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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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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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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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United StatesAsian AmericanJudge

Pamela K. Chen

Pamela Ki Mai Chen, born on March 30, 1961, in Chicago, United States, is a highly esteemed United States district judge known for her dedication to ensuring justice and upholding civil rights. Chen’s remarkable career includes working at prestigious law firms, the United States Department of Justice, and the United States Attorney’s office. She was appointed as a United States district judge for the Eastern District of New York, making history as the first openly LGBTQ+ Asian-American person to serve on the federal bench. Chen’s appointment exemplifies the importance of diversity and representation in the justice system.

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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 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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United StatesJudgeLawyer

Victoria Kolakowski

Victoria Kolakowski (born August 29, 1961) is an American lawyer who broke through barriers and made history as the first openly transgender person to serve as a trial court judge of general jurisdiction in the United States and the first to serve as any type of judge in California. Her groundbreaking achievements have not only shattered glass ceilings but have also paved the way for inclusivity and equality within the justice system.

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GermanyLawyerPolitician

Anne Klein

Anne Klein (1950-2011) was a German lawyer and politician who played a pivotal role in advancing women’s rights in Berlin. Her work as a Berlin Senator and her involvement in the feminist movement contributed to greater gender equality in German society. Klein’s advocacy for women’s rights, her groundbreaking legal practice, and her unwavering dedication continue to inspire and shape the path towards a more inclusive and equal society.

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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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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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Puerto RicoJudgeLawyer

Nitza Quiñones Alejandro

Nitza Ileana Quiñones Alejandro, born in January 1951 in Puerto Rico, became the first Hispanic woman to be appointed as a judge on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. Her nomination faced controversy, but she persevered and went on to serve for 22 years. In 2012, she made history as the first lesbian Latina to be appointed as a federal judge by President Barack Obama. Her trailblazing efforts have paved the way for diversity and inclusivity within the judiciary.

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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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IndiaLawyerScholar

Menaka Guruswamy

Menaka Guruswamy is a renowned Indian lawyer and Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India. Born on November 27, 1974, she has made significant contributions to the field of law, playing a pivotal role in several landmark cases. Her expertise spans across various legal domains, including Constitutional Law, Corporate Law, White Collar Defense, and Arbitration.

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United StatesGovernmentJewish

Tammy Baldwin

Tammy Baldwin, born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, is an American politician and lawyer who made history as the first openly LGBT woman elected to the United States Senate. Throughout her career, she has been a strong advocate for progressive policies, including Medicare for All, LGBTQ+ rights, and gun control. Baldwin’s dedication and perseverance have made a lasting impact on American society.

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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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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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LuxembourgLawyer

Netty Probst

Netty Probst (1903–1990) was a pioneering figure in Luxembourgian history as the first female lawyer in the country. Her determination and passion for justice led her to excel in her studies, earning her degree and setting the stage for the groundbreaking career that lay ahead. Her empathetic approach and legal acumen garnered her a reputation as a formidable advocate for justice, particularly in cases involving women. Netty Probst’s impact extended beyond her individual clients and cases, inspiring future generations of women in the legal profession.

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BelgiumLawyerPolitician

Helga Stevens

Helga Stevens, born deaf, is a Belgian politician and Member of the European Parliament. Her determination and drive to overcome obstacles led her to become the first deaf lawyer in Belgium. Stevens’ advocacy for disability rights and leadership skills have made her a respected figure in European politics.

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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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UgandaBlindDisabled

Florence Ndagire

Florence Ndagire is a female Ugandan lawyer who has made significant contributions to the field of human rights. She currently works as a legal researcher and human rights lawyer at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Ndagire is not only a trailblazer in her profession, but she is also a source of inspiration for many as she serves as the chairperson of the UN Women Regional Group for Eastern and Southern Africa.

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New ZealandLawyerRefugee

Golriz Ghahraman

Golriz Ghahraman MP is an Iranian-born New Zealand politician, member of Parliament, and author. She became the first refugee elected to New Zealand’s Parliament and has been a prominent advocate for human rights, social justice, and environmental issues. Ghahraman has used her platform to raise awareness about the struggles faced by refugees and advocate for fair and compassionate refugee policies.

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United StatesLawyer

Haben Girma

Haben Girma is an American disability rights advocate and the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School. She lost her vision and hearing due to an unknown progressive condition. Despite her disabilities, she successfully advocated for her legal rights to accommodations in school, graduated magna cum laude, and became the first deafblind student to attend and graduate from Harvard Law. Girma now dedicates her life to changing attitudes about disability worldwide and increasing accessibility for people with disabilities.

