Famous American Women's Rights Activists

Turn the pages of history and you may be shocked to know the appalled state of women in society back then. Unlike the present times, women of the yesteryears were mere objects of home, untitled, bereft of civil and constitutional rights and deprived of any freedom. Had it not been for the women’s rights activist, we would not have Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Indra Nooyi, Melinda Gates, Anna Patricia Botin or Taylor Swift at their top spots today! Talking of women’s rights activists, American women’s rights activist have played a pivotal role in the women suffragist movement. Be it 19th century civil rights leader Susan B Anthony or Amelia Bloomer, leader and strategist Alice Paul or first American woman Nobel laureate, Jane Addams, each of them committedly fought for social equality to give women an equal status in the society. It was for the efforts of these valiant women that the society turned to the issues concerning women. Basic amenities like freedom of speech, right to vote, gender discrimination, sexual and reproductive health rights, gender-based violence were unheard of concepts that women activists not just brought to the forefront but successfully conquered them to help uplift the status of women in society. Browse through this section to get details about the life and works of American women’s rights activists.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Women's Rights Activists

 1 
Susan B. Anthony
(Women’s Rights Activist)

Susan B. Anthony
10
Birthdate: February 15, 1820
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Adams, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 13, 1906

Susan B. Anthony's vital role in the women's suffrage movement changed the course of history. She led one of the two national suffrage organizations, which later became the National American Woman Suffrage Association, with Susan as its leading force. She also played an instrumental role in publishing The Revolution, a women's rights newspaper.

 2 
Sojourner Truth
(Women's rights activist)

Sojourner Truth
4
Birthdate: 1797 AD
Birthplace: Rifton, New York, United States
Died: November 26, 1883

Sojourner Truth was an American women's rights activist and abolitionist. Born into slavery, Truth escaped to freedom in 1826. She then approached the court to recover her son, subsequently becoming the first black woman to emerge successful against a white man in such a case. In 2014, she was named in Smithsonian's 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time list.

 3 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
(Women’s Rights Activist)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
4
Birthdate: November 12, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johnstown
Died: October 26, 1902
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 4 
Dorothy Day
(Journalist, Social Activist)

Dorothy Day
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 29, 1980

 5 
Alice Paul
(Women's rights activist)

Alice Paul
4
Birthdate: January 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey, United States
Died: July 9, 1977

 6 
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
(Critic of Islam and Advocate of Women Rights)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
4
Birthdate: November 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mogadishu, Somalia

Somali-born Dutch-American activist, feminist, and scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the founder of an organization for the defense of women's rights, the AHA Foundation. She actively opposes forced marriage, honor violence, and child marriage. A former Muslim, she now identifies as an atheist and is a vocal critic of Islam. She is a recipient of the Lantos Human Rights Prize.

 7 
Betty Ford
(Former First Lady of the United States)

Betty Ford
4
Birthdate: April 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: July 8, 2011

Betty Ford served as the First Lady of the US from 1974 to 1977. One of the most popular First Ladies in history, Ford was a passionate supporter of abortion rights and worked towards raising breast cancer awareness. She commented on topics like sex, drugs, abortion, and equal pay. In 1991, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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 8 

Mary McLeod Bethune
3
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mayesville, South Carolina, United States
Died: May 18, 1955

 9 
Jeannette Rankin
(First Woman Elected to U.S Congress)

Jeannette Rankin
3
Birthdate: June 11, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Missoula
Died: May 18, 1973

 10 
Lina Esco
(Actress)

Lina Esco
4
Birthdate: May 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, USA

 11 
Gloria Allred
(Attorney)

Gloria Allred
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

 12 
Pearl Buck
(American writer)

Pearl Buck
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hillsboro
Died: March 6, 1973

 13 
Margaret Fuller
(Journalist, Activist)

Margaret Fuller
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1810
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 19, 1850

 14 
Fannie Lou Hamer
(Civil Rights Activist)

Fannie Lou Hamer
3
Birthdate: October 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montgomery County, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 14, 1977

 15 
Mamie Till
(Activist)

Mamie Till
5
Birthdate: November 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: near Webb, Mississippi, USA
Died: January 6, 2003

 16 

Elizabeth Jagger
3
Birthdate: March 2, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York

 17 
Mary Edwards Walker
(Surgeon, Feminist, Activist)

Mary Edwards Walker
3
Birthdate: November 26, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oswego
Died: February 21, 1919

Mary Edwards Walker, or Dr. Mary Walker, was the only female surgeon who served injured soldiers during the American Civil War. A dress reform supporter, she believed women should value comfort more than tradition when it came to clothes. She was also the first and only Medal of Honor winner.

 18 
Rachel Dolezal
(Controversial Activist Known for Presenting Herself as a Black Woman Despite Having Been Born to White Parents)

Rachel Dolezal
4
Birthdate: November 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lincoln County, Montana, United States

While she claimed she was a transracial Black woman, former NAACP branch president Rachel Dolezal was revealed to be a white woman passing off as Black when her parents spoke to the media. Following the mass protests after the revelation, she was fired from Eastern Washington University, her workplace.

