Famous Iranian Women

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Throughout the history of Iran, the Iranian women have always played a major representative and fundamental role in its development. Despite the country's imposition on women's education, these ambitious Iranian women have never backed out of fighting for their rights which makes it quite commendable. They constantly pushed boundaries and their fights against societal mores won them victory in many departments like the politics and economics. Iranian women are not only in the spotlight for their crusader traits but also for their physical attributes. Their naturally beautiful aesthetics and their low-toned voice are few features that make them quite appealing. Even though the standards of beauty have changed from over the last 100 years, Iranian women still holds on to some of the age-old beauty beliefs like sporting long hair, thick eyebrows and some even manage to pull off a unibrow!

Vote for Your Favourite Iranian Women
 1 
Golshifteh Farahani
(Iranian Actress)
Golshifteh Farahani
38
Birthdate: July 10, 1983
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Golshifteh Farahani is an Iranian actress renowned for her achievements on the international stage. She is one of the few Iranian actresses to have worked in Hollywood films and many of her films have received international recognition. Farahani has also been advocating for the eradication of tuberculosis in her home country and often gets involved in environmental causes as well.

 2 
Esther
(Queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus)
Esther
12
Birthplace: Achaemenid Empire
Esther from the Book of Esther was a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus. While the king’s advisor, Haman, angered by Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, planned to kill all Jews, Esther reversed the plan with the king’s permission. The Jewish festival Purim marks the day the Jews murdered their enemies.
 3 
Farah Pahlavi
(Queen Consort of the Shah of Iran)
Farah Pahlavi
22
Birthdate: October 14, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Farah Pahlavi was the Shahbanu of Iran from 1961 to 1979, as the wife of Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Though she was not allowed to hold a political role, she worked for many charities and helped found Iran's first American-style university. She has continued her involvement in charity work even after her husband’s death in 1980. 

 4 
Maryam Mirzakhani
(First Iranian to Be Honored With the ‘Fields Medal’, the Most Prestigious Award in Mathematics)
Maryam Mirzakhani
10
Birthdate: May 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: July 14, 2017

Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician best remembered for her innovative methods and research involving different branches of mathematics like symplectic geometry and ergodic theory. On 13 August 2014, she became the first Iranian and only woman to date to be honored with the prestigious Fields Medal. Maryam Mirzakhani died of breast cancer when she was 40 years old.

 5 
Christiane Amanpour
(Journalist, Television Host and Chief International Anchor for CNN)
Christiane Amanpour
51
Birthdate: January 12, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
British-Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour is best known as the anchor of the CNN interview show Amanpour. She has also hosted PBS’s Amanpour & Company. She was criticized for her biased and pro-Muslim coverage of the Bosnian War. She has also been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression.
 6 
Roxana
(Wife of Alexander the Great)
Roxana
12
Birthdate: 0340 BC
Birthplace: Sogdia
Died: 0310 BC

Roxana was a Bactrian or a Sogdian princess who married Alexander the Great after the latter defeated Darius and invaded Persia. Roxana played a significant role in the life of Alexander. Hence, she is often included in the tales and stories that narrate Alexander's greatness and valor. In the 2004 epic historical film Alexander, Roxana is portrayed by Rosario Dawson.

 7 
Marjane Satrapi
(Graphic Novelist Known for Her Works 'Persepolis' and 'Chicken with Plums')
Marjane Satrapi
12
Birthdate: November 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rasht, Iran

Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novelist, illustrator, cartoonist, children's book author, and film director. Satrapi achieved international recognition in the early-2000s after releasing her critically acclaimed graphic novels. She is best known for writing and directing an animated biographical drama film titled Persepolis, which received nominations at prestigious award ceremonies, such as the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Golden Globes.

 8 
Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari
(Former Actress, Second wife of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi)
Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari
15
Birthdate: June 22, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Esfahan, Iran
Died: October 26, 2001
 9 
Shohreh Aghdashloo
(Numerous starring roles on the stage)
Shohreh Aghdashloo
19
Birthdate: May 11, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 10 
Tomyris
(Ruler)
Tomyris
9
Birthplace: Iran

A legendary figure, Tomyris was the fabled queen of the Massagetai, an Iranian tribal population. She is perhaps best remembered for her campaign against Cyrus II the Great of Persia, whom she attacked and killed, thus defending her forces. She has been the subject of many literary and artistic creations.