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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 KingdomUnited StatesLawyer

Barbara Judge

Barbara Thomas Judge, Lady Judge CBE (née Singer; 28 December 1946 – 31 August 2020), was an American-British lawyer and businesswoman. Known for her dedication to breaking barriers and promoting gender equality, she became the first female chairman of the Institute of Directors and held leadership roles in various organizations. Her philanthropic contributions and commitment to empowering women have left a lasting impact on society.

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CanadaLawyer

Marie Lacoste Gérin-Lajoie

Marie Lacoste Gérin-Lajoie was a Canadian feminist and a pivotal figure in the women’s rights movement in Quebec. She played a crucial role in changing the perception of women’s rights in Quebec society and had a lasting impact on the feminist movement. Gérin-Lajoie’s dedication to achieving social and political rights for women was evident in her advocacy in the legal field. She challenged the unjust civil laws that marginalized women and published influential books that shed light on the rights and challenges women faced. Her tireless efforts shaped the women’s rights movement in Quebec and left an indelible mark on Canadian history.

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ChileLawyer

Alicia Herrera Rivera

Alicia Herrera Rivera (1928-2013) was a prominent Chilean feminist lawyer and minister of the Court of Appeals of Santiago. Growing up in Valparaíso, she developed a love for reading and learning. Exiled during the oppressive Pinochet regime, she continued her fight for justice from abroad, co-founding the Association of Women Jurists Themis. Her legacy as a champion for gender equality and human rights lives on.

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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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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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NigeriaLawyer

Osai Ojigho

Osai Ojigho, an esteemed Nigerian human rights expert, lawyer, and gender equality advocate, has dedicated her career to fighting for justice and equality. As Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, she has played a significant role in advocacy campaigns such as the Bring Back Our Girls movement and the End SARS movement. Ojigho’s unwavering commitment to human rights and gender equality make her a trailblazer in Nigeria and a recognized figure in the global fight for justice.

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NorwayLawyer

Anna Louise Beer

Anna Louise Beer (1924–2010) was a prominent Norwegian lawyer, judge, and women’s rights activist who made significant contributions to the advancement of women’s rights in Norway. Throughout her career, Beer held various esteemed positions in the legal field and played a crucial role in advocating for gender equality and justice. Her unwavering commitment to justice and gender equality left an indelible mark on Norwegian society. Her tireless efforts as a lawyer, judge, and women’s rights activist not only advanced the cause of gender equality but also inspired future generations to continue the fight for justice.

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SpainLawyerWriter

Clara Campoamor

Clara Campoamor Rodríguez was a Spanish politician, lawyer, and writer who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement in her country. Considered by some as the mother of the Spanish feminist movement, Campoamor dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights and advocating for gender equality.

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SpainLawyer

Concepción Arenal

Concepción Arenal Ponte was a groundbreaking figure in Spanish history, defying societal expectations and making significant strides for gender equality. As the first woman in Spain to attend university, she paved the way for future generations. Her courage and intellect were remarkable, especially considering the limitations imposed on women during that era. Arenal’s dedication to social justice and advocacy for the marginalized continue to inspire and empower women today.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanLawyer

Violette Neatley Anderson

Violette Neatley Anderson was a trailblazing African-American lawyer who broke barriers and became the first African-American woman to practice law before the United States Supreme Court. Her relentless advocacy for justice and equal rights during a time of discrimination cemented her place in history as a pioneering figure.

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El SalvadorLawyerPolitician

Eeileen Romero

Eeileen Auxiliadora Romero Valle (3 February 1974 – 25 October 2021) was a Salvadoran lawyer, politician, and public servant. Despite being born with a rare medical condition and enduring societal challenges, Romero broke barriers and became a respected lawyer, politician, and advocate for people with disabilities. Her unwavering commitment to public service and her positive impact on society have left an indelible mark on El Salvador.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanLawyer

Charlotte E. Ray

Charlotte E. Ray was the first black American female lawyer in the United States. Raised in a home that valued education and advocacy, Ray graduated from the Institution for the Education of Colored Youth and later became the first woman to graduate from the Howard University School of Law. Despite facing societal barriers, Ray opened her own law office and made significant contributions before leaving the legal profession. She continued to fight for women’s rights and her legacy continues to inspire future generations.

