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List of women's rights activists

This article is a list of notable women's rights activists.



American (United states)


  • Thelma Bate (1904–1984) - community leader, advocate for inclusion of Aboriginal women in Country Women's Association
  • Sandra Bloodworth - labour historian, socialist activist, co-founder of the Trotskyist organisation Socialist Alternative, editor of Marxist Left Review.
  • Eva Cox (1938 - ) - sociologist and feminist active in both the political and social services sectors. Long-time member of the Women's Electoral Lobby and social commentator on women in power, women and work and social justice.
  • Louisa Margaret Dunkley (1866–1927) - telegraphist, labor organizer.
  • Elizabeth Evatt (1933 - ) - legal reformist and juror; outspoken on inadequacy of Australia's Sex Discrimination Act in relation to CEDAW. Evatt was the first Australian to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
  • Miles Franklin (1879-1954) - writer and feminist of national significance.
  • Vida Goldstein (1869-1949) - early Australian feminist politician who campaigned for women's suffrage and social reform. First woman in the British Empire to stand for election to a national parliament.
  • Germaine Greer (1939-) - Author of The Female Eunuch, academic and social commentator.
  • Bella Guerin (1858-1923) - first woman to graduate from an Australian university, Guerin was a socialist feminist prominent (although with periods of public dispute) within the Australian Labor Party.
  • Louisa Lawson (1848-1920)) - feminist, suffragist, author and publisher. Founder of The Dawn, Lawson was a radical pro-republican federalist.
  • Eileen Powell (1913-1997) - trade unionist, women's activist and important contributor to the Equal Pay for Equal Work decision.
  • Millicent Preston-Stanley (1883-1955) - first female member of the NSW Legislative Assembly. Campaigned for the custodial rights of mothers in divorce and women's healthcare.
  • Elizabeth Anne Reid - world's first advisor on women's affairs to a head of state (Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam) and active on women's development for the UN. Also prominent in HIV activism.
  • Bessie Rischbieth (1874-1967)) - earliest female appointed to any court (honorary position to the Perth Children's Court in 1915); early activist against the Australian Government's practice of taking Aboriginal children from their mothers (Stolen Generation; leading founding member of many women's organisations and editor of The Dawn.
  • Jessie Street (1889 - 1970) - Australian suffragette, feminist and human rights campaigner. Influential in labor rights and early days of UN.
  • Anne Summers (1945-)- women's rights activist, prominent in political and media spheres. Women's advisor to Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating and editor of Ms. magazine (New York).






  • Annestine Beyer (1795-1884) - pioneer of women's education
  • Widad Akrawi (1969-) - writer and doctor, advocate for gender equality and women's empowerment and participation in peacebuilding and post-conflict governance.
  • Astrid Stampe Feddersen (1852-1930) - chaired the first Scandinavian meeting on women's rights
  • Caroline Testman (1839-1919) - feminist, co-founder of the Dansk Kvindesamfund.


  • Qasim Amin (1863–1908) - jurist, early advocate of women’s rights in Egyptian society
  • Nawal el-Saadawi (born 1931) - writer and doctor, advocate for women’s health and equality
  • Hoda Shaarawi (1879–1947) - feminist, organizer for the Mubarrat Muhammad Ali (women’s social service organization), the Union of Educated Egyptian Women and the Wafdist Women’s Central Committee, founder and first president of the Egyptian Feminist Union
  • Engy Ghozlan (1985–) - Coordinator of campaigns against sexual harassment in Egypt






New Zealand

  • Kate Sheppard (1847–1934) - suffragette, influential in winning voting rights for women in 1893 (the first country and national election in which women were allowed to vote)


  • Malala Yousafzai (1997–) - Pakistani women's rights activist shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by the Taliban for advocating for girls' education

Puerto Rican



  • Helen of Anjou (1236–1314) - Serbian Queen, feminist, establisher of women schools
  • Milica of Serbia (1335–1405) - Serbian Empress, feminist, poet
  • Jefimija (1349–1405) - Serbian politician, poet, diplomat, feminist
  • Milunka Savić (1888–1973) - First European combatant, soldier, feminist
  • Ksenija Atanasijević (1894–1981) - Philosopher, suffragette, first PhD Doctor in Serbian universities
  • Stasa Zajovic (1953–) - co-founder and coordinator of Women in Black


  • Sophie Adlersparre (1823–1895) - publisher, women's rights activist and one of three (Fredrika Bremer and Rosalie Roos) most notable pioneers of women's rights movement in Sweden.
  • Gertrud Adelborg (1853-1942) - teacher, active in the women's rights movement and struggle for woman suffrage
  • Ellen Anckarsvärd (1833–1898) - women's rights activists, co-founded Föreningen för gift kvinnas äganderätt (The Married Woman's Property Rights Association)
  • Fredrika Bremer (1801-1865) - writer, feminist activist and pioneer of the organized women's rights movement in Sweden.
  • Josefina Deland (1814–1890) - feminist, writer, teacher, founded Svenska lärarinnors pensionsförening (The Society for Retired Female Teachers)
  • Anna Hierta-Retzius (1841–1924) - women's rights activist and philanthropist.
  • Lotten von Kræmer (1828-1912) - Baroness, writer, poet, philatrophist, founder of the literary society Samfundet De Nio.
  • Agda Montelius (1850–1920) - philanthropist feminist, chairman of the Fredrika-Bremer-förbundet.
  • Rosalie Roos (1823–1898) - feminist activist, writer and pioneer of the organized women's rights movement in Sweden.
  • Hilda Sachs (1857-1935) - journalist, writer and feminist.
  • Sophie Sager, (1825 – 1902) - women's rights activist and writer.
  • Anna Sandström (1854-1931) - educational reformer.
  • Kajsa Wahlberg - Sweden's national rapporteur on human trafficking opposition activities.
  • Anna Whitlock (1852–1930) - school pioneer, journalist and feminist.



See also


  1. ^ [1], additional text.
  2. ^ Richard J. Evans: The feminist movement in Germany. London, Beverly Hills 1976 (SAGE Studies in 20th Century History, Vol. 6). ISBN 0-8039-9951-8, S. 120