in Jordanian history, actively supporting charitable works, women’s rights, and playing a significant role in the political development of the country. Her dedication to humanitarian causes and her unwavering commitment to the welfare of orphaned children left a lasting impact on Jordanian society. Her contributions continue to inspire and shape the nation today.

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IndiaUnited KingdomActivist

Sophia Duleep Singh

Princess Sophia Alexandrovna Duleep Singh, born in 1876 in Belgravia, was a prominent suffragette in the UK. Raised in an aristocratic British household with a diverse heritage, she was inspired by her grandmother’s enslavement in Ethiopia, her godmother Queen Victoria, and her father’s exile from the Sikh Empire. Singh’s dedication to women’s rights, as well as her involvement in various suffrage groups, shaped her legacy as a key figure in promoting social change in early twentieth-century Britain.

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IranUnited StatesActivist

Yasmine Pahlavi

Yasmine Pahlavi is an Iranian-American lawyer and human rights activist. She co-founded the Foundation for the Children of Iran and worked as a staff attorney for the Children’s Law Center, advocating for the rights of at-risk and underprivileged youth. She also publicly shared her battle with breast cancer, raising awareness about the importance of early detection. Married to Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, they have three daughters and currently reside in the United States.

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IndiaActivistEducator

Chimnabai II

Maharani Chimnabai II (1872 – 23 August 1958) was a queen and the second wife of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad of Baroda, Gujarat. She dedicated her life to empowering women, focusing on education, social reform, and women’s rights. She played a significant role in breaking down barriers and challenging social norms, leaving behind a lasting legacy of inspiration for future generations of women.

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LesothoActivist

Masenate Mohato Seeiso

Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso, born Anna Karabo Motšoeneng on June 2, 1976, is the Queen of Lesotho as the wife of King Letsie III of Lesotho. She holds the significant distinction of being the first commoner in modern history to marry into the royal family of Lesotho. Throughout her life, Queen Masenate has played a vital role in promoting charitable causes and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS.

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Saudi ArabiaActivist

Iffat bint Mohammad Al Thunayan

Queen Iffat, a Turkish-born Saudi princess, dedicated her life to the improvement of Saudi education. As the prominent wife of King Faisal, she played a vital role in shaping the educational landscape of the country. Her commitment to providing quality education for both boys and girls and her support for her husband’s leadership make her an inspiring figure in Saudi Arabia’s history.

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United StatesActivist

Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta, born in 1930 in Dawson, New Mexico, grew up in a diverse and vibrant community. Influenced by her Mexican immigrant father and compassionate mother, Huerta became a prominent labor leader and civil rights activist. She co-founded the United Farmworkers Association and played a vital role in organizing the Delano grape strike. Recognized for her advocacy, Huerta received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and became the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Her legacy continues to inspire and empower.

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Great BritainActivist

Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales, was a beloved member of the British royal family. Known for her activism and glamour, she brought attention to important causes such as AIDS, cancer, and mental illness. Despite personal challenges, Diana maintained her dedication to her royal duties and left a lasting impact on the world.

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Great BritainUnited KingdomActivist

Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife

Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, played a significant role in the British royal family. As the eldest surviving grandchild of King Edward VII and cousin to George VI, she inherited the Dukedom of Fife. Alexandra actively participated in charitable endeavors and used her position to advocate for women’s rights. Her contributions continue to inspire individuals worldwide.

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Czech RepublicActivistGymnast

Věra Čáslavská

Věra Čáslavská, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, was a legendary artistic gymnast who achieved remarkable success throughout her career. She is hailed as the most decorated Czech gymnast in history, winning a total of 22 international titles, including seven Olympic gold medals. Čáslavská’s dedication, courage, and resilience make her a true trailblazer and an icon in the world of gymnastics.

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CanadaActivistIndigenous

Mary Two-Axe Earley

Mary Two-Axe Earley, a Mohawk and Oneida women’s rights activist from Kahnawake, Quebec, fought against gender discrimination in the Indian Act. She co-founded the Quebec Native Women’s Association, confronted eviction attempts, and led the push for the passage of Bill C-31, which dismantled gender discrimination. Her tireless efforts brought transformative change to First Nations women in Canada.

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TurkeyActivistArtist

Zehra Doğan

Zehra Doğan is a Kurdish artist, journalist, and author who gained international recognition for her courageous activism and use of art to shed light on the struggles of the Kurdish people. Despite facing government oppression, she founded Jinha, a feminist Kurdish news agency, and reported on the intense clashes in Nusaybin. Her art, including a painting depicting the destruction of Nusaybin, became a powerful medium for raising awareness. Despite imprisonment, she continued to defy suppression, and her resilience has made her a remarkable artist and activist in women’s history.

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IraqSwedenActivist

Sara Mohammad

Sara Mohammad, a Kurdish-born Swedish human rights activist and pharmacist, has dedicated her life to fighting against honor killings and honor-related violence. Her personal experience with forced child marriage fueled her passion for advocating for the rights of women and girls. Through her organization GAPF, she has made significant contributions in raising awareness and preventing these forms of violence. Sara’s fearless commitment has been recognized through an honorary doctorate and her outspoken criticism of oppressive cultural norms has made her a prominent figure in the fight for women’s rights.

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ChinaActivistLawyer

Rayhan Asat

Rayhan Asat is a Uyghur lawyer and human rights advocate. Born and raised in Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang, she comes from an academic family. Asat’s journey as an advocate for human rights began when her younger brother, Ekpar Asat, was detained in the Xinjiang internment camp system in 2016. Her relentless efforts have made her a prominent figure in shedding light on the plight of Uyghurs and other minority groups in China, leaving an indelible mark on women’s history.

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AustraliaActivistIndigenous

Pearl Gibbs

Pearl Mary (Gambanyi) Gibbs was an Indigenous Australian activist who played a pivotal role in the Aboriginal movement during the early 20th century. Born on July 18, 1901, in La Perouse, Sydney, Gibbs emerged as the most prominent female activist within the Aboriginal community.

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IndiaActivist

Soni Sori

Soni Sori, a former Adivasi school teacher turned political leader, has dedicated her life to fighting for justice and equality in Chhattisgarh, India. Despite facing personal hardships, including arrest and torture, Sori’s resilience and determination have made her a prominent figure in women’s history and an inspiration to countless individuals. She was honored with the prestigious Front Line Defenders award in 2018 for her unwavering commitment to defending human rights.

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United StatesActivist

Rushan Abbas

Rushan Abbas is a Uyghur American activist and advocate. She founded the nonprofit organization Campaign for Uyghurs and has become one of the most prominent Uyghur voices in international activism. Through her advocacy work, she has raised awareness about the human rights abuses faced by Uyghurs in China and called for international action to address the crisis. Abbas’s tireless efforts and dedication have made her one of the most influential Uyghur voices in the world.

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New ZealandActivist

Whina Cooper

Dame Whina Cooper, a respected kuia (Māori elder), fought for the rights of her people, working tirelessly to improve the lives of Māori women. She led the historic 1975 Māori land march, covering over 1,100 km at the age of 79. Recognized for her national influence, she received prestigious awards in both the British and New Zealand Royal Honors Systems, and was honored by her own people as “Te Whaea o te Motu” (Mother of the Nation).

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HondurasActivistIndigenous

Ana Mirian Romero

Ana Mirian Romero, a Honduran human rights activist, has dedicated her life to fighting for justice and defending the rights of indigenous communities. She has become a prominent leader and voice for the marginalized in Santa Elena, La Paz, Honduras. Romero’s activism includes advocacy for the rights and well-being of the Lenca people and opposing a proposed hydroelectric dam. Despite facing threats and violence, she continues to persevere, driven by her belief in a better future for her community. In 2016, Romero was honored with the prestigious Front Line Defenders Award, recognizing her fearless activism and unwavering commitment to human rights.

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FranceActivistJewish

Aimée Lallement

Marie-Aimée Éléonore Lallement, born on August 16, 1898, in Givet, France, was a prominent figure in the fields of community activism, socialism, and feminism. Best known for her exceptional athletic achievements in the 110m sprint and javelin throw, Lallement also played a significant role as a Righteous Among the Nations during World War II. Her life was filled with remarkable accomplishments, enduring struggles, and a lifelong dedication to improving society and empowering women.

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SloveniaActivist

Majda Vrhovnik

Majda Vrhovnik, also known as Lojzka, dedicated her life to the resistance movement during World War II. Her bravery and sacrifice earned her the posthumous title of a people’s hero of Yugoslavia. Despite the risks, she remained in Ljubljana, carrying out underground activities, setting up printshops, and publishing illegal materials. Unfortunately, her cover was compromised, and she was arrested and executed by the Gestapo just days before the liberation of Klagenfurt.

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LiberiaActivist

Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Roberta Gbowee, born on February 1, 1972, in central Liberia, is a prominent Liberian peace activist known for her instrumental role in leading a women’s nonviolent peace movement, Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. Her tireless efforts and leadership played a crucial role in bringing an end to the brutal Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.

