British Women Activists

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Throughout history, there have been many British women activists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great British female activists such as Annie Besant, Emmeline Pankhurst, Jane Goodall, Mary Wollstonecraft, Emily Davison.
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 1 
Amal Clooney
(Lebanese-British Barrister Specialising in International Law and Human Rights & the Wife of Actor George Clooney)
Amal Clooney
16
Birthdate: February 3, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Amal Clooney is a Lebanese-British barrister, specializing in human rights and international law. Her clients include popular and influential personalities like Yulia Tymoshenko, Nadia Murad, and Julian Assange. Her work and philanthropic activities gained media coverage after her wedding to actor George Clooney. The Clooneys are well-known philanthropists and are founders of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

 2 
Vanessa Redgrave
(Is an English Actress, Activist)
Vanessa Redgrave
5
Birthdate: January 30, 1937
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
 3 
Emmeline Pankhurst
(English Political Activist Who Organised the UK Suffragette Movement)
Emmeline Pankhurst
8
Birthdate: July 15, 1858
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moss Side, Manchester, United Kingdom
Died: June 14, 1928
Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist best remembered for helping women earn the right to vote in elections by organizing the UK suffragette movement. For playing a major role in achieving women's suffrage in the UK, Pankhurst was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century list in 1999.
 4 
Mary Wollstonecraft
8
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 10, 1797

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, advocate of women's rights, and philosopher. Wollstonecraft, who attracted a lot of attention for her unconventional personal relationships, is widely considered a founding feminist philosopher. Although her unorthodoxy initially attracted criticisms, her advocacy of women's equality became increasingly important during the 20th century. Modern-day feminists cite her works and her life as important influences.

 5 
Joanna Lumley
(Actress)
Joanna Lumley
10
Birthdate: May 1, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Srinagar

Joanna Lumley is a British actress and prolific activist. In recognition of her work as part of the Gurkha Justice Campaign, Joanna is fondly called as the daughter of Nepal in Nepal. Also known for supporting various other charity organizations and animal welfare groups, Joanna Lumley was appointed an OBE in the 1995 New Year Honours by the queen.

 6 
Katie Piper
(Acid Attack Victim & Narrator of Channel 4 Series 'Katie: My Beautiful Face')
Katie Piper
4
Birthdate: October 12, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Andover, Hampshire, England

Model Katie Piper made headlines after being attacked with acid by her former boyfriend. She underwent a face restoration surgery to rebuild her damaged face. She then became an activist, released an autobiography, and created a documentary. She also owns a foundation to help burn victims and has hosted Bodyshockers.

 7 
Carrie Symonds
(British Media Advisor and Wife of Boris Johnson Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)
Carrie Symonds
12
Birthdate: March 17, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: East Sheen, South London
Carrie Symonds, the fiancée of British prime minister Boris Johnson, is the first unmarried partner of a prime minister to stay at 10 Downing Street. A former Conservative Party press officer, she now works with Oceana. She was the youngest victim to testify against serial sexual offender John Worboys. 
 8 
Heather Mills
(Former Model, Businesswoman and Ex-Wife of Paul McCartney)
Heather Mills
6
Birthdate: January 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aldershot, Hampshire, England
Model Heather Mills lost her left leg in an accident but continued to model using a prosthetic leg. She was previously married to singer Paul McCartney. An avid animal rights activist, she is associated with organizations such as Viva! She has appeared on reality shows like Dancing with The Stars.
 9 
Sara Pascoe
(Comedian)
Sara Pascoe
5
Birthdate: May 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dagenham, London, England

Born to musician Derek Pascoe, comedian Sara Pascoe was raised by her mother amid poverty after her parents’ divorce. Initially a tour guide, she later stepped into comedy and never looked back. She is known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Twenty Twelve.