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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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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 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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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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AustraliaLawyer

Cheryl Bart

Cheryl Sarah Bart AO is an Australian lawyer and company director, known for her remarkable achievements and contributions. Throughout her life, Bart has made significant strides in various fields, leaving a lasting impact on Australian society and beyond. Notably, Bart holds the distinction of being the first Australian female and the 31st person worldwide to complete the Explorer’s Grand Slam, a testament to her exceptional determination and resilience.

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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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Sri LankaLawyer

Radhika Coomaraswamy

Radhika Coomaraswamy, born on September 17, 1953, in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), is a prominent lawyer, diplomat, and human rights advocate. Throughout her career, she has made significant contributions to promoting and protecting the rights of women and children, both in her home country and on a global stage.

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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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SwitzerlandLawyer

Nicola Spirig

Nicola Spirig Hug, a Swiss lawyer and former professional triathlete, is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished triathletes in history. She won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games and was crowned six times as the European champion in women’s triathlon. Throughout her career, Spirig showcased her skill, determination, and resilience, inspiring countless individuals to pursue their dreams.

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IndiaEducatorLawyer

Kirthi Jayakumar

Kirthi Jayakumar is a peace educator, feminist foreign policy practitioner, and lawyer. She has been recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has served as an advisor to the G7. Kirthi is the founder of The Gender Security Project and The Red Elephant Foundation, and she is dedicated to promoting gender equality and peace.

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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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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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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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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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NamibiaBusinessLawyer

Monica Geingos

Monica Geingos is a renowned entrepreneur, lawyer, and the First Lady of Namibia. With over 20 years of experience in the financial sector, she has made significant contributions to Namibia’s economy and society. Geingos has been recognized with various awards and honors for her achievements and leadership. Her commitment to socioeconomic development and empowering young people has solidified her legacy as a remarkable leader and advocate for positive change.

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RussiaLawyerWriter

Anna Yevreinova

Anna Mikhaylovna Yevreinova, also known as Johanna von Evreinov, was a remarkable Russian feminist writer, lawyer, and literary editor. Born in 1844, she made significant contributions to the advancement of women’s rights in her time.

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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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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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United StatesJournalistLawyer

Helen M. Gougar

Helen M. Gougar (1843-1907) was a pioneering force in the suffrage and temperance movements. Her multi-faceted career as a lawyer, women’s rights advocate, and newspaper journalist made her a remarkable figure. Gougar’s unwavering dedication to justice, equality, and social change left a lasting impact on American society, and her contributions continue to be recognized and celebrated today.

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United StatesJewishJudge

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an American lawyer and jurist, made an indelible mark on the Supreme Court of the United States. Despite early adversity, she fearlessly pursued her dream of becoming a lawyer and went on to challenge laws that discriminated on the basis of gender. Ginsburg’s legacy as a champion for justice and equality will endure as an inspiration to future generations.

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United StatesLawyerPolitician

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (née Rodham) was born on October 26, 1947, in Chicago. She is an American politician and diplomat who has made significant contributions to the United States throughout her career… Clinton served as the 67th United States Secretary of State under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013… Clinton’s impact on society is immeasurable. As a passionate advocate for gender equality, healthcare reform, and the rights of children and families, she has left an indelible mark on American politics.

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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 StatesAfrican AmericanLawyer

Mercedes Deiz

Mercedes Deiz (1917-2005) broke barriers for women of color in Oregon’s legal profession. She became the first black woman admitted to the Oregon State Bar and went on to become the first black woman district court judge and county circuit court judge. Her contributions and dedication to mentoring young lawyers left a remarkable legacy of promoting diversity in the legal profession.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanLawyer

Mahala Ashley Dickerson

Mahala Ashley Dickerson was a trailblazing American lawyer and civil rights advocate who played a significant role in breaking racial and gender barriers in the legal profession. Despite facing discrimination and prejudice, she became the first African American female attorney admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1948. Dickerson’s resilience and determination paved the way for future generations of women attorneys and made her an inspiration in the fight for social justice.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanLawyer

Elreta Melton Alexander-Ralston

Elreta Melton Alexander-Ralston (1919-1998) was a trailblazing black female American lawyer and judge who overcame numerous obstacles to make significant contributions to the legal profession. Her determination and commitment to justice defined her remarkable career, which served as a powerful symbol of progress for black women in the legal field.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanLawyer

Pamela Carter

Pamela Lynn Carter, born in 1949, is a trailblazing figure in American law and politics. Not only was she the first black woman to serve as a state’s attorney general, but she also made significant contributions to the field of consumer protection. Carter’s career has been marked by her commitment to social justice and her tireless efforts to reform health and human services in the state of Indiana.