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VietnamActivist

Dương Thu Hương

Dương Thu Hương is a Vietnamese author and political dissident who demonstrated immense bravery during the Vietnam War and the Sino-Vietnamese War. Despite facing severe consequences for her activism, she continued to speak out against the repressive atmosphere created by the Communist government. Her literary career played a pivotal role in her activism, with her novels becoming bestsellers before being banned. Dương’s contribution to literature has garnered international recognition, and she is seen as an influential figure in contemporary Vietnamese literature. She was honored by the French government as a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1994.

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LithuaniaActivistJewish

Ona Šimaitė

Ona Šimaitė was a Lithuanian librarian at Vilnius University who risked her life to aid and rescue Jews in the Vilna Ghetto during World War II. She smuggled food, weapons, and documents into the ghetto, served as a mail carrier, and provided refuge for Jewish children. Despite being captured and tortured by the Gestapo, she survived and continued her work. She was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations in 1966.

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PolandActivistJewish

Zofia Kossak-Szczucka

Zofia Kossak-Szczucka was a Polish writer and World War II resistance fighter. She co-founded two Polish organizations to assist Polish Jews and actively participated in underground press activities. Despite being arrested by the Germans and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, she survived the war. Her bravery, activism, and resilience solidified her place in history as a true hero.

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SlovakiaActivistJewish

Gisi Fleischmann

Gisi Fleischmann was a courageous Zionist activist and leader of the Bratislava Working Group during the Holocaust. She fought against the injustices faced by Jews under Nazi occupation and played a pivotal role in rescuing Jews from deportation and extermination. Although her efforts to negotiate the release of European Jews from captivity ultimately fell through, her work, along with the Bratislava Working Group, exposed the horrors of Auschwitz and saved many lives.

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GermanyActivistEducator

Elisabeth Abegg

Elisabeth Abegg, a German educator and resistance fighter against Nazism, risked her own safety to save numerous lives during the Holocaust. She sheltered approximately 80 Jews between 1942 and 1945, establishing an extensive network of rescuers. Her legacy of bravery and compassion has earned her admiration and respect.

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HungaryActivistJewish

Margit Slachta

Margit Slachta was a Hungarian nun, social activist, politician, and member of parliament of the Kingdom of Hungary. She became the first woman to be elected to the Diet of Hungary in 1920 and founded the Sisters of Social Service in 1923. Slachta dedicated her life to social justice, advocating for women’s rights, and providing assistance to the persecuted, making her an influential figure in Hungarian history.

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FranceLatviaRussia

Maria Skobtsova

Maria Skobtsova, also known as Mother Maria of Paris, was a Russian noblewoman, poet, nun, and member of the French Resistance during World War II. Her life was marked by spirituality, social activism, and a relentless pursuit of justice. Maria’s commitment to social justice led her to found a house of hospitality in Paris, which became a refuge for many during the challenging years leading up to World War II. She actively resisted the Nazi occupation, saving countless lives. Sadly, she was arrested and executed in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, but her life remains an example of love, compassion, and resistance against injustice.

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PhilippinesActivist

Rosa Henson

María Rosa Luna Henson, also known as “Lola Rosa” or Grandma Rosa, was a pioneering figure in Filipino history as the first Filipina to publicly share her story as a comfort woman during World War II. Born on December 5, 1927, in Pasay City, Henson grew up in poverty with her single mother, Julia, in Pampanga in the Central Luzon region.

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North KoreaSouth KoreaActivist

Kim Hak-sun

Kim Hak-sun (1924–1997) was a Korean human rights activist who courageously testified about her experience as a comfort woman for the Japanese military during World War II. Her testimony inspired countless others to speak out and seek justice for the atrocities committed against them. Her legacy lives on as she raised awareness about wartime sexual violence and advocated for human rights.

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South KoreaActivist

Song Sin-do

Song Sin-do (1922-2017) was a Korean former comfort woman who dedicated her life to seeking justice for victims of Japanese military sexual slavery during World War II. Her efforts raised awareness about the atrocities committed against comfort women and left an indelible mark on the history of women’s rights in East Asia.

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North KoreaSouth KoreaActivist

Gil Won-ok

Gil Won-ok, also known as Grandma Gil, is a brave activist and a former Korean comfort woman who has dedicated her life to seeking justice and recognition for the thousands of women who suffered from military sexual violence during World War II. Her experiences and resilience have shed light on the plight of comfort women, and through her activism, she has demanded an official apology from Japan. Gil Won-ok’s unwavering commitment and determination make her an inspirational figure in the fight for justice and the enduring strength of survivors.

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South KoreaActivistRefugee

Kim Bok-dong

Kim Bok-dong (1926-2019) was a Korean human rights activist who fought against sexual slavery and war rape. She was a victim of Japanese military sexual slavery during World War II, enduring eight years of abuse across different countries in Asia. Her experiences led her to become an advocate for justice and awareness, working to secure apologies, reparations, and corrections of Japanese history for “comfort women”. Kim Bok-dong’s legacy as a brave activist continues to inspire the ongoing fight for human rights.

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AustraliaIndonesiaActivist

Jan Ruff O’Herne

Jeanne Alida “Jan” Ruff-O’Herne AO was a Dutch Australian human rights activist who spoke out against war rape. As a “comfort woman” during World War II, she experienced unimaginable suffering and, after remaining silent for fifty years, she courageously demanded justice. Her advocacy brought global attention to the plight of “comfort women” and left an indelible mark on women’s history.

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ChinaUnited StatesActivist

Mabel Ping-Hua Lee

Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, born in 1896 in Guangzhou, China, was a pioneering Chinese-American women’s rights activist and minister. Raised in New York City, Lee became the first Chinese woman in the United States to earn a doctorate in economics from Columbia University. She made her mark as a prominent figure in the suffrage movement and later dedicated her life to advocating for Chinese immigrants and women in her role as a minister. Lee’s dedication and resilience continue to inspire generations fighting for equality and justice.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Charlotta Bass

Charlotta Amanda Spears Bass, born in 1874 in Sumter, South Carolina, was an American educator, newspaper publisher-editor, and civil rights activist. She played a crucial role in advocating for civil rights and addressing social injustices faced by African Americans. Bass’s impact extended beyond her role as a newspaper publisher, as she inspired others to stand up for their rights and became the first African-American woman nominated for Vice President of the United States in 1952.

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United StatesActivist

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, an American labor leader, activist, and feminist, dedicated her life to social justice. From her early introduction to activism, she fought tirelessly for labor groups, challenging societal inequalities and demanding workers’ rights. Despite facing numerous arrests, she was never convicted. A founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Flynn’s legacy as a feminist, labor leader, and activist continues to inspire future generations in the fight for a fairer world.

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SpainActivistPolitician

Luisa Isabel Álvarez de Toledo, 21st Duchess of Medina Sidonia

Luisa Isabel Álvarez de Toledo y Maura, the 21st Duchess of Medina Sidonia, was a prominent figure in Spanish history and an influential political activist. Known as “The Red Duchess” due to her left-wing ideology, she tirelessly fought against the Franco regime, advocating for democracy. Her commitment to social change extended beyond politics, as she challenged traditional gender roles and championed women’s emancipation. Her legacy serves as an inspiration for future generations.

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United StatesActivistSinger

Joan Baez

Joan Baez, a prominent figure in the folk music scene for over six decades, is known for her emotive clarity and dedication to activism. Inspired by her father and grandfather, she developed a deep sense of social responsibility. Baez achieved success with her albums and her repertoire includes songs by influential artists like Bob Dylan. Her commitment to political and social activism has earned her widespread recognition and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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SomaliaActivistDoctor

Hawa Abdi

Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe was a Somali human rights activist and physician. Despite facing numerous challenges, including the Islamist insurgency in southern Somalia, she remained dedicated to her mission of providing healthcare and support to those in need. Abdi’s commitment and resilience in the face of adversity earned her widespread recognition as a champion for human rights and women’s empowerment. She left behind a lasting legacy of compassion and service.

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United StatesActivistJewish

Alice Walker

Alice Walker, born in 1944, is an American novelist, poet, short story writer, and social activist. She made history as the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1982 for her highly acclaimed novel, The Color Purple. Throughout her career, Walker has produced an impressive body of work, including seventeen novels, twelve non-fiction works, and collections of essays and poetry. Her activism covers various social issues, and she is known for coining the term “womanism” to celebrate the strength of women of color. However, her involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and association with David Icke’s works have sparked controversy.

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IrelandActivistSinger

Sinéad O’Connor

Sinéad O’Connor, born in 1966 in Glenageary, County Dublin, Ireland, emerged as a prominent figure in the music industry in the late 1980s and 1990s. Known for her unique voice and fearless exploration of emotions, O’Connor achieved international stardom with her second album, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.” Throughout her career, she has used her platform to advocate for important social and political issues, making her an influential figure and inspiring others to use their voices for positive change.

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NamibiaActivistJournalist

Gwen Lister

Gwen Lister (born 5 December 1953 in East London, South Africa) is a prominent Namibian journalist, publisher, and anti-apartheid activist. With a steadfast commitment to press freedom, Lister has fearlessly endured numerous challenges and made significant contributions to the field of journalism in Namibia.

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NorwayActivistPolitician

Betzy Kjelsberg

Betzy Aleksandra Kjelsberg was a prominent Norwegian women’s rights activist, suffragist, and politician. She co-founded the discussion group Skuld and played a significant role in establishing various women’s associations in Norway. Betzy was also a founding member of the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights and the National Association for Women’s Suffrage. In addition, she served as Norway’s first female factory inspector and represented the country at the International Labour Organization meetings. Betzy’s unwavering dedication to women’s rights and her achievements earned her several honors, leaving an indelible mark on Norwegian history.

