List of women's rights activists

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This article is a list of notable women's rights activists, arranged alphabetically by modern country names and by the names of the persons listed.

Afghanistan[edit]

Albania[edit]

Algeria[edit]

Arabia[edit]

  • Muhammad ibn Abdullah (570–632) – Founder of Sunni Islam and established women's rights of equality before God. This allowed women the ability to provide religious council and scholarship in Islam including the education and advisement of men. Other established rights in society include but are not limited to the right of protection from harm/abuse, to be educated, of inheritance, of property ownership, to conduct business, sign contracts, have an independent economic position, employment, and in marriage (choose/deny husband, a dowry paid to her, including rights over the household/children/husband) all of which has been set since the 7th century CE

Argentina[edit]

Australia[edit]

  • Thelma Bate (1904–1984) – community leader, advocate for inclusion of Aboriginals in Country Women's Association
  • Rosie Batty (born 1962) – 2015 Australian of the Year and family violence campaigner
  • Sandra Bloodworth – labour historian, socialist activist, co-founder of Trotskyist Socialist Alternative, editor of Marxist Left Review
  • Eva Cox (born 1938) – sociologist and feminist active in politics and social services, member of Women's Electoral Lobby, social commentator on women in power and at work, and social justice
  • Zelda D'Aprano (born 1928) – trade unionist, feminist, in 1969 chained herself to doors of Commonwealth Building over equal pay
  • Louisa Margaret Dunkley (1866–1927) – telegraphist and labour organizer
  • Elizabeth Evatt (born 1933) – legal reformist, jurist, critic of Australia's Sex Discrimination Act, first Australian in United Nations Commission on Human Rights
  • Miles Franklin (1879–1954) – writer and feminist
  • Vida Goldstein (1869–1949) – early Australian feminist campaigning for women's suffrage and social reform, first woman in British Empire to stand for national election
  • Germaine Greer (born 1939) – author of The Female Eunuch, academic and social commentator
  • Bella Guerin (1858–1923) – first woman to graduate from an Australian university, Guerin was a prominent socialist feminist (although with periods of public dispute) within the Australian Labor Party
  • Louisa Lawson (1848–1920) – feminist, suffragist, author, founder of The Dawn, pro-republican federalist
  • Fiona Patten (born 1964) – leader of Australian Sex Party, lobbyist for personal freedoms and progressive lifestyles
  • Michelle Payne (born 1985) – first female winner of Melbourne Cup and an advocate of increased presence of women in sport
  • Eileen Powell (1913–1997) – trade unionist, women's activist and contributor to the Equal Pay for Equal Work decision
  • Millicent Preston-Stanley (1883–1955) – first female member of New South Wales Legislative Assembly, campaigner for custodial rights of mothers in divorce and for women's health care
  • Elizabeth Anne Reid (born 1942) – world's first women's affairs adviser to head of government (Gough Whitlam), active in the United Nations and on HIV
  • Bessie Rischbieth (1874–1967) – earliest female appointee to any court (honorary, Perth Children's Court, 1915), active against the Australian government practice of taking Aboriginal children from their mothers (Stolen Generation)
  • Jessie Street (1889–1970) – Australian suffragette, feminist and human rights campaigner influential in labour rights and early days of the UN
  • Anne Summers (born 1945) – women's rights activist in politics and media, women's advisor to Labor premier Paul Keating, editor of Ms. magazine (NY)
  • Mary Hynes Swanton (22 June 1861 – 25 November 1940) – Australian women's rights and trade unionist

Austria[edit]

  • Auguste Fickert (1855–1910) – feminist and social reformer
  • Marianne Hainisch (1839–1936) – activist, exponent of women's right to work and education
  • Bertha Pappenheim (1859–1936) – Austrian-Jewish feminist, founder of the German Jewish Women's Association

Belgium[edit]

  • Marguerite Coppin (1867–1931) – female Poet Laureate of Belgium and advocate of women's rights
  • Christine Loudes (1972–2016) – proponent of gender equality and women's rights
  • Frédérique Petrides (1903–1983) – Belgian-American pioneer female orchestral conductor, activist and editor of Women in Music
  • Marie Popelin (1846–1913) – lawyer, feminist campaigner, leader of the Belgian League for Women's Rights

Bosnia & Herzegovina[edit]

Botswana[edit]

  • Unity Dow (born 1959) – judge and writer, plaintiff in case allowing children of mixed parentage to be deemed nationals

Brazil[edit]

Bulgaria[edit]

Canada[edit]

Cape Verde[edit]

Chad[edit]

Chile[edit]

China[edit]

Colombia[edit]

Croatia[edit]

Democratic Republic of Congo[edit]

Julienne Lusenge – Women's activist recognized for advocating for survivors of wartime sexual violence.

