Famous Women's Rights Activists - List of Famous 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.

The Most Famous Women's Rights Activists

NameBirthdayNationalityBio
Evita PeronMay 7, 1919ArgentinianRadio actress Evita Peron was the second wife of President Juan Peron of Argentina
Sojourner TruthDecember 1, 1797AmericanSojourner truth was an African American abolitionist who was the first black woman to win a case against a white man
Wangari MaathaiApril 1, 1940KenyanWangari Maathai was an environmentalist who won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize Award
Susan B. AnthonyFebruary 15, 1820AmericanSusan B
Mary WollstonecraftApril 27, 1759BritishMary Wollstonecraft was a British writer, philosopher and an advocate of women’s rights
Edith CowanAugust 2, 1861AustralianEdith Dircksey Cowan (née Brown) was an Australian politician and social campaigner
Ayaan Hirsi AliNovember 13, 1969AmericanAyaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born Dutch activist and feminist
Caryl ChurchillSeptember 3, 1938BritishCaryl Churchill is an English dramatist and women’s right activist, known for her non-conventional plays
Marie StopesOctober 15, 1880BritishMarie Stopes was a British author and palaeobotanist who played a pioneering role in the field of family planning
Angelina GrimkeFebruary 20, 1805AmericanAngelina Grimke was an American political activist, women’s rights activist and supporter of the women’s suffrage movement
Edith Cowan

Edith Cowan

Edith Dircksey Cowan (née Brown) was an Australian politician and social campaigner

Caroline Chisholm

Caroline Jones Chisholm was an English philanthropist and humanitarian known for working towards female immigrant welfare in Australia

BritishMay 30, 1808143 views

Nora Stanton Blatch Barney

Nora Stanton was the first woman to become a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers

AmericanSeptember 30, 1883154 views

Emily Greene Balch

Emily Greene Balch was an American economist, sociologist and pacifist who won the 1946 Nobel Peace Prize

AmericanJanuary 8, 1867172 views

Millicent Fawcett

Millicent Fawcett was a British reformer, feminist and intellectual

BritishJune 11, 184791 views

Alice Walker

Alice Walker is a Pulitzer Prize-winning African-American novelist

Alice Paul

Alice Paul was a women’s rights activist and a key figure of the 20th century women’s suffrage movement

AmericanJanuary 11, 1885157 views

Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to U.S

AmericanJune 11, 1880101 views

Emily Murphy

Emily Murphy was a Canadian women’s right activist and the first female magistrate in Canada

CanadianMarch 14, 1868175 views

Matilda Joslyn Gage

Matilda Joslyn Gage was a prominent nineteenth century suffrage leader, abolitionist and writer

AmericanMarch 24, 1826156 views