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PakistanActivist

Gulalai Ismail

Gulalai Ismail is a renowned Pashtun human rights activist from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. She has dedicated her life to working for women’s empowerment, peace promotion, and fighting against gender discrimination in her country and beyond. Ismail has made significant contributions to the advancement of human rights, particularly in challenging the oppressive culture of violence against women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Her unwavering commitment to justice and equality has earned her numerous awards and recognitions.

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Puerto RicoActivistWriter

Luisa Capetillo

Luisa Capetillo, born in 1879 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, was deeply influenced by her parents’ liberal ideologies. After becoming a mother at 19, she found work in a cigar-making factory where she witnessed the struggles faced by workers, inspiring her to write essays advocating for workers’ and women’s rights. Capetillo challenged traditional gender roles and fought for social equality, leaving a lasting legacy in the labor movement of Puerto Rico. She passed away in 1922, but her contributions to social justice and equality continue to inspire activists today.

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SwedenActivistLaw Enforcement

Kajsa Wahlberg

Kajsa Wahlberg is a prominent figure in the fight against human trafficking and is widely regarded as Sweden’s national rapporteur on the opposition activities. With the title of Detective Inspector, she serves as the head of the human trafficking unit within the Swedish Police Authority.

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LiberiaActivistMuslim

Asatu Bah Kenneth

Asatu Bah Kenneth, a prominent Liberian activist, played a crucial role in ending the Second Liberian Civil War and founding the Liberian Muslim Women’s Organization. She collaborated with Leymah Roberta Gbowee to lead protests and advocate for peace, employing tactics such as sex strikes and sit-ins. Asatu’s activism and career in law enforcement made her a key figure in implementing reforms and addressing malpractices within the Liberian police force. Her dedication to peace and social justice continues to inspire and impact Liberia.

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IndonesiaActivistAstronomer

Karlina Leksono Supelli

Karlina Leksono Supelli, born in Jakarta in 1958, is a pioneering Indonesian philosopher and astronomer. She was one of the first female astronomers in Indonesia and made significant contributions to the field. Additionally, Karlina actively engaged in activism, advocating for societal change and defending the rights of marginalized communities. Her dedication to academia and her commitment to creating a more equitable world make her an inspiration to future generations.

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IndonesiaActivistLawyer

Nani Soewondo-Soerasno

Nani Soewondo-Soerasno was a prominent Indonesian lawyer, suffragist, and women’s rights activist. Born in 1918 in Semarang, she played a crucial role in advocating for women’s rights and gender equality in post-independence Indonesia. Soewondo-Soerasno dedicated her career to shaping legislation and improving the legal protection of Indonesian women, leaving a lasting impact on the country’s legal landscape.

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NetherlandsUnited StatesActivist

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch-American activist, has dedicated her life to speaking out against the mistreatment of Muslim women and advocating for their rights and self-determination. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1969, she has experienced firsthand the oppression faced by Muslim women and has become a vocal critic of Islam’s oppressive practices such as forced marriage, honor killings, child marriage, and female genital mutilation. Despite facing controversy and threats, Ayaan has remained steadfast in her commitment to exposing injustice and sparking discussions about the need for reform within Islam.

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IndiaActivist

Angellica Aribam

Angellica Aribam, an Indian political activist, has dedicated her work to gender, race, and the democratization of politics. She founded the Femme First Foundation to promote women’s political leadership in India. Aribam’s unwavering dedication to empowering women has left an indelible mark on women’s history in India.

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New ZealandActivist

Kate Sheppard

Katherine Wilson Sheppard, better known as Kate Sheppard, was a prominent figure in the women’s suffrage movement in New Zealand. She dedicated her life to advocating for women’s rights and was instrumental in achieving universal suffrage in New Zealand in 1893. Her tireless efforts and persuasive abilities paved the way for future generations of women. Though her political activity waned in later years, Sheppard’s legacy lives on as a pioneer for gender equality. Her portrait adorns the New Zealand ten-dollar note, a fitting tribute to her lasting impact.

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IndiaActivist

Sunitha Krishnan

Sunitha Krishnan (born 1972) is an Indian social activist and chief functionary and co-founder of Prajwala, a non-governmental organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and reintegrates sex-trafficked victims into society. She is a prominent figure in India’s fight against human trafficking and has dedicated her life to bringing justice and restoring dignity to the victims of this heinous crime.

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NamibiaActivist

Rosa Namises

Rosa Namises, also known as Visolela Rosalinda “Rosa” Namises, was born in 1958 in the Old Location of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. She hails from the Damara people, and her bravery and dedication to human rights and gender equality have earned her the nickname “Rosa Luxemburg of Namibia.”

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IranActivistJournalist

Parvin Ardalan

Parvin Ardalan is a prominent Iranian women’s rights activist, writer, and journalist. Despite not speaking Kurdish, she has made significant contributions to the fight for equal rights for men and women in Iran. Ardalan’s dedication to this cause has earned her recognition both within Iran and internationally.

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IranActivist

Saba Kord Afshari

Saba Kord Afshari, an Iranian political prisoner, gained international recognition for defying Iran’s mandatory hijab law. Her bravery and activism made her a symbol of resistance, standing up for women’s rights and personal freedom. Despite facing imprisonment and a harsh sentence, she continues to inspire individuals in Iran and around the world to fight for human rights.

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IranActivistJournalist

Sediqeh Dowlatabadi

Sediqeh Dowlatabadi (1882-1961) was an Iranian feminist activist and journalist who dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights and promoting education and empowerment for women in Iran. Despite facing opposition and threats, she established one of the first girls’ primary schools and the first women’s gazette in Isfahan. Her activism extended beyond Iran’s borders, and her efforts laid the foundation for future generations of activists in the Iranian women’s movement.

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IranActivistLawyer

Shirin Ebadi

Shirin Ebadi, born in 1947 in Hamadan, Iran, is a Nobel laureate, lawyer, former judge, and founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. She became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her pioneering efforts in advancing democracy and fighting for the rights of women, children, and refugees. Despite facing threats and harassment, Ebadi continues to be an influential voice for human rights.

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IranActivistArcher

Rayehe Mozafarian

Rayehe Mozafarian is a prominent Iranian women and children rights activist, author, and documentary filmmaker. She has dedicated her life to raising awareness and fighting for the rights of women and children in Iran, particularly against harmful practices like female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. Her books, such as “Razor and Tradition” and “The Knot: Early Marriage in Iran,” as well as her documentary films, have made significant contributions to shedding light on these issues and advocating for change.

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IsraelActivistJewish

Esther Eillam

Esther Eillam, born in Tel Aviv in 1939, is a prominent figure in Israeli feminism. Her activism and writings on feminism and social justice have made her a central figure in the feminist movement in Israel since its inception. Eillam’s tireless efforts have earned her numerous awards and recognition, including an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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IsraelActivistJewish

Anat Hoffman

Anat Hoffman is an Israeli activist and the Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center. She is also the director and founding member of Nashot HaKotel, also known as Women of the Wall. Known for her advocacy for gender equality and women’s rights at the Western Wall, Hoffman has been recognized for her prominent role in promoting religious pluralism in Jewish society.

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ItalyActivist

Anna Maria Mozzoni

Anna Maria Mozzoni (1837-1920) is considered the pioneer of the women’s movement in Italy. She tirelessly advocated for social equality and women’s rights, playing a vital role in achieving women’s suffrage in her country. Mozzoni’s groundbreaking work in feminist literature and her dedicated activism left a lasting impact, inspiring women worldwide in the fight for gender equality.

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JordanActivistLawyer

Hadeel Abdel Aziz

Hadeel Abdel Aziz is a Jordanian legal expert and human rights activist. She is the executive director of the Justice Center for Legal Aid in Jordan, where she focuses on judicial reform and providing access to justice through legal aid clinics. Abdel Aziz has been recognized for her commitment to defending human rights, empowering marginalized groups, and advocating for the abolishment of controversial laws. Her tireless efforts have made her a respected figure both nationally and internationally.

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KazakhstanActivist

Bakhytzhan Toregozhina

Bakhytzhan Toregozhina is a Kazakhstani human rights activist who has dedicated over two decades of her life to campaigning against the violations of fundamental rights in Kazakhstan. Throughout her career, Toregozhina has been a leading voice speaking out on behalf of victims of torture, abuse, and politicized repression.

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KenyaActivist

Nice Nailantei Leng’ete

Nice Nailantei Leng’ete is a Kenyan human rights activist known for her tireless efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and advocate for the rights of young girls. Born in 1991 in the village of Kimana in Maasai country, Kenya, Leng’ete’s life has been shaped by her personal experiences and her determination to create a better future for girls in her community and beyond.

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LebanonActivistLawyer

Laure Moghaizel

Laure Moghaizel was a Lebanese attorney and prominent women’s rights advocate. She made significant contributions to society through her work in the legal field, her involvement in various organizations, and her unwavering dedication to promoting women’s rights. Moghaizel’s commitment to gender equality and women’s rights in Lebanon continues to inspire future generations.