Denmark[edit]

  • Sophie Alberti (1846–1947) – pioneering women's rights activist and a leading member of Kvindelig Læseforening (Women Readers' Association)
  • Widad Akrawi (born 1969) – writer and doctor, advocate for gender equality, women's empowerment and participation in peace-building and post-conflict governance
  • Johanne Andersen (1862–1925), active in Funen and in the Danish Women's Society
  • Ragnhild Nikoline Andersen (1907–1990) – trade unionist, Communist party politician and Stutthof prisoner
  • Signe Arnfred (born 1944), sociologist specializing in gender studies
  • Matilde Bajer (1840–1934) – women's rights activist and pacifist
  • Annestine Beyer (1795–1884) – pioneer of women's education
  • Anne Bruun (1853–1934) – schoolteacher and women's rights activist
  • Esther Carstensen (1873–1955) – women right's activist, journal editor, active in the Danish Women's Society
  • Severine Casse (1805–1898) – women's rights activist, successful in fighting for a wife's right to dispose of her earnings
  • Ulla Dahlerup (born 1942) – writer, women's rights activist, member of the Danish Red Stocking Movement
  • Thora Daugaard (1874–1951) – women's rights activist, pacifist, editor
  • Henni Forchhammer (1863–1955) – educator, feminist, peace activist
  • Inger Gamburg (1892–1979) – trades unionist, Communist politician
  • Suzanne Giese (1946–2012) – writer, women's rights activist, prominent member of the Red Stocking Movement
  • Bente Hansen (born 1940) – writer, supporter of the Red Stocking Movement
  • Eline Hansen (1859–1919) – feminist and peace activist
  • Eva Hemmer Hansen (1913–1983) – writer and feminist
  • Estrid Hein (1873–1956) – ophthalmologist, women's rights activist, pacifist
  • Dagmar Hjort (1860–1902) – schoolteacher, writer, women's rights activist
  • Thora Ingemann Drøhse (1867–1948) – temperance campaigner and women's rights activist in Randers
  • Katja Iversen (born 1969) – author, advisor, women's rights advocate, President of Women Deliver 2014-2020
  • Thyra Jensen (1865–1949) – writer and women's rights activist in southern Schleswig
  • Erna Juel-Hansen (1845–1922) – novelist, early women's rights activist
  • Lene Koch (born 1947), gender studies researcher
  • Anna Laursen (1845–1911) – educator, head of the Aarhus branch of the Danish Women's Society
  • Anna Lohse (1866–1942), Odense schoolteacher and women's rights activist
  • Line Luplau (1823–1891) – feminist, suffragist, founder of the Danish Women's Suffrage Society
  • Elisabeth Møller Jensen (born 1946) – historian, feminist, director of Kvinfo from 1990 to 2014
  • Thora Knudsen (1861–1950), nurse, women's rights activist and philanthropist
  • Nynne Koch (1915–2001), pioneering women's studies researcher
  • Elna Munch (1871–1845) – feminist, politician, co-founder of the Danish Association for Women's Suffrage
  • Louise Nørlund (1854–1919) – feminist, pacifist, founder of the Danish Women's Suffrage Society
  • Birgitte Berg Nielsen (1861–1951) – equal rights activist, educator
  • Charlotte Norrie (1855–1940) – nurse, women's rights activist, voting rights campaigner
  • Tania Ørum (born 1945), women's research activist, literary historian
  • Thora Pedersen (1875–1954) – educator, school inspector, women's rights activist who fought for equal pay for men and women
  • Johanne Rambusch (1865–1944) – feminist, politician, co-founder of the radical suffrage association Landsforbundet for Kvinders Valgret
  • Caja Rude (1884–1949), novelist, journalist and women's rights activist
  • Vibeke Salicath (1861–1921) – philanthropist, feminist, editor, politician
  • Astrid Stampe Feddersen (1852–1930) – chaired first Scandinavian meeting on women's rights
  • Karen Syberg (born 1945) – writer, feminist, co-founder of the Red Stocking Movement
  • Caroline Testman (1839–1919) – feminist, co-founder of Dansk Kvindesamfund
  • Ingeborg Tolderlund (1848–1935) – women's rights activist and suffragist
  • Clara Tybjerg (1864–1941) – women's rights activist, pacifist
  • Anna Westergaard (1882–1964) – railway official, trade unionist, women's rights activist, politician
  • Louise Wright (1861–1935) – philanthropist, feminist, peace activist
  • Natalie Zahle (1827–1913) – pioneer of women's education

