Female Social 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 Female Social Activists

 1 Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai
4
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 12, 1997
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mingora, Swat, Pakistan

Named to Time 100 thrice, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai exhibits phenomenal grit and inspires young girls everywhere. An assassination attempt by Islamic fundamentalists could not dampen her spirit, and she fought back with a bestselling memoir and won the Nobel Peace Prize as its youngest recipient, at 17.

 2 Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman
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Famous As: Abolitionist and Political activist
Birthdate: February 29, 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dorchester County, Maryland, United States
Died: March 10, 1913

Born to parents who were bonded slaves, Harriet Tubman life was a difficult one from the very beginning. Yet with her remarkable courage and determination, she not only escaped slavery herself, but also led other enslaved people to freedom. The prominent political activist and abolitionist was also the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the American Civil War.

 3 Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony
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Famous As: Women’s Rights Activist
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.

 4 Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: North, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

 5 Marlo Thomas

Marlo Thomas
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, USA

 6 Shabana Azmi

Shabana Azmi
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Shabana Azmi is an Indian actress best known for playing eccentric and unconventional characters. One of the most acclaimed and celebrated actresses, Azmi has won several prestigious awards, including a record five National Film Awards under the Best Actress category. In 2012, Shabana Azmi was honored with India's third-highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan.

 7 Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: May 5, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker Naomi Klein is known for her criticism of corporate globalization and capitalism. She became internationally known following the release of her alter-globalization book No Logo. She often appears on global and national lists of top influential thinkers and is the recipient of the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize. She is a prominent environmentalist as well.

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 8 Bianca Jagger

Bianca Jagger
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 2, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Managua, Nicaragua

Bianca Jagger is a Nicaraguan social rights advocate. She is credited with founding the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, where she is currently serving as the chairperson. For her work as a humanitarian, Jagger has received several awards, including the Champion of Justice Award. A former actress, Jagger appeared in many movies and TV shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

 9 Laurie Holden

Laurie Holden
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Laurie Holden is an American-Canadian model, actress, and producer. She is best known for her portrayal of Andrea in the popular horror television series The Walking Dead, for which she received the 2012 Satellite Award and 2013 Saturn Award. Also known for her human rights activism and charity work, Laurie Holden works closely with organizations that campaign against human trafficking.

 10 Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kathmandu, Nepal

Manisha Koirala is a Nepalese actress known for her work in Indian films. One of the most critically acclaimed actresses of the 1990s, Koirala has won several prestigious awards. She is also known for her social activism and is credited with promoting women's rights. Her achievements in films and off-screen work have made her one of the most recognized Nepalis.

 11 Bell Hooks

Bell Hooks
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Birthdate: September 25, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hopkinsville, Kentucky, United States
Died: December 15, 2021

 12 Melissa Mathison

Melissa Mathison
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Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: June 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: November 4, 2015

Melissa Mathison was a screenwriter and an activist for the Tibetan independence movement. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, for a while but quit before graduating. She was acquainted with Francis Ford Coppola who encouraged her to pursue a screenwriting career. She was once married to actor, Harrison Ford, and had two children.

 13 Brene Brown

Brene Brown
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Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: November 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

Apart from being a University of Houston research professor, Brene Brown has also been a successful author of New York Times bestsellers such as Braving the Wilderness, and a podcast host. She also has a lecture featured on Netflix, while her Ted Talk is one of the world’s top-five most-viewed. 

 14 Stella Immanuel

Stella Immanuel
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Famous As: Physician, writer
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Cameroon

 15 Yolanda King

Yolanda King
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Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama
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. 

 16 Arlyn Phoenix

Arlyn Phoenix
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Famous As: Social activist
Birthdate: December 31, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Arlyn Phoenix, or Heart Phoenix, is the mother of actor Joaquin Phoenix. Her other son, River Phoenix, died of a drug overdose. Her three other children are also actors. She and her first husband were members of the cult The Children of God. She is now a renowned peace activist.

 17 Essence Atkins

Essence Atkins
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 7, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Essence Uhura Atkins is best known for her roles as Dee Dee Thorne in Half & Half and as Suzanne Kingston in Are We There Yet? Fans also loved her in the NBC sitcom Marlon. She has also appeared in the parody film A Haunted House and its sequel.

 18 Mariette Hartley

Mariette Hartley
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York

Mariette Hartley is an American actress who won the Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Dr. Carolyn Fields in the popular television series, The Incredible Hulk. She also has several Primetime Emmy Award nominations under her belt. An advocate of suicide prevention and medications for bipolar disorder, Mariette Hartley works towards increasing awareness of the disorder.

 19 Betty Ford

Betty Ford
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Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
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.

 20 Chirlane McCray

Chirlane McCray
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Famous As: Writer, Social Activist
Birthdate: November 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

 21 Mary Ann Shadd

Mary Ann Shadd
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Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: October 9, 1823
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Died: June 5, 1893

The first North American Black woman to publish a newspaper, USA-born Mary Ann Shadd was the founder of the Canadian newspaper, The Provincial Freeman. Concurrently serving as its anonymous editor and contributor, she also became one of the first women to pursue journalism in Canada. She was also one of the first Black women to earn a degree in law.