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HungaryActivistEducator

Vilma Glücklich

Vilma Glücklich (1872–1927) was a Hungarian educational reformer, pacifist, and women’s rights activist. She played a crucial role in advancing the cause of women’s rights and education in Hungary during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Glücklich’s pioneering efforts in higher education for women and her tireless advocacy for gender equality left a lasting impact on Hungarian society.

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NetherlandsActivistDoctor

Aletta Jacobs

Aletta Henriëtte Jacobs, a Dutch physician and women’s suffrage activist, made history as the first woman to be admitted to the University of Groningen in 1871. She later became the first woman in the Netherlands to earn a doctorate in medicine in 1879. Jacobs’s groundbreaking work in reproductive health and her tireless efforts for women’s rights continue to inspire future generations.

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ChinaActivist

Xiang Jingyu

Xiang Jingyu, born on September 4, 1895, in Xupu, Hunan province, was a pioneering member of the Chinese Communist Party and a prominent figure in the women’s movement in China. Despite her untimely execution by the Kuomintang government in 1928, she left a lasting legacy of dedication to Marxism and the advancement of women’s rights.

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ChinaActivist

Zheng Churan

Zheng Churan is a prominent Chinese women’s rights activist and feminist, known for her unwavering commitment to gender equality. As one of the key members of the Feminist Five, she organized events and advocated for change in the face of societal discrimination. Zheng’s activism has earned her international recognition, including being named one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2016. Her work extends beyond activism, as she also operates an online store that empowers women through fashion. Zheng’s dedication and bravery make her a role model for women in China.

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DenmarkActivist

Severine Casse

Severine Andrea Casse was an influential Danish women’s rights activist and a key member of the Danish Women’s Society. Her dedication to social and political reforms for women led to significant advancements in women’s rights, including the granting of a wife’s right to control her own earnings. Her exceptional skills as a public speaker and her unwavering commitment continue to inspire women today.

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DenmarkActivist

Matilde Bajer

Matilde Bajer, a prominent Danish women’s rights activist and pacifist, dedicated her life to fighting for gender equality and peace. She played a pivotal role in establishing the Danish Women’s Society and co-founded the political wing of the Women’s Progress Association. Bajer’s advocacy extended beyond women’s rights to actively participating in the Danish Peace Society. Her uncompromising dedication to these causes inspired generations of women to fight for equality and peace.

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DenmarkActivistEducator

Anne Bruun

Anne Kirstine Bruun (1853-1934) was a Danish schoolteacher and women’s rights activist. She overcame objections from her parents to pursue her passion for education and became a pioneering advocate for gender equality in the teaching profession. Bruun played a crucial role in the establishment of education foundations and fought for equal pay for male and female teachers. She was also actively involved in combatting public prostitution and sex trafficking, leaving a lasting impact on Danish society.

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IraqActivistEpidemiologist

Widad Akrawi

Widad Akrawi is a Kurdish health expert and human rights activist. Her experiences during the Iraqi government offensive against the Kurds and the Al-Anfal Campaign shaped her commitment to human rights. From documenting cases of torture to advocating against authoritarianism, Akrawi fearlessly fought for justice and equality. She holds advanced degrees in genetics and international health, and co-founded Defend International, a human rights organization. Recognized with numerous awards, Akrawi’s lifelong dedication and impact on society make her an inspiration to individuals worldwide.

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DenmarkActivistNurse

Thora Knudsen

Thora Alvilda Knudsen was a Danish nurse, women’s rights activist, and philanthropist. She had a successful nursing career at Frederiks Hospital in Copenhagen and was even granted the position of head nurse of operations after just nine months of training. Knudsen was also a vocal advocate for women’s suffrage and actively supported the Nurses’ Organization. Her dedication to improving healthcare, advancing women’s rights, and serving those in need continues to inspire and shape society.

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EcuadorActivist

Rosa Zárate y Ontaneda

Rosa Zárate y Ontaneda was an Ecuadorian feminist who played a vital role in the Ecuadorian independence movement during the 19th century. She tirelessly fought for women’s rights and contributed to raising awareness and support for the cause. Unfortunately, her dedication led to tragic consequences as she and her husband were brutally executed by decapitation for their involvement in the independence movement. Rosa Zárate’s legacy lives on in Ecuador, with schools and towns named in her honor.

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AfghanistanActivist

Hasina Jalal

Hasina Jalal is an advocate for women’s rights and democracy in Afghanistan. She has played a significant role in promoting gender equality and empowering Afghan women and girls. Her dedication to these causes has earned her recognition both nationally and internationally.

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EgyptActivistEducator

Ihsan El-Kousy

Ihsan El-Kousy (born in 1900) was the first Egyptian Muslim woman to graduate from the American University of Beirut. She played a significant role in promoting women’s education and empowerment in Egypt during the early 20th century.

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ArgentinaActivistJournalist

Virginia Bolten

Virginia Bolten, an Argentine journalist, anarchist, and feminist activist, made significant contributions to the fight for women’s rights in Argentina. Known for her exceptional oratory skills, Bolten organized demonstrations and strikes, published anarchist newspapers, and fought for labor rights. Her dedication to social justice remained steadfast throughout her lifetime, making her an influential figure in the anarchist and feminist movements.

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EgyptActivist

Entisar Elsaeed

Entisar Elsaeed, an Egyptian activist for women’s rights, has made a significant impact on Egyptian society through her tireless efforts and dedication. Focusing on issues like female genital mutilation and domestic abuse, Elsaeed has fought for stricter laws and raised awareness about these harmful practices. Her work extends beyond Egypt as she advocates for gender equality and education, making her a beacon of hope for women globally.

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ArgentinaActivist

Azucena Villaflor

Azucena Villaflor was an Argentine activist and co-founder of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. After her son and his girlfriend were abducted during Argentina’s Dirty War, Villaflor dedicated herself to finding them and seeking justice. Her leadership and determination inspired others to join the movement, symbolized by the white headscarves they wore. Sadly, Villaflor was abducted and murdered, but her legacy lives on through the ongoing fight for human rights.

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EgyptActivistBusiness

Soraya Bahgat

Soraya Bahgat is a Finnish-Egyptian social entrepreneur and women’s rights advocate, best known for founding Tahrir Bodyguard in 2012 to protect women from mob sexual assaults in Tahrir Square. Her efforts have gained international recognition and shed light on the experiences faced by Egyptian activists. Bahgat’s commitment to fighting for women’s equality and safety in Egypt is a testament to her deep-rooted dedication to challenging societal norms.

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ChinaActivistEducator

Huixing

Huixing (1871–1905) was a remarkable figure during the Qing dynasty, known for her pioneering efforts in education and activism for women’s rights. Born into the illustrious Gūwalgiya clan, an ethnic Manchu family, Huixing’s upbringing provided her with a unique perspective on society and its expectations for women.

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EgyptActivistWriter

Nawal El Saadawi

Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian feminist writer, activist, and physician, dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights and challenging patriarchal norms. Born in 1931, Saadawi grew up in a relatively liberal household that valued education for both girls and boys. Her experiences with gender violence and witnessing the discrimination faced by women in Egyptian society fueled her lifelong commitment to advocating for women’s rights. Saadawi’s contributions to women’s rights in Egypt and beyond earned her numerous awards and recognition, solidifying her legacy as a trailblazer in women’s history.

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ChinaActivist

Mao Hengfeng

Mao Hengfeng, born in 1961, is a prominent women’s rights and human rights activist in China. Despite facing immense challenges, including detention and forced abortions, Mao’s unwavering determination and courage have made her a symbol of resilience and defiance in the face of oppression. Her activism has inspired countless others in the fight for gender equality and human rights.

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EgyptActivistWriter

Huda Sha’arawi

Huda Sha’arawi, a pioneering Egyptian feminist leader, played a prominent role in the Egyptian Revolution of 1919 and became the first president of the Wafdist Women’s Central Committee. She not only fought for women’s rights but also actively participated in Egyptian nationalism. Her memoir, “Modhakkerātī,” provides a valuable account of her life and experiences as an Egyptian feminist. Huda Sha’arawi’s contributions continue to inspire women worldwide in their pursuit of gender equality and social justice.

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ChinaActivistBroadcaster

Lü Jinghua

Lü Jinghua, born in Chongqing in 1960, was a Chinese dissident and activist who played a crucial role in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 as a key member of the Beijing Workers’ Autonomous Federation. Her dedication to democracy and freedom led her to become an influential figure in shedding light on human rights abuses in China, making her a symbol of resistance and a champion for change.

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FranceActivistMuslim

Ndella Paye

Ndella Paye Diouf, a militant French Afro-feminist and Muslim theologian, fights against the requirement for young Muslim women to wear the hijab in French schools. Born in Senegal circa 1974, she moved to France at 19 to join her diplomat father. Ndella’s work focuses on promoting racial and gender equality and empowering her three daughters. Her unique perspectives on religion embrace Islam while advocating for the equality of men and women.

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ChinaActivistWriter

Wang Huiwu

Wang Huiwu was a prominent social reformer and women’s rights activist in China. She played a vital role in the Chinese Communist Party as a women’s organizer, and was known for running the first Communist-sponsored journal featuring articles written by women. Wang’s dedication to women’s emancipation and her role in early CCP years have solidified her place in history as a pioneering feminist and advocate for social change.