 11 
Googoosh
(Singer)
Googoosh
18
Birthdate: May 5, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehrān, Iran
 12 
Shahnaz Pahlavi
(First child of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi)
Shahnaz Pahlavi
12
Birthdate: October 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 13 
Stateira II
(Darius III's Daughter)
Stateira II
2
Birthdate: 0346 AD
Birthplace: Persia
Died: 0323 AD
 14 
Mandana Karimi
(Actress, Model)
Mandana Karimi
18
Birthdate: May 19, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 15 
Shirin Ebadi
(Human Rights Activist)
Shirin Ebadi
12
Birthdate: June 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hamadan

Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights activist and lawyer Shirin Ebadi is known for her significant work with refugees, women, and children, and her countless books, such as Iran Awakening. In spite of being Iran’s first female judge, she found it difficult to establish herself in the male-dominated profession.

 16 
Desiree Akhavan
(Director)
Desiree Akhavan
5
Birthdate: 1984 AD
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
 17 
Cassandra Clare
10
Birthdate: July 27, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Cassandra Clare is an American writer best known for authoring a series of six young adult fantasy novels titled The Mortal Instruments. A highly acclaimed author, Cassandra Clare has won several awards including a couple of Georgia Peach Book Awards. 

 18 
Maryam Zakaria
(Known for her work in Bollywood films such as Agent Vinod, and the adult comedy Grand Masti.)
Maryam Zakaria
6
Birthdate: September 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 19 
Shirin Neshat
(Artist, Activist)
Shirin Neshat
9
Birthdate: March 26, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Qazvin

Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat is known for her depiction of the dynamics that women share with Islamic cultural elements. Known for her multi-media productions such as Logic of the Birds, the UCB alumna who has worked in New York for a decade uses photography and films to express herself.

 20 
Negar Khan
(Actress)
Negar Khan
8
Birthdate: 1984 AD
Birthplace: Tabriz, Iran
Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh
22
Birthdate: February 14, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: January 25, 1936

Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh was a princess, women's rights activist, feminist, and memoirist. A multi-talented personality, Taj al-Saltaneh acquired the status of a legendary figure among women while she was still active. The first woman to take off the hijab in court, Zahra organized underground women's rights meetings and led a women's rights march against the monarchy under her father.

 22 
Aylar Lie
(Actress)
Aylar Lie
9
Birthdate: February 12, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 23 
Sevdaliza
(Singer-songwriter)
Sevdaliza
9
Birthdate: September 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Sevdaliza is an Iranian-Dutch singer whose debut album ISON earned her the 3voor12 Award under the Best Album of the Year category. Although she is not very popular in the Netherlands, Sevdaliza performs all over the world. A former professional basketball player, Sevdaliza played for the Dutch national team before embarking on a career as a singer.

 24 
Narges Rashidi
5
Birthdate: March 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Khorramabad, Iran
 25 
Dorsa Derakhshani
(Chess player)
Dorsa Derakhshani
8
Birthdate: April 15, 1998
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

A Woman Grandmaster and an International Grandmaster, Iranian chess player Dorsa Derakhshani initially represented Iran internationally. She now plays for the US and is a student of St. Louis University. Initially home-schooled, she had also excelled in music and dance, especially ballet, in her childhood, before moving on to chess.

 26 
Maryam Rajavi
(Iranian Leader of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK))
Maryam Rajavi
17
Birthdate: December 4, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Maryam Rajavi is an Iranian woman best known as the leader of a political-militant organization called People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), which is working towards overthrowing the Iranian government. In July 2021, Maryam Rajavi organized a protest and condemned Ebrahim Raisi, calling him the "henchman" of the butchery of 30,000 political prisoners. 

 27 
Nasrin Sotoudeh
(Iranian Human Rights Lawyer)
Nasrin Sotoudeh
5
Birthdate: May 30, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Nasrin Sotoudeh is an Iranian human rights lawyer who has represented imprisoned activists following the Iranian presidential elections in June 2009 as well as convicts sentenced to death for offence committed when they were minors. In 2020, she was the subject of a documentary. In 2021, Nasrin Sotoudeh was named in Time magazine's Most Influential People in the World list.

 28 
Kimia Alizadeh
(Taekwondo athlete)
Kimia Alizadeh
9
Birthdate: July 10, 1998
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Karaj, Iran

Taekwondo player Kimia Alizadeh, the daughter of a table-cloth maker, became a star in her country, Iran, when she won a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, she fled Iran due to oppression in 2020 and settled in Germany. She has since been competing for Germany internationally.

 29 
Zahra Amir Ebrahimi
(actor, photographer)
Zahra Amir Ebrahimi
6
Birthdate: 1981 AD
Birthplace: Iran
 30 
Fereshteh Hosseini
19
Birthdate: April 26, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 31 
Maryam Namazie
(Human rights activist, Politician)
Maryam Namazie
2
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.

