Women Civil Rights Activists

Throughout history, there have been many women civil rights activists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female civil rights activists such as Pauley Perrette, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Ruby Bridges, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.The women civil rights activists featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries.

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

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 1 Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks
20
Famous As: The First Lady of Civil Rights
Birthdate: February 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tuskegee, Alabama, United States
Died: October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks, “the first lady of civil rights,” was a pioneer in the American revolution against color segregation and racism. Her refusal to leave her bus seat to a white passenger gave rise to the iconic Montgomery Bus Boycott, which also led her to work with Martin Luther King Jr.

 2 Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette
26
Famous As: Television Actress, Activist, Singer
Birthdate: March 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Pauley Perrette is a former actress, singer, and writer. Perrette is best known for portraying Abby Sciuto from 2003 to 2018 on the popular police procedural TV series NCIS. Also an activist, Pauley Perrette supports several animal rescue organizations, LGBT rights organizations, and civil rights organizations. Over the years, she has been an ardent supporter of the American Red Cross.

 3 Angela Davis

Angela Davis
14
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.

 4 Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges
8
Famous As: Philanthropist
Birthdate: September 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tylertown
American civil rights activist Ruby Bridges became the first African-American child to attend an all-white educational institute when she joined the Louisiana-based William Frantz Elementary School in November 1960. She was the subject of Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With and the TV movie Ruby Bridges.

 5 Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker
6
Famous As: Entertainer
Birthdate: June 3, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: April 12, 1975
Nicknamed Black Pearl and Creole Goddess, Josephine Baker was the first Black woman to appear in a motion picture. She was a revue dancer, famous for her signature banana costume. A civil rights activist, she helped the French military during World War II. She adopted 12 children of different ethnicities.

 6 Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: May 28, 2014
Poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was a champion for black feminism and is best remembered for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing. The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and over 50 honorary degrees was also a child sex abuse survivor.

 7 Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King
7
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist, Author
Birthdate: April 27, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Heiberger, Alabama, United States
Died: January 30, 2006

The American civil rights activist was an ideal foil for her famous husband Martin Luther King Jr. in promoting racial equality. The author and singer led the Women's Movement and fought for the rights of the LGBT community. She was also known for mobilising African-Americans during the 1960 US presidential election. She founded the King Centre, a not-for-profit organization.

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 8 Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells
5
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

 9 Lena Horne

Lena Horne
9
Famous As: Singer, Dancer, Actress
Birthdate: June 30, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, United States
Died: May 9, 2010

Lena Horne was an American singer, actress, dancer, and civil rights activist. Horne's 70-year acting career was embellished with several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards. Her life and career were depicted in many stage shows, where she was portrayed by actresses like Leslie Uggams, Nikki Crawford, and Ryan Jillian.

 10 Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
7
Famous As: Politician, Anti-Apartheid Activist
Birthdate: September 26, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bizana, Eastern Cape
Died: April 2, 2018
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had first met legendary anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela at a bus stop when she was barely 22. They ended up getting married the following year. Winnie’s journey was marred by bans and harassment by the South African government, but the determined social worker revolutionized South African politics.

 11 Yolanda King

Yolanda King
5
Famous As: Human rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter
Birthdate: November 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: May 15, 2007

African American activist, Yolanda King, was the first-born child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Exposed to social justice activism at a young age, she grew up to be an outspoken supporter of civil rights and LGBTQA+ rights. She was also known for her artistic endeavors. She died of heart disease at 51. 

 12 Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
3
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
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.

 13 Jane Elliott

Jane Elliott
3
Famous As: Schoolteacher
Birthdate: May 27, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Riceville, Iowa, United States

Jane Elliott is an American schoolteacher best known for inventing and popularizing the Blue eyes/Brown eyes exercise. The exercise, which was first conducted on April 5, 1968, with her third-grade class, aims at helping people understand the ill-effects of racial discrimination. The classroom exercise has inspired a couple of documentaries namely The Eye of the Storm and The Angry Eye.  

 14 Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde
5
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: November 17, 1992

Author and poet Audre Lorde is remembered as a firebrand feminist and a champion for the LGBT community. Openly lesbian, she penned iconic volumes such as Cables to Rage and The Black Unicorn. She also recorded her 14-year struggle with cancer in The Cancer Journals and A Burst of Light.

 15 Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
5
Famous As: Women’s Rights Activist
Birthdate: November 12, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johnstown
Died: October 26, 1902

 16 Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza
5
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: January 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

 17 Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin
3
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: September 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States

 18 Betty Shabazz

Betty Shabazz
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Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: May 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pinehurst, Georgia, United States
Died: June 23, 1997

Civil rights activist and educator Betty Shabazz, or Betty X, was the wife of Black nationalist leader Malcolm X. Raised by her adoptive parents in Detroit, she met Malcolm X at a Nation of Islam event in Harlem. She died when her apartment was set on fire set by her grandson.

