Famous British Women's Rights Activists

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Women today enjoy equal status in society. They are no less than any man in terms of achievement and talent and exert quite a dominant influence over modern society’s daily proceedings. But has the scenario always been this way? Sadly, no! Much of what we enjoy today has been due to the hard work and persistent claim for equality by our predecessors. Women of the yesteryears did not enjoy the freedom that we use and often misuse today. They, in fact, were treated as minorities of the society and had no say whatsoever. To change the way women were treated in society and give them equal rights as of men, many of the suffragists turned into campaigners of women rights. They fought against slavery and became leading advocates of equal rights for women. They helped women secure the right to vote and became key propagators of self-dependency. In United Kingdom, the scenario was no different from the rest of the world. Leading feminist figures campaigned for equality and freedom. From being suffragists to social activists, they helped turn the society by constantly chanting for the rights of women. Eminent women’s right activists like Mary Wollstonecraft, Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst passionately led the movement in Britain. Check out in details about their life, their story and their struggle for freedom in this segment given below.
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 1 
Mary Wollstonecraft
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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.

 2 
Emmeline Pankhurst
(English Political Activist Who Organised the UK Suffragette Movement)
Emmeline Pankhurst
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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.
 3 
Annie Besant
(British Social Reformer, Theosophist and Women's Rights Activist)
Annie Besant
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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.

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 4 
Emily Davison
(English Suffragette Who Fought for Votes for Women in Britain in the Early 20th Century)
Emily Davison
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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.

 5 
Marie Stopes
(Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists)
Marie Stopes
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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.

 6 
Emma Watson
(Actress and Activist Best Known for Her Role of 'Hermione Granger' in the 'Harry Potter' Film Series)
Emma Watson
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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.

 7 
Caryl Churchill
(British Playwright Best Known for Her Plays: ‘Top Girls’, ‘Cloud 9’ and ‘Serious Money’)
Caryl Churchill
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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.

 8 
Christabel Pankhurst
(British Suffragette and Co-Founder of the 'Women’s Social and Political Union')
Christabel Pankhurst
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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.

 9 
Caroline Chisholm
(Immigrant Welfare Activist)
Caroline Chisholm
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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.

 10 
Gina Miller
(Businesswoman and Activist, Who Won a Case over Brexit Implementation, against the British Government)
Gina Miller
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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.

 11 
Sophia Duleep Singh
(British Suffragette & Godchild of Queen Victoria)
Sophia Duleep Singh
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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.

 12 
Sukki Singapora
(The First International Burlesque Performer from Singapore)
Sukki Singapora
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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.

 13 
Nimco Ali
(Feminist and Social Activist Known for Her Fight Against Female Genital Mutilation)
Nimco Ali
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Birthdate: 1983 AD
Birthplace: Somali Democratic Republic

British Somali social activist and feminist icon Nimco Ali is known for her association with The Girl Generation, a campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM). Being a victim of genital mutilation herself, she later established the organization Daughters of Eve and The Five Foundation to battle FGM.

 14 
Emily Davies
(English Suffragist, Feminist and Co-founder of Girton College, Cambridge University)
Emily Davies
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Birthdate: April 22, 1830
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Carlton Crescent, Southampton, England
Died: July 13, 1921

Emily Davies was an English suffragist and feminist. One of the first campaigners for women's rights to university education, Davies is best remembered for co-founding Girton College, the first university in England to educate women. Emily Davies is also credited with playing an important role in the establishment of Newnham College in 1875.

 15 
Barbara Bodichon
(Women's Rights Activist and Educationist, Who Co-Established Girton College, Cambridge)
Barbara Bodichon
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Birthdate: April 8, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Whatlington, Sussex, England
Died: June 11, 1891

Educationist, feminist, and women’s rights activist Barbara Bodichon is best remembered for co-establishing the English Woman's Journal and Girton College, Cambridge. Her works also led to the passage of the Married Women’s Property Act. She was a talented artist, too, and was known for her watercolor paintings.

 16 
Anna Jameson
(Anglo-Irish Art Historian and Feminist Author, Who Wrote on A Wide Variety of Subjects)
Anna Jameson
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Birthdate: May 19, 1794
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin
Died: March 17, 1860

Born to miniaturist D.B. Murphy, Anna Jameson initially worked as a governess. After a failed marriage, she gained fame as an art historian and critic and also became a champion for women’s rights. She wrote on a wide range of subjects, including travel, art, culture, and poetry.

 17 
Shabnam Nasimi
(Social-Activist and Political Commentator Who Serves as Executive Director of 'Conservative Friends of Afghanistan')
Shabnam Nasimi
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Birthdate: February 16, 1991
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan

British-Afghan social-activist and political-commentator Shabnam Nasimi is the founder and Executive Director of Conservative Friends of Afghanistan, a forum that aims in developing strong relationship between Afghanistan and the UK. She has made appearances on Channel 4 and Channel 5 News, BBC News and ITV News as a political commentator; and has written for Prospect and The Times among others.

 18 
Anne Clough
(Prominent Advocate of Higher Education for Women and First Principal of Newnham College)
Anne Clough
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Birthdate: January 20, 1820
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died: February 27, 1892

British suffragist, educator, feminist and a strong supporter and promoter of higher education for women Anne Jemima Clough is best remembered as one of the founders and the first principal of Newnham College. She also inspired establishment of the North of England Council for Promoting the Higher Education of Women, and served as its secretary and later as its president.

 19 
Margery Corbett Ashby
(British Liberal Politician, Suffragist and President of the Women's Liberal Federation (1928 - 1929))
Margery Corbett Ashby
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Birthdate: April 19, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Danehill, England
Died: May 15, 1981

Margery Corbett Ashby was a British politician, suffragist, internationalist, and feminist. She is credited with co-founding, along with her sister Cicely Corbett Fisher and friends, the Younger Suffragists in 1901. From 1923 to 1946, Margery Corbett Ashby was the president of an international non-governmental organization called International Alliance of Women.

 20 
Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi
(The First Woman to Study Medicine at the University of Paris)
Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi
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Birthdate: August 31, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 10, 1906

Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi was an American teacher, medical physician, scientist, suffragist, and writer. The first female student to study medicine at Sorbonne, Jacobi is best remembered for campaigning for women's rights to medical education throughout her life. Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi provided scientific evidence against the popular belief that menstruation made women ill-suited to education. 

 21 
Joan Dunlop
(British Activist, Women's Health Advocate and Activist)
Joan Dunlop
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Birthdate: May 20, 1934
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 29, 2012

Joan Dunlop was a British activist and women's health advocate. She is best remembered for founding and serving as the first president of a non-governmental organization called International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC). Joan Dunlop played a major role in turning IWHC into a worldwide women's health organization.

 22 
Emily Shirreff
(Pioneer in the Movement for the Higher Education of Women in England)
Emily Shirreff
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Birthdate: November 3, 1814
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: England
Died: March 20, 1897

Emily Shirreff was a British activist who pioneered women's education, especially access to higher education, in England. She also supported women's suffrage and was involved in the work of the Women's Education Union.