Women's Rights Activists

Where would feminism be today had it not been for the thousands of women's rights activists across the world who have struggled over the past several decades demanding equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women? These activists have played a pivotal role in bringing about a greater degree of gender equality in the society and in campaigning for basic women’s rights such as the right to education, right to vote, right to work and to own property. Even though several ancient Greek philosophers including Socrates and Plato demanded equal rights for women, it is the 18th century women’s rights activists like Olympes de Gouge and Mary Wollstonecraft who are considered the forerunners of the modern women's movement. Susan Brownell Anthony, a prominent 19th century feminist was very active in the women's suffrage movement and played a pivotal role in creating the International Council of Women. British women Christabel Pankhurst and Millicent Garrett passionately fought for the rights of women in their country while Canadian physician Dr. Emily Howard Stowe campaigned for Canada's first medical college for women. Throughout the centuries, several men like Parker Pillsbury, Sir Henry Maine, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson have also contributed to women’s rights movements. Read on to discover about the life and works of various famous women's rights activists from all over the world.

 1 Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton
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Famous As: Former First Lady, Political Leader
Birthdate: October 26, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Married to former US president, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton served as the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Thereafter, she became the first First Lady to hold US senator office. The former Secretary of State in the administration of Barrack Obama also fought and lost, as a Democratic nominee, the 2016 presidential election against Donald Trump.

 2 Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai
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Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 12, 1997
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Pakistani

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.

 3 Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
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.

 4 Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Kenyan, Mexican

Lupita Nyong'o is one of the most popular black actresses of all time. The first Kenyan-Mexican actress to receive the prestigious Academy Award, Lupita Nyong'o has often been named in lists, such as the world's most beautiful woman. In 2020, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of Africa's 50 Most Powerful Women.

 5 Torrey DeVitto

Torrey DeVitto
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Torrey DeVitto is best known as Melissa Hastings from Pretty Little Liars, Dr. Natalie Manning in Chicago Med, and Carrie in One Tree Hill. Fans also loved her in The Vampire Diaries and Army Wives. She is a Hospice ambassador and has supported campaigns for mental-health awareness and animal rights.

 6 Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
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.

 7 Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony
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Famous As: Women’s Rights Activist
Birthdate: February 15, 1820
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
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.

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 8 Mena Suvari

Mena Suvari
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 13, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Mena Suvari soared to fame with her SAG Award-winning role of Angela Hayes in American Beauty. Fans also loved her in the American Pie movies and the horror anthology American Horror Story. She also appeared as Edie in Six Feet Under. Mena endorses Lancôme cosmetics and uses cruelty-free products only.

 9 Joan Chandos Baez

Joan Chandos Baez
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 9, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

Singer, songwriter, musician, and activist Joan Baez has been active in the music world for over six decades. She emerged as a major musical figure in the counterculture era of the 1960s. Her music encompasses various genres like pop, folk-rock, country, and gospel music. She is involved in civil rights, human rights, and environmental activism as well.

 10 Tammy Bruce

Tammy Bruce
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Famous As: Radio Host
Birthdate: August 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Tammy Bruce is a radio host and political commentator. During the early-1990s, she led a campaign to criticize the violence in the book American Psycho, and her efforts resulted in the boycott of the novel's publisher for a year. Over the years, she has been an important contributor to Fox News and also hosts Get Tammy Bruce on Fox Nation.

 11 Cybill Lynne Shepherd

Cybill Lynne Shepherd
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 12 Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Raja Ram Mohan Roy
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Famous As: socio-religious reformer
Birthdate: May 22, 1772
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Indian
Died: September 27, 1833

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was an Indian social and religious reformer. He is credited with co-founding the Brahmo Sabha, a social-religious reform movement. Often referred to as the Father of the Bengal Renaissance, Roy has had an influential role in fields like politics, education, and religion. In 2004, he was ranked 10th in BBC's Greatest Bengali of all time poll.

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 13 Kate Bolduan

Kate Bolduan
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 28, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
The youngest morning show anchor on any major TV network, Kate Bolduan is an eminent American broadcast journalist for CNN. She covered the 2016 U.S Presidntial campaign for a global audience, as the anchor of CNN international program called State of America with Kate Bolduan.

 14 Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian, Nepalese

 15 Betty Ford

Betty Ford
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Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: April 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: July 8, 2011

 16 Alice Walker

Alice Walker
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 17 Valerie Harper

Valerie Harper
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 18 Jason Ralph

Jason Ralph
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 7, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 19 Bianca Jagger

Bianca Jagger
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 2, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Nicaraguan, British

 20 Lina Esco

Lina Esco
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 21 Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth
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Famous As: American women's rights activist
Birthdate: December 1, 1797
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: November 26, 1883

 22 Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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Famous As: Writer, Politician, Activist, Feminist
Birthdate: November 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 23 Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst
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Famous As: Leader of the British Suffragette Movement
Birthdate: July 4, 1858
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: June 14, 1928

 24 Cynthia Germanotta

Cynthia Germanotta
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Famous As: Philanthropist
Birthdate: August 30, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 25 Nicole da Silva

Nicole da Silva
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 18, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Australian

 26 Matt McGorry

Matt McGorry
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 27 Carré Otis

Carré Otis
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 28 Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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

 29 Elizabeth Jagger

Elizabeth Jagger
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: March 2, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 30 Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer
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Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: October 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: March 14, 1977

 31 Alyssa Diaz

Alyssa Diaz
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 7, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 32 Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day
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Birthdate: November 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: November 29, 1980

 33 Cassie Scerbo

Cassie Scerbo
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 30, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 34 William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison
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Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: December 12, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: May 24, 1879

 35 Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai
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Famous As: Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Birthdate: April 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Kenyan
Died: September 25, 2011

 36 Pearl Buck

Pearl Buck
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Famous As: American writer
Birthdate: June 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: March 6, 1973

 37 Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: French, Turkish

 38 Jorge Ramos

Jorge Ramos
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Mexican, American

 39 Amanda Brugel

Amanda Brugel
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 24, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian

 40 Gloria Allred

Gloria Allred
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Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: July 3, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 41 Nandita Das

Nandita Das
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 7, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Indian

 42 Emily Murphy

Emily Murphy
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Famous As: First Female Magistrate in Canada
Birthdate: March 14, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Canadian
Died: October 17, 1933

 43 Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin
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Famous As: First Woman Elected to U.S Congress
Birthdate: June 11, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: May 18, 1973

 44 Mary Frann

Mary Frann
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 27, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: September 23, 1998

 45 Sarah Solemani

Sarah Solemani
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 4, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

 46 Mahadevi Varma

Mahadevi Varma
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Indian
Died: September 11, 1987

 47 Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson
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Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 48 Mamie Till

Mamie Till
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Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: January 6, 2003

 49 Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes
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Famous As: Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists
Birthdate: October 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: October 2, 1958

 50 Maud Gonne

Maud Gonne
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Irish, British
Died: April 27, 1953
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