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United StatesLawyer

Eunice Carter

Eunice Roberta Hunton Carter was an American lawyer and trailblazer in the field of law. She came from a family with a strong commitment to education and civil rights. Carter became the first black woman assistant district attorney in the state of New York and played a pivotal role in a groundbreaking prostitution racketeering case involving notorious Mafia boss Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Her dedication to justice and her efforts in the face of discrimination inspired countless individuals and paved the way for future generations of women of color.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanLawyer

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is an American attorney and author who served as the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Obama has been a powerful advocate for women, youth, education, and societal issues throughout her life. Her upbringing on the South Side of Chicago played a significant role in shaping her perspective and passion for social justice.

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CanadaAfrican AmericanLawyer

Violet King Henry

Violet Pauline King Henry, born on October 18, 1929, shattered barriers as the first black woman lawyer in Canada and the first black person to graduate law in Alberta. Her commitment to justice and equality opened doors for future generations of black women in the legal profession. Her legacy continues to inspire and shape society.

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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 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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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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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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SlovakiaActivistLawyer

Zuzana Čaputová

Zuzana Čaputová, the first female president of Slovakia and the youngest president in Slovakian history, has had a remarkable career as a politician, lawyer, and environmental activist. She gained recognition for her tireless efforts in fighting against a toxic landfill in her hometown, and her victory in the 2019 presidential election solidified her growing popularity and influence in Slovakia.

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United StatesBasketballLawyer

Val Ackerman

Valerie B. Ackerman, born on November 7, 1959, is an American sports executive, former lawyer, and former basketball player. Ackerman is widely recognized as the first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), a position she held from 1996 to 2005. Her influential role in shaping women’s professional basketball in the United States has left a lasting impact on the sport.

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ItalyLawyerPolitician

Paola Severino

Paola Severino, the first woman appointed Minister of Justice in Italian history, overcame personal challenges to establish herself as one of Italy’s top criminal lawyers and a respected academic. Throughout her career, she represented high-profile clients, provided legal counsel to Eni, and held prestigious positions such as vice president of the Superior Council of Military Magistracy. Severino’s remarkable achievements have paved the way for women in law, academia, and politics, inspiring many with her determination and resilience.

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BangladeshBlindDisabled

Rumana Monzur

Rumana Monzur, a Bangladeshi woman, became a symbol of resilience after being brutally attacked and blinded by her husband for wanting to pursue higher education. Despite her traumatic experience, Rumana continued her studies and achieved a law degree. She now advocates for women’s rights, using her story to inspire others and raise awareness about domestic violence and gender inequality.

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CanadaUnited StatesActivist

Mary Ann Shadd

Mary Ann Camberton Shadd Cary was a trailblazer in promoting racial equality and women’s rights. As the first black woman publisher in North America and the second black woman to attend law school in the US, she dedicated her life to education, abolition, and civil rights. Her activism and accomplishments continue to inspire and shape history.

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United StatesActivistLawyer

Fern Holland

Fern Leona Holland (1970-2004) was an American lawyer dedicated to advocating for human rights and empowering women. She began her journey in Oklahoma, obtaining a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law. She later joined the Peace Corps and embarked on a life-changing mission in Namibia. Holland’s commitment to justice led her to work for USAID in Iraq, where she tragically lost her life. Her legacy lives on through the Fern L. Holland Award, honoring those who work for gender equality and social justice.

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United StatesIndigenousLawyer

Lyda Conley

Eliza Burton “Lyda” Conley, a Wyandot Native American and lawyer, was a trailblazer for Native American rights and preservation. She became the first woman admitted to the Kansas Bar Association and fought tirelessly to protect the Huron Cemetery from sale and development. Conley’s victory in arguing before the Supreme Court set a precedent for the protection of indigenous burial grounds, emphasizing the importance of respecting and preserving Native American cultural heritage. Her legacy continues to inspire activism and advocacy for indigenous communities across the nation.

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United StatesLawyer

Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Maria Sotomayor is an American lawyer and jurist who serves as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Born on June 25, 1954, in the Bronx, New York City, she is the daughter of Puerto Rican-born parents. Tragically, her father passed away when she was just nine years old, and she was subsequently raised by her dedicated mother, who worked long hours as a nurse to support the family.

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