 32 
Lina Leandersson
4
Birthdate: September 27, 1995
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Falun, Sweden
 33 
Helly Luv
(Singer)
Helly Luv
6
Birthdate: November 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Urmia, Iran
 34 
Sahar Biniaz
(actor, model, beauty pageant contestant)
Sahar Biniaz
2
Birthdate: 1986 AD
Birthplace: Tehran
 35 
Mona Mahmudnizhad
(Execution for membership in the Baháʼí Faith)
Mona Mahmudnizhad
1
Birthdate: September 10, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Aden, Yemen
Died: June 18, 1983
 36 
Iran Eory
(Actress)
Iran Eory
2
Birthdate: October 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: March 10, 2002
 37 
Melika Foroutan
(Actress, known for Mediterráneo (2021), Tribes of Europa (2021) and Pari (2020))
Melika Foroutan
2
Birthdate: 1976 AD
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 38 
Azar Nafisi
(Writer, Professor, Novelist, Literary critic)
Azar Nafisi
3
Birthdate: 1955 AD
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Azar Nafisi is an Iranian-American writer and professor. She was born in Iran and later moved to the US, where she received her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She returned to Iran to pursue an academic career, eventually going back to the US after some years. She is the author of several critically acclaimed books. 

 39 
Aravane Rezai
(Tennis player)
Aravane Rezai
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint-Étienne, France

Former world number 15, Iranian-origin French tennis star Aravane Rezai was initially a ball girl. She made headlines when her difficult relationship with her father led to him being banned from following her in all WTA tournaments. She has won 2 Women's Islamic Games, representing Iran, though she later represented France.

 40 
Atefeh Sahaaleh
(Child execution)
Atefeh Sahaaleh
1
Birthdate: September 21, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mashhad Mashhad, Iran
Died: August 15, 2004
 41 
Enissa Amani
(Comedian)
Enissa Amani
2
Birthdate: December 8, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 42 
Forough Farrokhzad
(Poet, Film director, Writer)
Forough Farrokhzad
1
Birthdate: January 5, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tehran
Died: February 13, 1967

Forough Farrokhzad was an Iranian poet and film director. Her strong feminist voice earned her much acclaim and also brought about much criticism. She was both a popular and controversial figure. Her works were banned for more than a decade after the Islamic Revolution. In more recent years, she has become Iran's most revered female poet. 

 43 
Nina Zanjani
(Actress)
Nina Zanjani
1
Birthdate: September 1, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 44 
Jasmin Tabatabai
1
Birthdate: June 8, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 45 
Simin Daneshvar
(Iranian Academic, Novelist, Fiction Writer and Translator)
Simin Daneshvar
2
Birthdate: April 28, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fasa, Iran
Died: March 8, 2012

Simin Daneshvar was an Iranian novelist, academic, translator, and fiction writer. In 1948, she became the first Iranian woman to have a collection of Persian short stories published. Simin Daneshvar also became the first Iranian woman to publish a novel when her work Savushun released in 1966; Savushun went on to become a bestseller.

 46 
Monir Farmanfarmaian
(Iranian artist)
Monir Farmanfarmaian
2
Birthdate: December 16, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Qazvin, Persia
Died: April 20, 2019
 47 
Zahra Nemati
(Archer)
Zahra Nemati
2
Birthdate: April 30, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kerman, Kerman Province, Iran

Zahra Nemati is an Iranian Olympic and Paralympic archer best known for winning gold medals for Iran in major competitions like Paralympic Games and World Para-archery Championships. Nemati competed in taekwondo prior to a car accident that left her paralyzed. Zahra Nemati was the flag bearer for her country at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

 48 
Sarasadat Khademalsharieh
2
Birthdate: March 10, 1997
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh is an Iranian chess player who achieved the honorific titles of Woman Grandmaster and International Master in 2013 and 2015 respectively. She has represented her country in important competitions like the Women's Chess Olympiads and the Women's World Chess Championship. 

 49 
Stateira I
(Darius III's wife)
Stateira I
0
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0332 AD
 50 
Drypetis
(Princess the daughter of Stateira I and Darius III of Persia.)
Drypetis
1
Birthplace: Iran
Died: 0323 AD

There are quite a few Iranian women who are lauded for their contribution in shattering stereotypes. Masih Alinejad, a journalist who is known for the campaign against legally mandated hijabs, Shahla Sherkat, another journalist fighting for women's rights, Nazanin Boniadi, Hollywood actress and the spokesperson for Amnesty International. But the list doesn’t end here! Read on and find out more about these Iranian women.