 19 
Lucretia Mott
(Abolitionist, Women's Rights Activist, Social Reformer)

Lucretia Mott
3
Birthdate: January 3, 1793
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: November 11, 1880

Lucretia Mott was an American women's rights activist, abolitionist, and social reformer. Mott played a major role in the events leading up to the Seneca Falls Convention, the first gathering supporting women's rights in the USA. Lucretia Mott's work influenced Elizabeth Cady Stanton whom she mentored. In 1983, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 20 
Cecile Richards
(Activist)

Cecile Richards
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, U.S.

 21 
Lucy Stone
(Women's Rights Activist)

Lucy Stone
3
Birthdate: August 13, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Brookfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: October 19, 1893

 22 
Tammy Bruce
(Radio Host)

Tammy Bruce
4
Birthdate: August 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Tammy Bruce is a radio host and political commentator. During the early-1990s, she led a campaign to criticize the violence in the book American Psycho, and her efforts resulted in the boycott of the novel's publisher for a year. Over the years, she has been an important contributor to Fox News and also hosts Get Tammy Bruce on Fox Nation.

 23 
Matilda Cuomo
(Advocate)

Matilda Cuomo
0
Birthdate: September 16, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 24 
Carrie Chapman Catt
(Women’s Rights Activists)

Carrie Chapman Catt
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1859
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ripon
Died: March 9, 1947

Rebecca Latimer Felton
3
Birthdate: June 10, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Died: January 24, 1930

 26 
Angelina Grimke
(Abolitionist, Women's Rights Activist)

Angelina Grimke
3
Birthdate: February 20, 1805
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Died: October 26, 1879

 27 
Victoria Woodhull
(The First Woman to Run for the American Presidency)

Victoria Woodhull
4
Birthdate: September 23, 1838
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Homer, Ohio, United States
Died: June 9, 1927

Victoria Woodhull was an American politician, suffragist, and writer who played an important role in the women's suffrage movement. She is credited with founding Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, America's first newspaper to be founded by a woman. Her life and career inspired the Broadway musical Onward Victoria. In 2001, she was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 28 
Mary Church Terrell
(One of the first African-American women to earn a college degree)

Mary Church Terrell
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1863
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died: July 24, 1954

 29 
Abby Johnson
(Activist)

Abby Johnson
3
Birthdate: July 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: United States

 30 
Anna Julia Cooper
(Author, Educator)

Anna Julia Cooper
3
Birthdate: August 10, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: February 27, 1964

 31 
Meena Harris
(Founder of Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign)

Meena Harris
0
Birthdate: October 20, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States

 32 

Sarah Weddington
3
Birthdate: February 5, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Abilene, Texas, U.S

 33 
Brittany Maynard
(Educator, Activist)

Brittany Maynard
0
Birthdate: November 19, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Anaheim, California, United States
Died: November 1, 2014

 34 
Matilda Joslyn Gage
(Abolitionist, Freethinker, Author)

Matilda Joslyn Gage
3
Birthdate: March 24, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cicero
Died: March 18, 1898

 35 

Mary White Ovington
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: July 15, 1951

Mary White Ovington was an American journalist and suffragist. She is best remembered as one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Throughout her life, Mary White Ovington remained active in the fight for women's suffrage in the United States of America. She also wrote several articles and books including an autobiography. 

 36 
Frances Lear
(Activist)

Frances Lear
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hudson, New York, United States
Died: September 30, 1996

 37 
Amelia Bloomer
(Advocate)

Amelia Bloomer
3
Birthdate: May 27, 1818
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Homer, New York, United States
Died: December 30, 1894

 38 
Anna Howard Shaw
(Leader of the women's suffrage movement in the United States.)

Anna Howard Shaw
3
Birthdate: February 14, 1847
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newcastle-on-Tyne, England
Died: July 2, 1919

 39 
Emma Willard
(American activist)

Emma Willard
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1787
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 15, 1870

Thomas Wentworth Higginson
3
Birthdate: December 22, 1823
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 9, 1911

 41 
Belva Ann Lockwood
(American lawyer)

Belva Ann Lockwood
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1830
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Royalton, New York
Died: May 19, 1917

 42 
Esther Peterson
(Women's advocate)

Esther Peterson
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Provo, Utah, United States
Died: December 20, 1997

 43 

Catharine A. MacKinnon
2
Birthdate: October 7, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

 44 
Emily Greene Balch
(Social Activist)

Emily Greene Balch
2
Birthdate: January 8, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston
Died: January 9, 1961

 45 

W.A. Criswell
3
Birthdate: December 19, 1909
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eldorado, Oklahoma, United States
Died: January 10, 2002

 46 
Dorothy Dix
(Journalist)

Dorothy Dix
2
Birthdate: November 18, 1861
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montgomery County, Tennessee, United States
Died: December 16, 1951

 47 
Clar Weah
(First Lady, Women's rights activist)

Clar Weah
0
Birthdate: March 11, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

 48 
Maggie Kuhn
(Activist)

Maggie Kuhn
2
Birthdate: August 3, 1905
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States
Died: April 22, 1995

 49 
Louise Little
(Activist)

Louise Little
0
Birthdate: November 4, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: La Digue, Saint Andrew Parish, Grenada
Died: December 18, 1991

 50 
Beate Sirota Gordon
(Human Rights Activist)

Beate Sirota Gordon
2
Birthdate: October 25, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 30, 2012