 22 Alexandra Paul

Alexandra Paul
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York

As a budding model, Alexandra Paul decided to reject an offer from Stanford University to focus on a career in acting. She is best known to fans for her 5-year-long stint as Lt. Stephanie Holden in the internationally renowned series Baywatch. She is also a marathon runner and an avid swimmer.

 23 Sheryl Lee Ralph

Sheryl Lee Ralph
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut, USA

 24 Anne-Marie Johnson

Anne-Marie Johnson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

 25 Denise Nicholas

Denise Nicholas
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

 26 Betty DeGeneres

Betty DeGeneres
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Famous As: Speech Therapist
Birthdate: May 20, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

 27 Columba Bush

Columba Bush
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Famous As: Philanthropist
Birthdate: August 17, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: León

Columba Bush is a Mexican-American philanthropist who started hogging the limelight after marrying American politician Jeb Bush. From 1999 to 2007, she served as First Lady of Florida and used her platform to deal with issues, such as substance abuse and domestic violence. She has also been active in advocating the artworks of artists like Salvador Dalí and Frida Kahlo.

 28 Amala Akkineni

Amala Akkineni
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 12, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Apart from being a fine actor, Amala Akkineni is also a talented Bharatnatyam dancer. A true animal lover, she has also co-established the NGO Blue Cross of Hyderabad. She gained recognition with her debut in Mythili Ennai Kaathali. She is now married to legendary actor Nagarjuna.

 29 Cassie Scerbo

Cassie Scerbo
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 30, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States

 30 Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai
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Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: April 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ihithe, Kenya
Died: September 25, 2011

Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmental, social, and political activist. She achieved popularity after becoming the first African woman to be honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. She is credited with founding a non-governmental organization called The Green Belt Movement (GBM), which focuses on women's rights and environmental conservation.

 31 Abigail Disney

Abigail Disney
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: January 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

 32 Gautami

Gautami
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nidadavole, Andhra Pradesh, India

A prominent actor of Tamil and Telugu films, Gautami also found success as a TV host and a costume designer. Diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35, she later recovered and launched Life Again Foundation, geared toward helping cancer patients. She was in a 13-year live-in relationship with actor Kamal Haasan.

 33 Donna Rice

Donna Rice
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 34 Lauren Parsekian

Lauren Parsekian
3
Famous As: Director, Activist, Actress
Birthdate: December 8, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Orange County, California

 35 Mary Williams

Mary Williams
3
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: October 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra

 36 Sister Nivedita

Sister Nivedita
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Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: October 28, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Died: October 13, 1911

 37 Rachel Corrie

Rachel Corrie
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: April 10, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Olympia, Washington, United States
Died: March 16, 2003

Crushed to death in Gaza by an Israeli armored bulldozer, peace activist Rachel Corrie was also a member of pro-Palestine International Solidarity Movement. Born and raised in USA, she had gone there as part of her college assignment and met her death while trying to stop the demolition of Palestinian houses by Israeli forces, causing international furore.

 38 Sadako Sasaki

Sadako Sasaki
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Birthdate: January 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kusunoki, Yamaguchi, Japan
Died: October 25, 1955

At age 2, Sadako Sasaki survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, being just 2km away from the bombing site. However, years later, she developed leukemia, as an aftermath of the bombing. While in hospital, battling the terminal disease, she folded over 1,000 origami cranes, in the hope of getting better.

 39 Alexandra Elbakyan

Alexandra Elbakyan
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Famous As: Programmer
Birthdate: November 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Almaty, Kazakhstan

 40 Waris Dirie

Waris Dirie
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Galkayo, Somalia

Somali model, writer, and women’s rights activist Waris Dirie is best known for her advocacy against female genital mutilation through the Desert Flower Foundation. Born into a poor nomadic family, she ran away at 13 to avoid marriage and then worked as a maid in London, before gaining a modeling contract.

 41 Armi Kuusela

Armi Kuusela
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: August 20, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Muhos, Finland

 42 Carrie Nation

Carrie Nation
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Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 25, 1846
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gerrard County, Kentucky, USA
Died: June 9, 1911

 43 Chipo Chung

Chipo Chung
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

 44 Mary Parker Follett

Mary Parker Follett
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Famous As: Social Woker
Birthdate: September 3, 1868
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 18, 1933

 45 Dorothy Height

Dorothy Height
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Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: March 24, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Died: April 20, 2010

 46 Melody Anderson

Melody Anderson
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Famous As: Actress, social worker, public speaker
Birthdate: December 3, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

 47 Albertina Sisulu

Albertina Sisulu
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Famous As: Political activist
Birthdate: October 21, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tsomo, South Africa
Died: June 2, 2011

 48 Anuradha Koirala

Anuradha Koirala
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Famous As: Social worker
Birthdate: April 14, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rumjatar, Nepal

 49 Erika Eiffel

Erika Eiffel
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Famous As: Advocate
Birthdate: June 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Unknown

Initially a U.S. Air Force cadet, Erika Eiffel later established herself as an award-winning archer. She also established OS Internationale, an organization for objectum sexuals, or people who develop relationships with inanimate objects. She was featured in the documentary Married to the Eiffel Tower, which explored her attraction to the Eiffel Tower.

 50 Agnes Chow

Agnes Chow
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Famous As: Politician and social activist.
Birthdate: December 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hong Kong