 10 
Annie Besant
(British Social Reformer, Theosophist and Women's Rights Activist)
Annie Besant
4
Birthdate: October 1, 1847
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clapham Town, London, United Kingdom
Died: September 20, 1933

Annie Besant was a British theosophist, socialist, writer, orator, educationist, women's rights activist, and philanthropist. Despite being British, Besant supported India's freedom movement and even joined the Indian National Congress. She is also credited with co-founding Banaras Hindu University. Besant also helped launch the Indian Home Rule movement to campaign for democracy in the country.

 11 
Emma Watson
(Actress and Activist Best Known for Her Role of 'Hermione Granger' in the 'Harry Potter' Film Series)
Emma Watson
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

English actress, model, and activist, Emma Watson first gained prominence as a child artiste in the Harry Potter film series. The daughter of lawyers, she was determined to go to college despite her busy acting career and graduated from Brown University. A staunch feminist, she is actively involved with organizations that work for the betterment of women.

 12 
Emily Davison
(English Suffragette Who Fought for Votes for Women in Britain in the Early 20th Century)
Emily Davison
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1872
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 8, 1913

Activist Emily Davison is remembered for her relentless fight for women’s suffrage. As part of her protest, at the 1913 Epsom Derby, she went in front of King George V’s horse, to attach suffragette flags to it, and was tragically trampled to death. Some regard her as a martyr for women’s causes.

 13 
Lola Kirke
(Film actress)
Lola Kirke
4
Birthdate: September 27, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
 14 
Princess Diana
(First Wife of Charles, Prince of Wales)
Princess Diana
0
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 31, 1997

The first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Diana was a member of the British royal family. As a princess, she became known for her unconventional approach to charity work. She was celebrated as a style icon and fashionista as well. She divorced Charles in 1996 and died in a tragic car accident the following year.

 15 
Kate Nash
(Singer-songwriter)
Kate Nash
5
Birthdate: July 6, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Harrow, London, England, UK
 16 
Anna Soubry
(British Barrister, Journalist and Member of Parliament for Broxtowe (2010 - 2019))
Anna Soubry
4
Birthdate: December 7, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England

Anna Soubry is a British journalist, barrister, and former politician. A vocal critic of Brexit, Soubry left the Conservative Party in February 2019 in order to join the Independent Group for Change (Change UK). Subsequently, Anna Soubry was appointed as the party's leader before the disbandment of Change UK following the party's failure at the December 2019 general election.

 17 
Maxine Peake
(Actress)
Maxine Peake
4
Birthdate: July 14, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Westhoughton, Bolton, Lancashire, England, UK
 18 
Pixie Geldof
4
Birthdate: September 17, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
 19 
Anna Leonowens
(British Travel Writer, Educator, and Social Activist)
Anna Leonowens
3
Birthdate: November 5, 1834
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ahmednagar, India
Died: January 19, 1915

Indian-born British author Anna Leonowens is best remembered for her memoir The English Governess at the Siamese Court, which related her experience as a governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam. The musical The King and I and the novel Anna and the King of Siam were inspired by her life.

 20 
Emily Thornberry
(Politician)
Emily Thornberry
4
Birthdate: July 27, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Guildford, Surrey, England, UK
 21 
Poly Styrene
(Musician)
Poly Styrene
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bromley, England
Died: April 25, 2011
 22 
Anoushka Shankar
(Internationally Acclaimed Sitar Player, Composer and Daughter of Indian Sitar Maestro Ravi Shankar)
Anoushka Shankar
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

Anoushka Shankar is a British-Indian music composer and sitar player. Over the years, she has been nominated for several Grammy Awards and has won many prestigious awards, such as Songlines Music Award. In 2004, she was named in the 20 Asian Heroes list published by Time. Anoushka Shankar is also known for her activism and is a supporter of animal rights.  