East Timor[edit]

Ecuador[edit]

Egypt[edit]

  • Qasim Amin (1863–1908) – jurist, early advocate of women's rights in society
  • Soraya Bahgat (born 1983) – Egyptian-Finnish women's rights advocate, social entrepreneur and founder of Tahrir Bodyguard
  • Ihsan El-Kousy (born 1900) – headmistress, writer and rights activist
  • Nawal el-Saadawi (born 1931) – writer and doctor, advocate of women's health and equality
  • Entisar Elsaeed (fl. 2000s) – activist fighting female genital mutilation and domestic abuse
  • Engy Ghozlan (born 1985) – coordinator of campaigns against sexual harassment
  • Hoda Shaarawi (1879–1947) – feminist organizer of Mubarrat Muhammad Ali (women's social service organization), Union of Educated Egyptian Women, and Wafdist Women's Central Committee, founder president of Egyptian Feminist Union

Estonia[edit]

Finland[edit]

France[edit]

Germany[edit]

  • Jenny Apolant (1874–1925) – Jewish feminist, suffragist
  • Ruth Bré (c. 1862/67–1911) – writer, advocate of matrilineality and women's rights, founder of Bund für Mutterschutz (League for Maternity Leave)[1]
  • Johanna Elberskirchen (1864–1943) - feminist and activist for women's rights, gays and lesbians
  • Johanna von Evreinov (1844–1919) – Russian-born German feminist writer, pioneering female lawyer and editor
  • Lida Gustava Heymann (1868–1943) – feminist, pacifist and women's rights activist
  • Luise Koch (1860–1934) – educator, women's rights activist, suffragist, politician
  • Helene Lange (1848–1930) – educator, pioneering women's rights activist, suffragist
  • Sigrid Metz-Göckel (born 1940) – sociologist, gender studies academic
  • Ursula G. T. Müller (born 1940) – sociologist, gender studies academic
  • Louise Otto-Peters (1819–1895) – suffragist, women's rights activist, writer
  • Alice Salomon (1872–1948) – social reformer, women's rights activist, educator, writer
  • Käthe Schirmacher (1865–1930) – early women's rights activist, writer
  • Auguste Schmidt (1833–1902) – pioneering women's rights activist, educator, journalist
  • Alice Schwarzer (born 1942) – journalist and publisher of the magazine Emma
  • Gesine Spieß (1945–2016), educationalist specializing in gender studies
  • Marie Stritt (1855–1928) – women's rights activist, suffragist, co-founder of the International Alliance of Women
  • Johanna Vogt (1862–1944) – suffragist, first woman on the city council of Kassel starting in 1919.
  • Marianne Weber (1870–1954) – sociologist, women's rights activist, writer
  • Clara Zetkin (1857–1933) – Marxist theorist, women's rights activist, suffragist, politician

Ghana[edit]

Greece[edit]

  • Kalliroi Parren (1861–1940) – founder of the Greek women's movement
  • Avra Theodoropoulou (1880–1963) – music critic, pianist, suffragist, women's rights activist, nurse

Greenland[edit]

Hungary[edit]

Iceland[edit]

India[edit]

Indonesia[edit]

Iran[edit]

Ireland[edit]

Israel[edit]

Italy[edit]

  • Alma Dolens (1869–1948) – pacifist, suffragist and journalist, founder of several women's organizations
  • Linda Malnati (1855–1921) – women's rights activist, trade unionist, suffragist, pacifist and writer
  • Anna Maria Mozzoni (1837–1920) – pioneering women's rights activist and suffragist
  • Eugenia Rasponi Murat (1873–1958) – women's rights activist and open lesbian who fought for civil protections.
  • Gabriella Rasponi Spalletti (1853–1931) – feminist, educator and philanthropist, founder of the National Council of Italian Women in 1903
  • Laura Terracina (1519–c.1577) – widely published poet, writer, protested violence against women and promoted women's writing

Japan[edit]

Kenya[edit]