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FranceActivist

Hubertine Auclert

Hubertine Auclert was a prominent French feminist and suffragist who played a vital role in advocating for women’s rights and suffrage in France. Despite facing challenges and a Roman Catholic upbringing, she became actively involved in feminist work and played a significant role in shaping public opinion on women’s suffrage. Her activism and contributions helped advance the feminist movement in France.

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TaiwanActivistPolitician

Xie Xuehong

Xie Xuehong, a remarkable Chinese politician and women’s rights activist, played a significant role in the history of Taiwan and the Chinese Communist Party. Her dedication to social justice and fighting for women’s rights made her a prominent figure in the struggle for equality.

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RomaniaActivistEducator

Eugenia de Reuss Ianculescu

Eugenia de Reuss Ianculescu (1866-1938) was a Romanian teacher, writer, and women’s rights activist. She co-founded the Women’s League, the first feminist organization in Romania, and later established the League for Romanian Women’s Rights and Duties. For five decades, she tirelessly fought for women’s suffrage, using various forms of activism to advocate for gender equality. Her determination and efforts paved the way for Romanian women to gain participation in general elections, ensuring their rights and pursuit of equality for future generations.

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United KingdomActivist

Anne Knight

Anne Knight (2 November 1786 – 4 November 1862) was an English social reformer, abolitionist, and pioneer of feminism. She played a significant role in advancing women’s rights and fighting for the abolition of slavery. Known for her fierce dedication and unwavering determination, Knight made important contributions to the feminist movement in the United Kingdom during the 19th century.

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RomaniaActivistLawyer

Ella Negruzzi

Ella Negruzzi (1876–1948) was a Romanian lawyer and women’s rights activist, and the first female lawyer in Romania (1913). She co-founded the Association for the Civil and Political Emancipation of Romanian Women (1917), the Group of Democratic Lawyers (1935), and the Women’s Front (1936). Negruzzi’s lifelong dedication to women’s rights left a lasting impact on Romanian society, inspiring women to strive for equal rights and opportunities.

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Great BritainActivist

Olive Morris

Olive Morris was a Jamaican-born British activist who dedicated her life to fighting for feminism, black nationalism, and squatters’ rights. Despite growing up in a racially segregated society, she showed resilience in pursuing her education and later became deeply involved in the black British activism of the 1960s and 1970s. Morris co-founded various organizations, played a key role in establishing community spaces, and fought against racial injustice and police brutality. Her legacy continues to inspire future generations.

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RomaniaActivistJournalist

Sofia Nădejde

Sofia Nădejde, a remarkable Romanian novelist, playwright, translator, journalist, women’s rights activist, and socialist, made significant contributions in various fields and played a crucial role in advocating for women’s social and political emancipation. She was a talented writer, feminist, and progressive thinker, leaving an indelible mark on women’s history in Romania.

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Great BritainIrelandActivist

Mary Fildes

Mary Fildes, a prominent figure in the Manchester Female Reform Society, played a pivotal role in the mass rally at Manchester in 1819, which tragically ended in the infamous Peterloo massacre. Born Mary Pritchard in Cork, Ireland, between 1789 and 1792, she belonged to a family of Manchester grocers.

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RomaniaActivist

Maria Baiulescu

Maria Baiulescu was a renowned Romanian author, suffragist, women’s rights activist, Romanian nationalist, and feminist leader. Dedicated to the cause of women’s rights and preserving Romania’s cultural identity, she founded organizations, advocated for equality, and contributed significantly to literature and theater. Her impact on Romanian society lives on through the naming of a technical college in Brașov in her honor.

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United KingdomActivistPolitician

Millicent Fawcett

Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett was a prominent British politician, writer, and activist who played a pivotal role in the fight for women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom. As the leader of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), Fawcett orchestrated numerous campaigns and lobbied tirelessly for the right to vote. Her strategic approach and unwavering dedication made her an influential figure in the suffrage movement, ultimately leading to the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918. Fawcett’s impact on women’s rights in the UK was so profound that she became the first woman to be honored with a statue in Parliament Square in 2018.

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BelgiumActivist

Marie Popelin

Marie Popelin was a Belgian jurist and early feminist political campaigner. She was the first Belgian woman to earn a doctorate in law and fought against gender discrimination in the legal profession. Her efforts inspired other women to pursue careers in law and she played a pivotal role in establishing the Belgian League for the Rights of Women. Despite never gaining admission to the bar, Popelin’s legacy continues to inspire and empower women in their fight for gender equality.

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United KingdomActivistWriter

Jessie Boucherett

Jessie Boucherett, born in November 1825, was a prominent English campaigner for women’s rights. Inspired by the challenges faced by women during the 19th century, she played a pivotal role in raising awareness and advocating for women’s suffrage. Boucherett co-founded organizations such as the Society for Promoting the Training of Women and published influential works that addressed the barriers and injustices faced by women. Her tireless efforts laid the foundation for greater gender equality and empowered future generations of women in Victorian England.

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AustraliaActivistIndigenous

Jessie Street

Jessie Mary Grey, Lady Street, was an Australian diplomat and suffragette who dedicated over 50 years of her life to fighting for women’s rights and gender equality. She played a crucial role in advocating for gender equality at the United Nations, ensuring the inclusion of gender as a non-discrimination clause in the United Nations Charter. Her unwavering commitment to social justice and her lasting impact on gender equality continue to inspire women around the world.

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United KingdomActivist

Myra Sadd Brown

Myra Eleanor Sadd Brown was a pioneering campaigner for women’s rights, an activist, and internationalist. She fearlessly fought for gender equality and played a crucial role in the suffragette movement, paving the way for future generations of women to have a voice in society. Born in Maldon, Essex in 1872, she came from a privileged upbringing and was privately educated. Myra Sadd Brown’s dedication to women’s suffrage knew no limits, as she even broke a window at the War Office and endured force-feeding during her imprisonment. Her tireless efforts and indomitable spirit continue to inspire women around the world.

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AustriaActivistEducator

Auguste Fickert

Auguste Fickert (1855-1910) was a pioneering feminist and social reformer from Austria. Known for her dedication to education and women’s rights, she fought for universal suffrage and better treatment of women civil servants and prostitutes. Despite facing criticism and opposition, Fickert remained steadfast in her beliefs and left an indelible mark on Austrian society.

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SwedenActivistWriter

Rosalie Olivecrona

Rosalie Ulrika Olivecrona, née Roos, was a Swedish feminist activist and writer. She was a key figure in the women’s rights movement in Sweden, along with Fredrika Bremer and Sophie Adlersparre. Olivecrona co-founded the paper “Tidskrift för hemmet” and played a significant role in the founding of the Swedish Red Cross. Her advocacy for equal rights and opportunities for women laid the foundation for future advancements in women’s rights in Sweden.

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BotswanaActivistLawyer

Unity Dow

Unity Dow (née Diswai; born 23 April 1959) is a Motswana lawyer, human rights activist, specially elected member of parliament, and a writer. She has made significant contributions to the field of law, fought for women’s rights, and played a crucial role in the protection of indigenous people’s rights in Botswana.

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Great BritainIrelandActivist

Helen Blackburn

Helen Blackburn was a feminist, writer, and advocate for women’s rights. Born in Ireland in 1842, she played a significant role in the women’s suffrage movement in Britain and Ireland. Blackburn co-established the Women’s Employment Defence League and made important contributions to women’s suffrage publications. Her dedication to women’s rights and activism has left a lasting impact on women’s history.

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IranSwedenActivist

Soheila Fors

Soheila Fors (born 8 February 1967) is an Iranian-Swedish women’s rights activist, writer, and founder of the Khatoon-foundation for immigrant women. She has made significant contributions to the empowerment and support of women, particularly those from immigrant backgrounds, who have experienced abuse and isolation.

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SwedenActivistPolitician

Ellen Hagen

Ellen Helga Louise Hagen was a leading Swedish suffragette, feminist, and politician. Her tireless advocacy for women’s rights led to the granting of women’s suffrage in Sweden in 1919. Hagen’s contributions extended beyond Sweden, as she also became involved in international peace work during the 1920s and 1930s. Her dedication to empowering women and promoting equality left an indelible mark on both Swedish society and the women’s rights movement as a whole.

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SwedenActivistEducator

Anna Hierta-Retzius

Anna Hierta-Retzius, a prominent Swedish women’s rights activist and philanthropist, dedicated herself to advocating for women’s rights, educational reform, and social justice. She founded evening schools, libraries, and banks for women, and played a pivotal role in various organizations fighting for women’s rights and welfare. Her influential role in women’s rights activism extended internationally, making her a significant figure in Swedish history.

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SwedenActivistEducator

Gertrud Adelborg

Gertrud Virginia Adelborg, a Swedish teacher and feminist, played a significant role in the women’s suffrage movement. She was a key member of the Swedish women’s movement and fought for women’s rights throughout her career. Adelborg’s efforts, including presenting petitions for suffrage and advocating for women’s education, were instrumental in bringing about significant changes in Sweden.

