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Shireen Ebadi


Defenders of Human Rights Centre




Defenders of Human Rights Centre




77 years


Nobel Women's Initiative



What makes Shireen Ebadi a Global Shaker?

Dr Shirin Ebadi is a Nobel Prize-winning Iranian lawyer, former judge, human rights activist, teacher and writer.

Dr Ebadi was one of the first female judges in Iran and served as president of the city court of Tehran from 1975 to 1979. She was the first Iranian woman to achieve Chief Justice status.

She was forced out of her position as a judge following the 1878-79 revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic. At this time, women were deemed unsuitable for such a role as the new leaders interpreted that Islam forbids it.

In 1992 she finally gained a license to begin practising law again and used it to defend women who, like her had collided with the unjust laws of the Iranian government. She has taken on a myriad of controversial cases defending political dissidents and as a result, has been arrested many times.

On 10 October 2003, Shirin was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts to promote democracy and human rights, especially for women, children and refugees.

She was the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman ever to receive the prize, and thousands greeted her at the airport when she returned from Paris after receiving the news that she had won.

Dr Ebadi is the co-founder and president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center. Through this platform, she continues her struggle for human rights and an Iran she can be proud of.

Last updated: May 29, 2019