 23 
Gina Miller
(Businesswoman and Activist, Who Won a Case over Brexit Implementation, against the British Government)
Gina Miller
0
Birthdate: April 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Guyana

Guyanese-British businesswoman and activist Gina Miller is the co-founder of the management firm SCM Direct. A former Labour Party member, she campaigned for transparency with regard to Brexit. She won a case challenging the UK government's authority to invoke Article 50 without an approval from the Parliament.

 24 
Marie Stopes
(Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists)
Marie Stopes
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: October 2, 1958

Apart from being a successful botanist, Marie Stopes was also a popular activist, known for her contribution to the feminist cause. A leading supporter of birth control, she established the UK’s first clinic for family planning. She was also known for her books Married Love and Wise Parenthood.

 25 
Millicent Fawcett
(Feminist Politcian Who Led the Women's Suffrage Movement in Britain)
Millicent Fawcett
3
Birthdate: June 11, 1847
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aldeburgh, England
Died: August 5, 1929

A pioneering leader of the women’s suffrage movement in Britain, Millicent Fawcett also co-established the Newnham College, Cambridge, which was one of the first English women’s universities. She also served as the president of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies and investigated British concentration camps during the South African War.

 26 
Mary Whitehouse
(British Teacher and Conservative Activist)
Mary Whitehouse
4
Birthdate: June 13, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Died: November 23, 2001

While she was initially a schoolteacher, who specialized in sex education, Mary Whitehouse later began a campaign against the moral standards of the media in Britain, particularly the BBC. She launched the Clean Up TV campaign, vocalizing her opposition toward content such as war and child pornography.

 27 
Hayley Okines
(Activist)
Hayley Okines
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1997
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Arrington
Died: April 1, 2015
 28 
Christabel Pankhurst
(British Suffragette and Co-Founder of the 'Women’s Social and Political Union')
Christabel Pankhurst
3
Birthdate: September 22, 1880
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Died: February 13, 1958

Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst was a British suffragette who co-founded the Women's Social and Political Union. From 1912 to 1913, Pankhurst directed the organization's militant actions from France. After the war, Christabel Pankhurst settled down in the United States of America where she served as an evangelist for the Second Coming movement.

 29 
Ingrid Newkirk
(President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
Ingrid Newkirk
3
Birthdate: June 11, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: United Kingdom

Co-founder and president of PETA, animal activist Ingrid Newkirk is also associated with organizations such as EarthSave International and United Poultry Concerns. She has also penned books such as Free the Animals! Apart from soaking herself in fake blood for protests, she has also supported the often-anti-social Animal Liberation Front.

 30 
Gabriella Wright
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stoke Newington, London, England, United Kingdom
 31 
Heather Brooke
(Journalist)
Heather Brooke
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pennsylvania, U.S.
 32 
Caryl Churchill
(British Playwright Best Known for Her Plays: ‘Top Girls’, ‘Cloud 9’ and ‘Serious Money’)
Caryl Churchill
3
Birthdate: September 3, 1938
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

British playwright Caryl Churchill is best-known for works that emphasize on feminist-issues, sexual-politics and abuses of power. Most renowned works of Churchill, who also gained attention for using non-naturalistic techniques, include the farce Cloud 9 about sexual politics; the play Top Girls that deals with feminist issues; and the satirical play Serious Money that was largely written in rhyming couplets.

 33 
Ophelia Dahl
(Social justice and health care advocate)
Ophelia Dahl
3
Birthdate: May 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oxford, England
 34 
Jane McGrath
(England-born Australian cancer support campaigner)
Jane McGrath
2
Birthdate: May 4, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paignton
Died: June 22, 2008
 35 
Sylvia Pankhurst
(Political Activist)
Sylvia Pankhurst
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Old Trafford (district) Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Died: September 27, 1960
 36 
Sheherazade Goldsmith
(British Environmental Activis and Jewelry Business Owner)
Sheherazade Goldsmith
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Denmark Hill, London

Sheherazade Goldsmith is known for her pioneering a venture of concept jewelry, Loquet London, which offers customized pendants. She has been a columnist for publications such as The Sunday Times and has also penned books. An environmental activist and philanthropist, too, she once owned an organic food business.