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SwedenActivist

Ellen Anckarsvärd

Ellen Anckarsvärd, a significant figure in the women’s rights movement in Sweden during the 19th century, played a key role in various women’s organizations and associations. She advocated for increased property rights, handicrafts, and gender equality, and her exceptional intellect and efficiency made her instrumental in the success of the Married Woman’s Property Rights Association. Anckarsvärd’s dedication to empowering women economically and socially left a lasting impact on the advancement of women’s rights in Sweden.

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SwedenActivistWriter

Frigga Carlberg

Frigga Carlberg, born Anna Fredrika Lundgren, was a distinguished Swedish writer, social worker, feminist, and advocate for women’s suffrage. She founded organizations to support vulnerable individuals, chaired an organization for female social workers, and became a central figure in the suffrage movement. Her novels and plays shed light on women’s issues and influenced policy and public perception. Carlberg’s dedication to women’s rights and social progress earned her the prestigious Illis quorum award in 1921. Her legacy as a resilient, compassionate, and influential figure continues to inspire women today.

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RomaniaActivistWriter

Izabela Sadoveanu-Evan

Izabela Sadoveanu-Evan, born in 1870 in Săucești, Romania, was a prominent literary critic and feminist activist. Coming from a prestigious Moldavian family, she devoted her life to socialist ideals and played a significant role in promoting education reform and women’s rights. Her legacy lives on, leaving an indelible mark on Romanian society.

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Great BritainActivistEducator

Pleasance Pendred

Pleasance Pendred, a British suffragette, dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights. Participating in militant actions, she faced imprisonment, force-feeding, and spoke out against the mistreatment of suffragettes. Her activism made a lasting impact on society.

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United StatesActivist

Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke, born in 1973, is an American activist who started the MeToo movement. Her initiative in 2006 to help women stand up for themselves led to a viral hashtag and an international movement. Burke’s commitment to survivors of sexual violence and her instrumental role in the MeToo movement have solidified her place in women’s history.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Elizabeth Freeman

Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Bet or Mum Bet, was the first enslaved African American to file and win a freedom suit in Massachusetts. Her courageous fight for freedom and the subsequent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court marked a significant milestone in the struggle for emancipation and the abolition of slavery in the United States.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Jenny Slew

Jenny Slew (1719 – after 1765) is known for being one of the first black Americans to successfully sue for her freedom through a trial by jury. Her life was marked by perseverance and a determination to assert her rights, making her a trailblazer in the fight against slavery and an important figure in women’s history.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Margaret Sanger

Margaret Higgins Sanger, later known as Margaret Sanger Slee, was born on September 14, 1879, in Corning, New York. She grew up in a large, Catholic family and her childhood experiences greatly influenced her later work as a birth control activist and women’s rights advocate. Her mother, Anne Higgins, was a devout Catholic who had 18 pregnancies in 22 years, with 11 children surviving to adulthood. Sanger’s mother’s frequent pregnancies and the hardships they brought upon the family made a lasting impression on her.

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United StatesActivist

Rosalie Gardiner Jones

Rosalie Gardiner Jones, known as “General Jones,” was a determined suffragette who organized marches and rallies to fight for women’s right to vote in the United States. Despite her mother’s opposition, she led marches that gained national attention, including a historic journey from New York to Washington D.C. Her leadership and commitment greatly influenced the suffrage movement and helped lead to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Pauli Murray

Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray (1910-1985) was an American civil rights activist, legal scholar, and Episcopal priest. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, she overcame significant challenges to become a leading voice for justice and equality. Murray’s groundbreaking work on civil rights and gender equality left a lasting impact on American society.

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United StatesActivistBiologist

Alice Paul

Alice Stokes Paul was a prominent American Quaker, suffragist, feminist, and women’s rights activist. Known for her exceptional leadership skills and unwavering determination, she played a pivotal role in the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Paul’s influential work helped secure the right to vote for women and laid the foundation for future advancements in gender equality.

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United StatesActivistLawyer

Carol Downer

Carol Downer (born 1933 in Oklahoma) is an American feminist lawyer and non-fiction author who dedicated her career to advocating for abortion rights and women’s health around the world. Her contributions to the self-help movement and her involvement in establishing the first self-help clinic in Los Angeles have made her a prominent figure in women’s history.

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United StatesActivistJewish

Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan, renowned American feminist writer and activist, was born in 1921 in Peoria, Illinois. Her parents, Harry and Miriam Goldstein, were Jewish immigrants from Russia and Hungary. Friedan’s experiences with gender inequalities and limitations as a woman in both her own community and the wider society motivated her to challenge traditional gender roles and advocate for women’s rights. She conducted research among her former classmates and wrote the groundbreaking book “The Feminine Mystique,” which sparked the second wave of American feminism. Friedan co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) and led the Women’s Strike for Equality in 1970. She continued her advocacy work and authored six books, leaving an immeasurable impact on the feminist movement and women’s history.

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United StatesActivistWriter

Antoinette Brown Blackwell

Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell was a trailblazer in the fight for women’s rights in the United States. As the first woman to be ordained as a mainstream Protestant minister, she used her religious faith to advocate for gender equality. Her legacy of courage and dedication continues to inspire generations of women today.

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United StatesActivist

Yolanda Bako

Yolanda Bako, an American feminist and activist against domestic violence, dedicated her life to helping victims of domestic violence. Born in 1946 to Hungarian parents in the Bronx, her upbringing greatly influenced her perspective on the world. Bako co-founded Women’s Survival Space, the first state-funded shelter for battered women in Brooklyn, and played a crucial role in raising awareness about sexual assault. Her tireless work and contributions to the feminist movement left a lasting impact on society.

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United StatesActivist

Jane Addams

Laura Jane Addams, a prominent American settlement activist, reformer, and author, was born on September 6, 1860, in Cedarville, Illinois. From a young age, Addams faced adversities, including the loss of family members and a battle with tuberculosis. Despite these challenges, she dedicated her life to social reform and equality, co-founding Hull House and becoming an influential figure in women’s suffrage. Addams’ remarkable contributions earned her a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and a legacy of compassion and activism.

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EnglandFranceActivist

Emma Watson

Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson is an English actress, model, and activist. Known for her roles in both blockbusters and independent films, as well as for her women’s rights work, she has become a prominent figure in the entertainment industry. Watson was born in Paris, France, to lawyer parents Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson. She has a younger brother named Alex. At the age of five, her parents divorced, and she moved to England with her mother and brother. Growing up, Watson developed a passion for acting and took part in various school plays. She attended the Dragon School, an esteemed preparatory school in Oxford, England. In her pursuit of acting, Watson enrolled in the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, where she honed her skills and gained confidence in her craft. She showcased her talent early on when she auditioned for the role of Hermione Granger in the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s best-selling book series, Harry Potter. Watson’s audition was a success, and she secured the role that would become her breakthrough.

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United KingdomActivistPolitician

Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist who tirelessly fought for women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom. She founded the Women’s Social and Political Union and advocated for suffrage through confrontational tactics, which often led to imprisonment and hunger strikes. Pankhurst’s relentless dedication played a crucial role in achieving voting rights for women in the UK.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Rebecca Cole

Rebecca J. Cole was an American physician and social reformer who became the second African-American woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. Despite facing racial and gender-based barriers, Cole made significant contributions in the field of medicine and advocacy for women’s rights. She paved the way for future African American women in medicine and fought for healthcare access for underprivileged communities.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Septima Poinsette Clark

Septima Poinsette Clark was an African American educator and civil rights activist who played a significant role in the fight for voting rights and civil rights for African Americans. Despite facing under-appreciation, Clark’s contributions were vital in empowering marginalized groups and promoting social change. She is often referred to as the “Queen mother” or “Grandmother” of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and Martin Luther King Jr. recognized her as “The Mother of the Movement.”

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Rosa Slade Gragg

Dr. Rosa Slade Gragg was an American activist and politician who dedicated her life to creating opportunities for black women and advocating for racial equality. Her influential work in education and her role as an advisor to three United States presidents solidified her place as a pioneer for women’s rights and African American progress. Gragg’s advocacy efforts caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and she was appointed to a national advisory board of the Federal Office of Civil Defense. Her tireless dedication continues to inspire generations of women.

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United StatesActivist

Angela Davis

Angela Yvonne Davis, an American Marxist and feminist political activist, was born on January 26, 1944, in Birmingham, Alabama. Growing up amidst racial violence and discrimination, she became deeply involved in activism and pursued education to further her political beliefs. Davis joined the Communist Party USA and played a significant role in the second-wave feminist movement. Despite controversies, she has received numerous awards and recognition for her contributions to peace, justice, and the feminist movement.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Ella Baker

Ella Josephine Baker was an African-American civil rights and human rights activist who played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Known for her dedication to grassroots organizing and empowering the oppressed, Baker worked alongside prominent civil rights leaders, challenging the notion of charismatic leadership and advocating for radical democracy. Her influence on the movement was significant, and she is considered one of the most important American leaders of the twentieth century.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Ethelene Crockett

Ethelene Jones Crockett (1914–1978) was a pioneering African-American physician and activist from Detroit. Overcoming discrimination and barriers, she became Michigan’s first African-American woman to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Crockett dedicated her life to providing healthcare and support to her community, while also advocating for public daycare centers, family planning, and the liberalization of Michigan’s abortion laws. Her contributions to medicine and activism continue to inspire future generations.

