Benita Galeana (1903-1995) was a Mexican feminist activist. She was an active campaigner for social justice, women’s rights and
worker’s rights in twentieth-century Mexico.
She was a member of the Unified Socialist
Party of Mexico, and was part of the efforts to regulate the standard
eight-hour working day, and to offer social security to workers. She was also
active in the United Pro-Women’s Rights Front, and fought for female suffrage,
as well as for abortion and maternity leave rights.
Marilena de Souza Chaui (b. 1941) is a philosopher
and a founding member of the Workers’ Party in Brazil. She is also a Professor
of Modern Philosophy at the University of Sao Paulo.
She has served as the Municipal Secretary of Culture of Sao
Paulo, and is known for her severe criticism of capitalist models. Her book, What
is Ideology?, is today a mandatory textbook in Brazilian public schools.
Fraser (1925-2018) was
a political campaigner and women’s rights activist. She served as the US
Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
She was educated
in liberal arts at the University of Minnesota, and was active in the Minnesota
Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, eventually becoming its vice-chair. She also
served as the national president of the Women’s Equity Action League and was a Senior
Fellow at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
Roberta MacAdams (1880-1959) was a Canadian politician from Alberta. She was the
first woman to introduce and pass a piece of legislation not only in the
country, but in the entire British empire.
She initially worked as a domestic science
instructor and travelled across the country, speaking to rural women about
their work and needs, an endeavour which led to the creation of the Alberta
Women’s Institute. She later worked as a dietitian in the Canadian Army Medical
Corps. In 1917, she became the second woman ever elected to the Legislative
Assembly of Alberta, and later passed a law which recognised a veteran’s
Pola Uddin (b.
1959) is a life peer in the House of Lords, part of the British Parliament. She
is the first Muslim and second Asian woman to sit in the UK Parliament.
Born in Pakistan, she moved to the UK when
she was 13, and later became a Community worker with the YMCA and the manager
of the Tower Hamlets Women’s Health Project. She was invited to the House of
Lords in 1998, and has since built a reputation of standing up for human
rights, particularly women’s rights. In 1999 she created the first centre for
the education and training of Asian women in London.
Anna Lindh (1957-2003)
was a Swedish politician, a member of the Social Democratic Party. She served
as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for the Environment.
She served as chairman of the Council of
the European Union in 2001, averting a civil war between Kosovo and Macedonia.
She was a vocal supporter of Sweden joining the Eurozone, and was campaigning
for it at the time of her murder in 2003. A year later, the Anna Lindh Prize
was established to honour a person or an institution fighting for human rights.
MacDonald (1926-2015) was a Canadian politician,
and the first female foreign minister in the country. She was also known for
her humanitarian work.
She was a member of the Progressive Conservative
Party and was one of the first women to campaign for the leadership of a major
Canadian party. During her time as foreign minister, she had to deal with a
Vietnamese refugee crisis during which time she allowed more than 60,000
refugees to settle in Canada.
Young (b. 1951) is a British actress and Crossbench
peer in the House of Lords. She is also an important figure in the arts and
culture community in the United Kingdom.
She first taught at the Polytechnic of West
London, and later became Professor of cultural studies at Middlesex University.
She was also Project director of the Archives and Museum of Black Heritage and
head of culture at the Greater London Authority. She was made an Officer of the
Order of the British Empire in 2001, for her services to British Black History.
Robinson (b. 1944) was the president of Ireland
between 1990 and 1997. She was the first woman to hold this position, and is
regarded as an important figure in the liberalisation of the country.
She resigned from the presidency in order to
become UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and was active in numerous other
organisations such as the European Climate Foundation or the World Justice
Project. She later became the first female Chancellor of the University of
Olander (1861-1943) was a Swedish teacher and
politician. She was also a strong proponent of women’s suffrage in her country.
She worked as a teacher in several Swedish
cities and also served as the chairperson of the Falun branch of the National
Association for Women’s Suffrage. She was a board member of the public
libraries in the same city, and in 1910 was elected as one of its first female
councillors. She is also known for her close friendship with the writer Selma