Irene Khan (b. 1956) is a Bangladeshi lawyer. She was the
Secretary General of Amnesty International from 2001 to 2009.
She studied law at
Harvard and became an expert in human rights, working for the UNHCR for twenty
years. She also served as the Director-General of the International Development
was the first female chief justice of California. She was appointed to the
court in 1977.
her career, she achieved a number of significant firsts: she was the first
woman to hold a cabinet-level job in the state of California, as Secretary of
Agriculture, first female justice, and the first female deputy public defender
in Santa Clara County. One of her most important positions was her strong
opposition to the death penalty, and the decision that the state must provide
free abortions for poor women.
Take something small from a man, any man, and see how quickly they get upset. Yet, we’re supposed to be just fine with oppression. Just leave our rights alone!
Elizabeth Garrett (1963-2016) was the first female president of Cornell University.
She ascended to the role in 2015, but served for less than a year, tragically
dying of cancer while in office.
She studied law at the University of
Virginia, and later became a legal advisor for the Iran – US Claim Tribunal at
The Hague. She was a professor and deputy dean for academic affairs at the
University of Chicago and a visiting professor at numerous other institutions
around the world.
Eleanor Holmes Norton (b. 1937) is a lawyer and politician. She is a non-voting Delegate
to the US House of Representatives, as well as a devoted civil rights activist.
She studied law at Yale, and later worked
as the assistant legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union. In 1977
she became the first female Chair of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
and in 1990 she co-founded the African-American Women for Reproductive Freedom
Theodora Wood (b. 1947) is a judge and former
police officer from Ghana. She was the first woman to serve as Chief Justice in
the country, a position which she occupied for ten years.
She studied at the Ghana Law School, as
well as the Police College, and was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2002. She
is also a member of the Council of State and a board member of the
international human rights organisation Global Justice Center.
Barbara Calvert (1926-2015) was a barrister specialising in
family law. She was the first woman Head of Chambers in the United Kingdom.
finished her studied at the London School of Economics and started her profession
at a time when only 3% of barristers were women. In 1974, she established her
own chambers in London, the first woman ever to do so in the country. She was
also the first woman elected as a Bencher of the Middle Temple.
Bolin (1908-2007) was a lawyer and judge who
achieved a number of historic firsts. She was the first black woman to graduate
from Yale Law School, the first to join the New York City Bar Association and
the first to serve as a judge in the United States.
She graduated from Yale Law School in 1931,
from a class where she was the only black student and one of three women. She
was appointed as a judge in 1939 and served in this position for 40 years. She
was also a legal advisor to the National Council of Negro Women and an activist
for education and children’s rights.
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander
(1898-1989) was a trailbrazer for
African American women in the academic environment. She was the first
African-American woman to obtain a PhD in economics in the United States, as
well as the first to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
She was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School in 1923
as its first female African-American student, and was the first to graduate in
1927, the same year she was admitted to the state Bar. She later served as the
President of the John F. Kennedy Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (b. 1958) is the
current president of Malta, the youngest person and the second woman to hold
this position. She has been in office since 2014.
She has a degree in Legal and Humanistic Studies
and a public notary diploma. In 2014, after taking over the presidency of the
country, she established The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of
Society, a non-profit organisation aimed at promoting social inclusion and
higher living standards.