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Trinidad and TobagoUnited StatesActivist

Muriel Petioni

Muriel Petioni (1914-2011) was a medical doctor and community activist in Harlem. Known as the “matron of Harlem health,” she dedicated her life to addressing the healthcare needs of underprivileged people in Harlem. Her tireless efforts to improve healthcare services and her impact on society remain an inspiration for future generations.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks, born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1913, became a leading figure in the American civil rights movement. Her act of refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white passenger sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. Parks’ bravery and determination inspired others to join the fight for equality, and she was awarded prestigious honors for her unwavering commitment to civil rights. She passed away in 2005, leaving behind a powerful legacy.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Olivia Hooker

Olivia Juliette Hooker, born in 1915 in Muskogee, Oklahoma, overcame adversity from a young age, surviving the Tulsa race massacre in 1921. She became the first African-American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard and made significant contributions to the field of psychology. Her resilience and trailblazing achievements continue to inspire others.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Nia Imara

Nia Imara, an American astrophysicist, artist, and activist, has made significant contributions to astrophysics and astronomy. Her journey began in the San Francisco Bay Area, where her passion for science and the universe flourished. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Kenyon College and went on to become the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley. Imara’s groundbreaking research has advanced our understanding of stellar nurseries and she continues to inspire through her activism and mentorship.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Julia Pearl Hughes

Julia Pearl Hughes (March 19, 1873 – September 14, 1950), also known as Julia P. H. Coleman or Julia Coleman-Robinson, was a pharmacist, entrepreneur, social activist, and business executive. She was a trailblazer in various fields and made significant contributions to her community and society as a whole… Julia Pearl Hughes was born in Melville Township, Alamance County, North Carolina on March 19, 1873… leaving a lasting impact on women’s history.

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ChinaActivistMilitary

Ani Pachen

Ani Pachen (1933 – 2002) was a Tibetan freedom fighter and activist who played a significant role in the Tibetan resistance against the Chinese occupation. Captured and imprisoned for over two decades, she remained a symbol of resilience and hope. Pachen’s life and accomplishments continue to inspire and serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Tibetan people.

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Puerto RicoUnited StatesActivist

Blanca Canales

Blanca Canales (1906-1996) was an educator and a Puerto Rican Nationalist who played a vital role in the fight for Puerto Rican independence. Raised in a politically active family, Canales developed a passion for learning about other nations and their heroes. She joined the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, organized the Daughters of Freedom, and supported the cause through monetary contributions. Canales stored arms used in the Jayuya Uprising of 1950, which challenged U.S. rule over the island. Her advocacy work and dedication to Puerto Rican independence continued until her death in 1996.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Sheyann Webb

Sheyann Webb-Christburg, born in 1956 in Selma, Alabama, is a civil rights activist known as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Smallest Freedom Fighter” and co-author of Selma, Lord, Selma. She participated in the first attempt at the Selma to Montgomery march, known as Bloody Sunday, at the age of eight. Her bravery and commitment to the cause continue to inspire future generations of women.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Phyllis Ann Wallace

Phyllis Ann Wallace (1921–1993) was a distinguished African American economist and activist, known for her groundbreaking work in combating workplace discrimination and promoting economic equality. She became the first woman to receive a doctorate of economics at Yale University and played a crucial role in shaping the anti-discrimination provisions of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Wallace’s dedication to economic issues and her unwavering commitment to equal opportunity make her a significant figure in women’s history.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Mamie Till

Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, born in Webb, Mississippi in 1921, became a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement after her son, Emmett Till, was brutally murdered in Mississippi. Determined to seek justice and shed light on racial violence, Mamie’s activism left an indelible mark on American history, inspiring others and advocating for equality.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Margaret Bush Wilson

Margaret Bush Wilson was a trailblazing African-American lawyer and activist who fought for equal rights and opportunities. She made significant contributions to the civil rights movement, including her involvement in the landmark Shelley v. Kraemer case. Wilson’s dedication and leadership led her to become the first woman to chair the National Board of Directors for the NAACP, leaving an indelible mark on the history of women’s rights and social progress.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Mother Wright

Mary Ann Wright, also known as Mother Wright, was a humanitarian activist who dedicated almost three decades of her life to feeding the residents of the East Bay. Born into poverty and raised by her father after losing her mother at a young age, she overcame many challenges as a single mother. A transformative moment in 1980 led her to establish the Mother Mary Ann Wright Foundation, providing meals, food, clothing, and toys to those in need. Her legacy as a trailblazer in the fight against hunger and poverty lives on.

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South AfricaActivistJewish

Sonia Bunting

Sonia Bunting, a South African journalist, political activist, and anti-apartheid activist, dedicated her life to fighting against racial oppression and injustice. Her unwavering commitment to justice and equality, despite facing immense adversity, inspired countless others to join the struggle for freedom. Her legacy serves as a testament to the power of individuals to effect positive change in the face of injustice.

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ChinaActivistMilitary

Kang Keqing

Kang Keqing (1911-1992) was a prominent politician and the wife of Zhu De, one of the founding fathers of modern China. Born into a fishing family, she overcame adversity and dedicated her life to championing gender equality and fighting for the rights of female laborers. Kang played a crucial role in the Chinese revolution, leading the Luotangwan Village Women’s Association and serving as a source of inspiration for countless women. Her legacy of strength and dedication to the Communist revolution continues to be celebrated.

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BangladeshActivistMilitary

Taramon Bibi

Taramon Bibi Bir Protik was a courageous freedom fighter in Bangladesh’s liberation war. As one of the two female recipients of the prestigious Bir Protik award, she actively engaged in combat and demonstrated unwavering commitment to the cause of independence. Her bravery and sacrifice will forever be remembered and celebrated.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Annie Lee Cooper

Annie Lee Wilkerson Cooper was born in racially segregated Selma, Alabama, in 1909. She defied the limitations imposed on African-Americans and became a prominent civil rights activist. From standing up against racial segregation in her restaurant to registering to vote and participating in the historic Selma to Montgomery marches, Cooper’s unwavering courage and resilience left an indelible mark on the fight for racial justice. She passed away in 2010, leaving behind a legacy of advocacy and inspiration.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Ruby Bridges

Ruby Nell Bridges Hall, the first African American child to attend an all-white school in Louisiana, was born on September 8, 1954. Facing intense opposition and hostility, Ruby’s remarkable story of resilience and bravery in the face of adversity has become a symbol of strength and determination in the fight for equal rights.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Gloria Blackwell

Gloria Blackwell, also known as Gloria Rackley, was an African-American civil rights activist and educator. She played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement in Orangeburg during the 1960s, challenging racial segregation and inspiring others to fight for equality. Despite facing personal loss and adversity, she continued to pursue education and empowerment. Blackwell’s activism brought her both praise and criticism, but she remained resilient and determined, leaving a lasting impact on American history.

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United StatesActivistLawyer

Josie Badger

Josie Badger, a renowned disability rights advocate and co-director at the national RAISE Center, has made a significant impact on the disability rights movement. Born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, Badger’s tireless efforts in advocating for the rights of those with disabilities have solidified her status as a prominent figure in society. She has played a vital role in various initiatives and organizations, and her exceptional leadership, dedication, and personal journey have inspired many.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Theresa Burroughs

Theresa Burroughs was a key figure in the civil rights movement, fighting for voting rights for African Americans in the 1960s. Growing up in Alabama, she witnessed the injustices faced by her community and dedicated her life to making a change. Burroughs played a pivotal role in the historic events in Selma, Alabama, and her unwavering commitment to equality left a lasting impact on society.

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JamaicaActivistEducator

Amy Bailey

Amy Beckford Bailey, born in 1895 in Jamaica, was a pioneering educator and advocate for women’s rights. Despite battling illness early in her career, she pursued a diverse range of subjects, including accounting and bookkeeping. Amy dedicated her life to teaching, making a lasting impact on students at Kingston Technical High School and the College of Arts, Science, and Technology. As a co-founder of the Women’s Liberal Club, Amy fought discrimination and pushed for improved employment opportunities for women. Her tireless efforts earned her numerous honors and recognition, and her legacy continues to inspire equality and inclusivity.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Flossie Bailey

Katherine “Flossie” Bailey (1895 – February 6, 1952) was a civil rights and anti-lynching activist from Indiana. She established a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Marion, Indiana, in 1918 and became especially active fighting for justice and equality following the double lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in 1930. As president of the Indiana NAACP, Bailey was pivotal in lobbying for passage of a statewide anti-lynching law in Indiana in 1931 and advocated for a similar bill at the national level. She was also a recipient of the national NAACP’s Madam C. J. Walker Medal.

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PakistanActivistScholar

Farzana Bari

Farzana Bari, a Pakistani feminist and human rights activist, has been a prominent figure in the field of gender studies. As the director of the Gender Studies Department at Quaid-i-Azam University, she has worked tirelessly to advance women’s rights in Pakistan. Bari’s academic research, policy advocacy, and activism have made her a leading voice in promoting justice and gender equality in Pakistani society. Despite the challenges she faces, Bari’s dedication to empowering women has had a profound impact on the country’s women’s history.

