Feminist

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris in 1908. She was intellectually precocious, fuelled by her father's encouragement; he reportedly would boast, "Simone thinks like a man!" Studying mathematics and literature/languages at private colleges, she completed her degree in Philosophy at [...]

Susan Ryan

Born in Sydney in 1942, Susan Ryan graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts, followed by a Master of Arts in English Literature from the ANU. Following graduation she served as a delegate to the ACT Labor [...]

Gloria Steinem

Born in Ohio in 1934, Gloria had an unsettled childhood, living in a trailer from which her father carried out his trade as a roaming antiques dealer, attending school sporadically until she was 11. Before Gloria was born, her mother had [...]

Barbara Deming

A prolific author and activist, American Barbara Deming is known for her nonviolent political activism. She directed plays, taught dramatic literature and wrote and published fiction and non-fiction works. On a trip to India in 1959, inspired by Gandhi's writings, Barbara [...]

Gerda Lerner

Gerda Lerner was a historian and scholar who pioneered the field of women's history. Born in Vienna, Gerda became involved in the anti-Nazi resistance in 1938. After spending 6 weeks in gaol, Gerda was sponsored to emigrate to the United States. [...]

Christina Fonfé

After learning 80 percent of those who drowned during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami were women and children, British swimming instructor Christina Fonfé left her life in England behind to teach Sri Lankan women and girls basic swimming survival skills. Christina [...]

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright paved the way for women when she became the first female Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton's administration. Her position made her the highest-ranking woman in the federal government's history – representing the US at the transfer of [...]

Betty Friedan

A leading figure in the women's movement in the United States, Betty Friedan's 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th century. The "Problem That Has No Name" was described [...]