  • Nice Nailantei Leng'ete (born 1991)– Advocate for alternative rite of passage (ARP) for girls in Africa and campaigning to stop female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • Wangari Maathai (1940–2011)

Latvia[edit]

Lebanon[edit]

Libya[edit]

  • Alaa Murabit (born 1989) – physician, advocate of inclusive security, peace-building and post-conflict governance

Lithuania[edit]

Luxembourg[edit]

Mali[edit]

Mauritania[edit]

Netherlands[edit]

Namibia[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

  • Kate Sheppard (1848–1934) – suffragette, influential in winning voting rights for women in 1893 (first country and national election in which women have vote)

Nigeria[edit]

Norway[edit]

Pakistan[edit]

Peru[edit]

Philippines[edit]

Poland[edit]

Portugal[edit]

Puerto Rico[edit]

  • Luisa Capetillo (1879–1922) – labor union suffragette jailed for wearing pants in public

Romania[edit]

Russia[edit]

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines[edit]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

  • Loujain al-Hathloul (born 1989) – women's rights leader, social media influencer, political prisoner

Serbia[edit]

Slovenia[edit]

  • Alojzija Štebi (1883–1956) – suffragist, who saw socialism as a means of equalizing society for both men and women.

Somalia[edit]

  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali (born 1969) – Somali-Dutch feminist and atheist activist, writer and politician
  • Halima Ali Adan – Somali gender rights activist and an expert on female genital mutilation (FGM).

South Africa[edit]

  • Shamima Shaikh (1960–1998) – member of the Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa, exponent of Islamic gender equality

Spain[edit]

Sri-Lanka[edit]

Sweden[edit]

Switzerland[edit]

Tunisia[edit]

  • Néziha Zarrouk (born 1946) – minister who contributed to improvements in women's rights and women's health

Turkey[edit]

  • Nezihe Muhiddin – feminist, founded a women's party
  • Sebahat Tuncel – women's rights activist, former nurse and member of Parliament in Turkey

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

Uruguay[edit]

Venezuela[edit]

  • Sheyene Gerardi – human rights advocate, peace activist, founder of the SPACE movement

Yemen[edit]

Zimbabwe[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard J. Evans: The feminist movement in Germany. London, Beverly Hills 1976 (SAGE Studies in 20th Century History, Vol. 6). ISBN 0-8039-9951-8, S. 120
  2. ^ Prah, Mansah (2002). "Jiagge, Annie (1918–1996)". In Commire, Anne (ed.). Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Waterford, Connecticut: Yorkin Publications. ISBN 0-7876-4074-3. Archived from the original on 2016-04-09.
  3. ^ Parker, Jacqueline (1974). Helen Valeska Bary: Labor Administration and Social Security: A Woman's Life. Berkeley CA: University of California.
  4. ^ Santiago-Valles, Kelvin A. (1994). Subject People and Colonial Discourses: Economic Transformation and Social Disorder in Puerto Rico, 1898–1947. SUNY Press. pp. 58, 161. ISBN 9781438418650. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Fox, Muriel, 1928- . Papers of NOW officer Muriel Fox, 1966-1971: A Finding Aid". Oasis.lib.harvard.edu. 1928-02-03. Archived from the original on 2018-07-03. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  6. ^ [1], additional text.
  7. ^ Daggett, Windsor. A Down-East Yankee From the District of Maine. A.J. Huston, 1920. p. 30
  8. ^ "Western Women's Suffrage Newspapers". Accessible Archives Inc. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  9. ^ a b Lane, Temryss MacLean (January 15, 2018). "The frontline of refusal: indigenous women warriors of standing rock". International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Routledge. 31 (3): 209. doi:10.1080/09518398.2017.1401151. eISSN 1366-5898. ISSN 0951-8398. S2CID 149347362. Her courage in sharing her personal story of sexual violence with congress was vital in the passing of the 2013 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). [...] Her dignified poise and presence was pivotal and necessary to pass the tribal provisions that protect Native women and their communities in the VAWA.
  10. ^ Nichols, John (May 24, 2016). "The Democratic Platform Committee Now Has a Progressive Majority. Thanks, Bernie Sanders". Democrats. The Nation. Katrina vanden Heuvel. ISSN 0027-8378. Archived from the original on June 3, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2018. The Sanders selections are all noted progressives: [...] Native American activist and former Tulalip Tribes Vice Chair Deborah Parker (a key advocate for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act) [...].