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BermudaActivist

Barbara Ball

Barbara Ball MRCS, LRCP, OBE (1924-2011) was a Bermudian physician, politician, and social activist. She was the first woman physician to practice in Bermuda, breaking barriers and making a lasting impact on society. Barbara’s dedication to civil rights and equality, along with her unwavering commitment to promoting justice, has left a profound legacy in Bermuda’s history and the advancement of women’s rights.

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MyanmarActivistPolitician

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese politician, diplomat, and author, rose to prominence during the 8888 Uprising in 1988. She spent 15 years under house arrest from 1989 to 2010 but continued to lead the National League for Democracy (NLD) and advocate for democracy in Myanmar. Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

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PalestineUnited StatesActivist

Tahanie Aboushi

Tahanie A. Aboushi, a Palestinian-American civil rights lawyer, made history as a Democratic candidate for Manhattan District Attorney. Her platform focused on advocating for marginalized communities, holding law enforcement accountable, and protecting immigrants. Aboushi’s experiences growing up in Brooklyn and witnessing the struggles faced by marginalized communities fueled her determination to fight for justice and equality. Her notable cases have brought attention to issues such as religious rights and police brutality, and she continues to be a dedicated advocate for the rights of individuals and communities in need.

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NigeriaActivistLawyer

Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi

Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi is a renowned Nigerian lawyer and civil rights activist. Akiyode-Afolabi founded the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) in 2002, a non-governmental organization that promotes women’s rights and the rule of law. She is a leader in various organizations and networks, and her legal expertise has been instrumental in delivering justice for victims of violence. Akiyode-Afolabi’s dedication to women’s rights and human rights has earned her international recognition.

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IsraelActivistJewish

Iris Stern Levi

Iris Stern Levi, born in Jaffa, Israel in 1953, is a social activist and co-founder of non-profit organizations such as Her Academy and Turning the Tables. She is dedicated to providing vocational training to women who have experienced prostitution and violence. Through her work, Stern Levi has made a significant impact on the lives of survivors and has reshaped the conversation around women’s issues in Israeli society.

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United StatesActivistIndigenous

Waunetta McClellan Dominic

Waunetta McClellan Dominic was a Native American rights activist known for her advocacy for the United States government to fulfill its treaty obligations to Native Americans. She co-founded the Northern Michigan Ottawa Association and played a key role in winning a claim against the government for compensation under 19th-century treaties. Dominic was also a strong supporter of Native American fishing rights. Her dedication and influence were widely recognized, and she was awarded the “Michiganian of the Year” by The Detroit News in 1979 and posthumously inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 1996.

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South AfricaActivistPolitician

Helen Suzman

Helen Suzman, born in 1917 in Germiston, South Africa, was a prominent anti-apartheid activist and politician. She fearlessly challenged the discriminatory laws and policies of the apartheid government and served as a voice for the voiceless. Her commitment to human rights and equality earned her international recognition, and her legacy as a pioneering woman in South African politics continues to inspire future generations.

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United StatesActivistPolitician

Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Pickering Rankin, born on June 11, 1880, near Missoula in Montana Territory, was the first woman to hold federal office in the United States. Throughout her six-decade-long career, Rankin played a pivotal role in shaping women’s history and advocating for civil rights causes. She was a passionate and dedicated advocate for women’s suffrage, equal rights, and social justice.

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United StatesActivist

Amelia Stone Quinton

Amelia Stone Quinton, an American social activist and advocate for Native American rights, co-founded the Women’s National Indian Association in 1883. She served as the association’s president from 1887 to 1904, during which time they made significant progress in advancing the rights of Native Americans. Quinton played a pivotal role in advocating for the rights and welfare of Native Americans, greatly influencing their recognition within American society.

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United StatesActivist

Sarah Pugh

Sarah Pugh was an American abolitionist, activist, suffragist, and teacher. She played a key role in the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and was an advocate for the free produce movement. Pugh’s dedication to the cause extended beyond her involvement with the society, as she served as a delegate to the American Women’s Anti-Slavery Convention and treasurer for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Her tireless efforts in organizing, educating, and fundraising were instrumental in advancing the abolitionist movement and empowering women to participate in social reform.

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IndiaActivist

Manasi Pradhan

Manasi Pradhan, an Indian women’s rights activist and author, founded the Honour for Women National Campaign, which aims to end violence against women in India. Despite facing numerous challenges and societal expectations, Pradhan persevered and became the first woman in her village to pass the high school examination. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to advocating for women’s rights and has received recognition both nationally and internationally for her remarkable contributions. Pradhan’s activism and determination continue to inspire and empower women.

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United StatesActivistIndigenous

Debra White Plume

Debra White Plume, a prominent Lakota political activist and water protector, dedicated her life to preserving the traditional Oglala Lakota way of life. She founded Owe Aku, an advocacy group focused on cultural preservation and Lakota treaty rights. White Plume’s passion for environmental justice led her to protest against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects. She believed that water was the domain of women and saw it as their privilege and obligation to protect it. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2020 after battling cancer, but her legacy lives on inspiring future activists.

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United StatesActivist

Mary Ann M’Clintock

Mary Ann M’Clintock was a prominent figure in the women’s suffrage movement and abolitionism. She played a crucial role in organizing the Seneca Falls Convention and was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Sentiments. Despite her contributions, Mary Ann never had the opportunity to vote herself. She passed away in Philadelphia in 1884 at the age of 84.

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United StatesActivistIndigenous

Phyllis Young

Phyllis Young is an American Indian rights activist, known for her leadership in the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle. She co-founded Women of All Red Nations to address the challenges faced by Indigenous women. Young played a pivotal role in initiating global dialogues on Native American issues, including coordinating the first United Nations conference on Indians in the Americas in 1977. She was involved in the development of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and continues to advocate for Indigenous communities. Young’s legacy as a dedicated activist has left an indelible mark on women’s history.

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South AfricaActivistLawyer

Priscilla Jana

Priscilla Jana was a South African human rights lawyer, politician, and diplomat. Born in 1943 in Westville, Natal, she grew up in a middle-class Indian immigrant family. Her activism during the anti-apartheid movement led her to represent influential figures such as Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Jana’s access to political prisoners in Robben Island prison and her unwavering commitment to justice made her a key player in the fight against apartheid. She later transitioned into politics, serving as a Member of Parliament and holding diplomatic roles. Jana’s impact on South African history is undeniable.

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United StatesActivist

Mary Edwards Walker

Mary Edwards Walker, a progressive and independent woman, broke traditional gender roles by becoming a surgeon and challenging societal expectations in the 19th century. Despite facing obstacles, she fearlessly served as a surgeon during the American Civil War, treating wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Her dedication led her to cross enemy lines, resulting in her capture and subsequent imprisonment. Walker’s remarkable achievements were recognized with the Medal of Honor, making her the only woman to ever receive this prestigious military award. Her life and work continue to inspire generations as a true icon in women’s history.

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KenyaActivist

Asha Ismail

Asha Ismail is a renowned Kenyan human rights activist dedicated to eradicating female genital mutilation (FGM) and other forms of abuse against women. Her personal experience with FGM at age 5 fueled her passion for change. Ismail founded Save a Girl, Save a Generation in 2011 and has been recognized and honored globally for her relentless work in advancing women’s rights.

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FranceActivistEducator

Assa Traoré

Assa Traoré, a French-Malian activist and leader of the Truth and Justice for Adama Committee, has dedicated herself to seeking justice for her half-brother, Adama Traoré, who died in police custody. Through her relentless pursuit of truth and commitment to challenging systemic racism, Assa Traoré has become an influential and powerful voice in the fight against racial injustice, receiving international recognition and awards for her work.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Edith Irby Jones

Edith Irby Jones was a trailblazing American physician who broke down racial barriers and made significant contributions to medicine and civil rights. Despite facing numerous challenges and discrimination, she became the first African American to be accepted as a non-segregated student at the University of Arkansas Medical School. Her achievements paved the way for future generations and she continued to advocate for healthcare equity and representation throughout her groundbreaking career.

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United StatesActivistIndigenous

Madonna Thunder Hawk

Madonna Thunder Hawk, born Madonna Gilbert, is a Native American civil rights activist who has made significant contributions to the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She is also renowned as a co-founder of the American Indian organization Women of All Red Nations and serves as an organizer and tribal liaison for the Lakota People’s Law Project.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Mildred Jeffrey

Mildred McWilliams “Millie” Jeffrey was an American political and social activist who played a crucial role in various reform movements, including labor reforms, women’s rights, and civil rights. Known for her dedication and relentless pursuit of justice, Jeffrey left an indelible mark on American history.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Ayọ Tometi

Ayọ Tometi, an American human rights activist and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, has dedicated her life to advocating for racial justice and immigrant rights. Raised by Nigerian immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona, Tometi’s experiences and her parents’ struggles shaped her commitment to social justice. She has been a powerful voice in the fight against police violence and systemic racism, and her work extends to global human rights advocacy. Tometi’s impact on women’s history is profound, inspiring countless individuals to work towards a more just and inclusive world.

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United StatesActivistAfrican American

Nellie Griswold Francis

Nellie F. Griswold Francis was an influential African-American suffragist, civil rights activist, and civic leader in Minnesota. Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1874, Francis played a significant role in the fight for women’s rights and racial equality during the early 20th century. Her dedication and leadership have made her a notable figure in the history of the suffrage movement.

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