 19 Viola Desmond

Viola Desmond
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: July 6, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Died: February 7, 1965

Though born bi-racial, Viola Desmond became a Black icon for her business acumen. After not being allowed to train as a beautician in Halifax, she moved to Montreal. Her beauty products, salon, and training institute, all catering specifically to Black women, filled a major void in the beauty industry.

 20 Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 27, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Died: June 11, 2014

 21 Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 4, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: November 10, 2008

Miriam Makeba was a South African singer, actress, songwriter, civil rights activist, and United Nations goodwill ambassador. One of the first African musicians to make an impact on the international stage, Makeba is credited with popularizing Afropop genres. She also advocated against apartheid through music and played a major role in the civil rights movement.

 22 Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke
5
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: September 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.

 23 Sacheen Littlefeather

Sacheen Littlefeather
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salinas, California, United States

 24 Mary McLeod Bethune

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

 25 Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer
5
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: October 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montgomery County, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 14, 1977

 26 Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta
3
Famous As: Trade unionist
Birthdate: April 10, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dawson

 27 Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan
7
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: February 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Houston
Died: January 17, 1996

 28 Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lincoln County, Montana, U.S

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.

 29 Kiran Bedi

Kiran Bedi
3
Famous As: Police officer
Birthdate: June 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Amritsar, India

Kiran Bedi is an Indian police officer and social activist. In 1972, she became the first Indian woman to serve as an officer in the Indian Police Service. From 2016 to 2021, she served as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, playing an important role in the development of the Indian Union Territory. Her life has inspired many films, including Karthavyam.

 30 Viola Liuzzo

Viola Liuzzo
5
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: April 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: California, Pennsylvania
Died: March 25, 1965

 31 Alveda King

Alveda King
7
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 22, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia, U.S.

 32 Assata Shakur

Assata Shakur
3
Famous As: Murder Convict
Birthdate: July 14, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Assata Shakur is a former member of the revolutionary organization 'Black Liberation Army'. Sentenced to life for murder, Shakur escaped from the 'Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women' and was eventually granted political asylum in Cuba. She is the first woman to be added to FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list. Her life inspired the documentary film Eyes of the Rainbow.

 33 Isra Hirsi

Isra Hirsi
4
Famous As: Co-founder and served as the co-executive director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike
Birthdate: February 22, 2003
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

 34 Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones
0
Famous As: Journalist, Writer
Birthdate: April 9, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Waterloo, Iowa, United States

 35 Ella Baker

Ella Baker
2
Famous As: American activist
Birthdate: December 13, 1903
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Died: December 13, 1986

 36 Lucy Stone

Lucy Stone
2
Famous As: Women's Rights Activist
Birthdate: August 13, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Brookfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: October 19, 1893

 37 Amelia Boynton Robinson

Amelia Boynton Robinson
2
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: August 18, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Died: August 26, 2015

 38 Pramila Jayapal

Pramila Jayapal
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 21, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madras, Tamil Nadu, India

Pramila Jayapal is a politician who has been serving as the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington's 7th district since 2017. She is the first woman of Indian origin to serve as the U.S. Representative. She is also the current Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. From 2015 to 2016, Jayapal served in the Washington Senate from the 37th district. 

 39 Myrlie Evers-Williams

Myrlie Evers-Williams
2
Famous As: journalist
Birthdate: March 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vicksburg

 40 Edith Cowan

Edith Cowan
2
Famous As: Social Campaigner
Birthdate: August 2, 1861
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Geraldton, Australia
Died: June 9, 1932

Edith Cowan was an Australian social reformer best remembered for serving as a member of parliament; she was the first Australian woman to do so. She is also remembered for working for the welfare and rights of children and women. In recognition of her contribution, Cowan has been depicted on Australia's fifty-dollar note since 1995.

 41 Diane Nash

Diane Nash
0
Famous As: Human rights activist
Birthdate: May 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 42 Anna Julia Cooper

Anna Julia Cooper
2
Famous As: Author, Educator
Birthdate: August 10, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: February 27, 1964

 43 Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell
2
Famous As: One of the first African-American women to earn a college degree
Birthdate: September 23, 1863
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died: July 24, 1954

 44 C. Delores Tucker

C. Delores Tucker
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 12, 2005

 45 Florynce Kennedy

Florynce Kennedy
2
Famous As: Former activist for feminism and civil rights
Birthdate: February 11, 1916
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: December 21, 2000

 46 Matilda Joslyn Gage

Matilda Joslyn Gage
2
Famous As: Abolitionist, Freethinker, Author
Birthdate: March 24, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cicero
Died: March 18, 1898

 47 Septima Poinsette Clark

Septima Poinsette Clark
2
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: May 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina
Died: December 15, 1987

 48 Mariela Castro

Mariela Castro
2
Famous As: psychologist, educator, university teacher, journalist
Birthdate: July 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Havana

 49 Frances Lear

Frances Lear
2
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 14, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hudson, New York, United States
Died: September 30, 1996

 50 Collin Wilcox

Collin Wilcox
0
Famous As: Actress, Activist
Birthdate: February 4, 1935
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: October 14, 2009