Nellie McClung (1873-1951)
was a political activist and suffragist from Canada. She was part of “The
Famous Five”, the group of women who led the effort to recognize women as
persons in their country.
She began campaigning for women’s suffrage in
the 1910s, and helped organise the Women’s Political Equality League. Other
causes that she championed were property rights for married women, factory
safety reforms and medical care for school children. She was the founder of the
Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada – the largest adult education movement
in the country.
Patricia Ireland (b.
1945) was the president of the National Organization for Women for a decade,
1991-2001. She is also an attorney and an administrator.
During her time working as a flight attendant
for Pan Am, she noticed the discrepancies in the treatment of men and women
regarding insurance coverage, and brought a formal complaint. The US Department
of Labor ruled in her favour, marking an important victory for equal rights.
She is a strong advocate for the rights of women, African-Americans and the
Emily Davison (1871-1913) was an English sufragette and member
of the Women’s Social and Political Union. She was famously and tragically
killed when she tried to pin a “Votes for Women” banner on the king’s horse during the 1913 Derby and
was trampled as a result.
she studied at Oxford, she was not awarded a degree on account of her gender.
She was known in the WSPU for her militant tactics, which led to arrests and
time spent in prison.
Kalima (1972-2018) was a politician from the African nation of Zambia. She
served on the National Assembly for Kasenengwa, as well as in the role of
Minister of Gender.
Throughout her political career, she was concerned with issues of human rights
and gender equality in particular. She also worked to outlaw child marriages in
Blackwell (1857-1950) was an American suffragist and human rights advocate. She was
the daughter of another very influential feminist, Lucy Stone.
She was responsible for bringing together two of the most important
organizations in the movement for women’s voting rights under the name NAWSA:
the National American Woman Suffrage Association. In addition to her work in
the United States, she travelled to Armenia, where she worked to improve the lives
Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was a
dedicated suffragist and abolitionist in the United States. She helped found
the American Woman Suffrage Association.
She attended Oberlin College, and was the
first woman in Massachusetts to have a degree. She devoted her life and career
to advancing the rights of African Americans and of women through multiple
anti-slavery and civil rights associations.
Ahmed Ibrahim (1933-2017) was an author and women’s rights activist from Sudan. She won
the UN Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Human Rights in 1993.
Her activism began very early, in her school
days, when she created a newspaper called Pioneer
Girls. She conducted the first women’s strike in Sudan when her school
decided to replace science classes with so-called ‘family science’ lessons.
Throughout her career, she worked to obtain the right to vote for Sudanese
women, as well as gender equality in the workforce.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964) was a prominent activist for women’s rights in the United States. She advocated for campaigns such as female suffrage and birth control.
She played a leading role as an organiser for Industrial Workers of the World, and later founded the American Civil Liberties Union. She was arrested several times for her convictions.