 37 
Caroline Chisholm
(Immigrant Welfare Activist)
Caroline Chisholm
2
Birthdate: May 30, 1808
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wootton, Northampton, England
Died: March 25, 1877

Caroline Chisholm was an English humanitarian remembered for her work in British India where she established the Female School of Industry for the Daughters of European Soldiers which aimed at educating girls, who were taught reading, writing, nursing, cooking, and housekeeping. She also became a much-admired woman in Australia where she placed more than 11,000 people in jobs and homes.

 38 
Cicely Saunders
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
Died: July 14, 2005
A pioneer of the hospice movement, English nurse and social worker Cicely Saunders not only developed the palliative care approach but also established the St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. A supporter of medical ethics, she was against voluntary euthanasia. She won numerous awards, such as the Templeton Prize.
 39 
Josephine Butler
(Social Worker)
Josephine Butler
2
Birthdate: April 13, 1828
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Northumberland
Died: December 30, 1906

Renowned Victorian-era feminist and social reformer Josephine Butler was a champion for women’s suffrage and also fought against human trafficking. It is believed, she devoted herself to charity after the death of her 6-year-old daughter. She also forced Cambridge to encourage women’s education, which culminated in the Newnham women’s college.

 40 
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
(Ugandan-born British journalist and author)
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
3
Birthdate: December 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kampala, Uganda
 41 
Mary Dyer
(Protestant)
Mary Dyer
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1611
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: England
Died: June 1, 1660
 42 
Sophia Duleep Singh
(British Suffragette & Godchild of Queen Victoria)
Sophia Duleep Singh
0
Birthdate: August 8, 1876
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Elveden Hall, Elveden, Suffolk, England
Died: August 22, 1948

Sophia Duleep Singh was a British suffragette who fought for women's rights in Britain during the early 20th century. She is perhaps best remembered for her role in the Women's Tax Resistance League (WTRL). Sophia Duleep Singh also took part in other women's suffrage groups such as the Women's Social and Political Union.

 43 
Caroline Norton
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1808
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London
Died: June 15, 1877

Being the granddaughter of playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, author Caroline Norton had her first experience at writing in her teens. Her beauty and charm, however, made her failed barrister husband jealous. The rift in their marriage caused her to successfully campaign for married women’s right to property and their children’s custody.

 44 
Saffron Aldridge
2
Birthdate: 1968 AD
Birthplace: London
 45 
Emily Hobhouse
(British Social Worker)
Emily Hobhouse
2
Birthdate: April 9, 1860
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St Ive, Cornwall, England
Died: June 8, 1926
 46 
Ouida
(Novelist)
Ouida
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1839
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bury Saint Edmunds, England
Died: January 25, 1908
 47 
Maryam Namazie
(Human rights activist, Politician)
Maryam Namazie
0
Birthdate: 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Maryam Namazie is a British-Iranian secularist, human rights activist, communist, commentator, and broadcaster. Namazie has had a huge impact on the lives of refugees around the world. In the USA, she co-founded the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees. Maryam Namazie is also an outspoken critic of cultural relativism and the oppression of women in some Muslim countries.

 48 
Nancy Cunard
(Writer)
Nancy Cunard
2
Birthdate: March 10, 1896
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: March 17, 1965
 49 
Sukki Singapora
(The First International Burlesque Performer from Singapore)
Sukki Singapora
2
Birthdate: October 20, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Singapore

Sukki Singapora scripted history as the first global burlesque performer from Singapore. Born to a British mother and an Indian father, who were both doctors, Singapora surprised everyone when she chose performing arts as a vocation. A feminist activist, too, she appeared in the Netflix series Singapore Social.

 50 
Jill Craigie
(Film director)
Jill Craigie
2
Birthdate: March 7, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fulham, London, England
Died: December 13, 1999