Women Deliver 100: The Most Inspiring People Delivering for Girls and Women

Women Deliver 100 (2011)


In celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, Women Deliver is announcing the “Women Deliver 100,” our list of the hundred most inspiring people who have delivered for girls and women. This list recognizes women and men, both prominent and lesser known, who have committed themselves to improving the lives of girls and women around the world. Honorees derive from the fields of health, human rights, politics, economics, education, journalism, and philanthropy, and represent a great diversity of geographic and cultural backgrounds. The 100 honorees were selected from among hundreds of potentials and feature some of the most intrepid, committed, and results-driven people in the world.

Click on a name below to view the profiles of each of our 100 honorees, or download the full report.

Ordered Alphabetically, By Last Name

Eman AbdElRahman, Egypt
Blogger, Co-Founder of the Kolena Laila (“We are all Laila”) Initiative
•  Amplifying women’s voices across the Arab world

Hawa Abdi, Somalia
Ob/gyn, Hospital Director, 2010 Glamour Woman of the Year
•  Guarding one of Somalia’s few safe havens

Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, Jordan
Queen of Jordan, Founder of Madrasati, Co-Founder and Global Co-Chair for 1GOAL
•  Making a passionate, no-nonsense case for girls’ education

Fazle Hasan Abed, Bangladesh
Founder and Chairman of BRAC
•  Lifting millions out of poverty throughout Asia and Africa

Lynsey Addario, United States
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist
•  Producing haunting and galvanizing images of women’s lives

Christiane Amanpour, UK
Journalist, Anchor of ABC News's This Week
•  Reporting fearlessly on injustices worldwide

Zainah Anwar, Malaysia
Founding Member of Sisters in Islam, Director of Musawah
•  Setting the record straight on women’s rights within Islam

Michelle Bachelet, Chile
Executive Director of UN Women, Doctor, Former President of Chile
•  Pushing for women’s political, economic and reproductive rights worldwide

Marge Berer, United Kingdom
Founder and Editor of Reproductive Health Matters, Chair of the International Consortium for Medical Abortion
•  Fostering the debate on how to advance reproductive rights

Ela Bhatt, India
Founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Co-Founder of Women's World Banking
•  Making sure that no woman’s work goes unrecognized or unpaid

Mabel Bianco, Argentina
Founder and Director of the Foundation for Studies and Research on Women (FEIM)
•  Making sure nothing stands between a woman and the care she needs

Betty Bigombe, Uganda
Chief Mediator and Peace Negotiator, Former Member of Parliament
•  Negotiating peace in conflict zones

Justine Masika Bihamba, Democratic Republic of Congo
Founder of Synergie des Femmes pour les Victimes de Violences Sexuelles (SFVS)
•  Aiding survivors of sexual violence in Congo

Sarah Brown, UK
Global Patron of the White Ribbon Alliance, Former First Lady of the UK, Founder and President of PiggyBankKids
•  A global voice on the injustice of maternal mortality

Christy Turlington Burns, United States
Founder of Every Mother Counts, Model, Maternal Health Advocate, Documentary Filmmaker
•  Bringing new attention to maternal health

Laura Bush, USA
Former First Lady of the United States, Founder of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health
•  A conservative voice for women’s health, education and empowerment

Yvonne Chaka Chaka, South Africa
Singer and advocate
•  Lending her iconic voice to the fight for women’s health

Hillary Clinton, USA
Secretary of State, Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2008, Former Senator, Former First Lady of the United States
•  Role model to millions, and a relentless advocate for women worldwide

Rebecca Cook, Canada
Chair in International Human Rights Law, University of Toronto
•  Establishing that gender equality and reproductive health are human rights

Juliette Coulibaly, Côte d'Ivoire
Midwife, Maternal Health Advocate
•  Saving mothers’ lives in Cote d’Ivoire

Marietou Diarra, Senegal
Community Activist
•  Ending female genital cutting in Senegal

Lydia Alpízar Durán, Costa Rica
Executive Director of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
•  She asked, “Where is the money for women’s rights?” – and set out to find an answer

Shirin Ebadi, Iran
Human rights lawyer and activist, Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
•  Fighting for human rights in Iran

Nabila Espanioly, Israel
Peace advocate, Founder and Director of the Pedagogical Center and Multipurpose Women’s Center in Nazareth
•  Waging peace in Israel and Palestine

Mahmoud Fathalla, Egypt
Ob/gyn, Former Dean of the Medical School at Assiut University in Egypt, Former President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)
•  Working to make sure that no woman dies a needless death in pregnancy or childbirth

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, Nigeria
Co-founder and former Executive Director of the African Women’s Development Fund, Founder of the African Women’s Leadership Institute
•  Supporting women’s leadership across Africa

Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, Denmark
CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen
•  Proving that doing good can be good for business

Janette Loreto Garin, Philippines
Deputy Majority Leader in the Philippine House of Representatives
•  Championing reproductive rights in the Philippines

Melinda Gates, United States
Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
•  Passionate advocate and powerful donor

Bience Gawanas, Namibia
African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs
•  Bringing Africa together behind women’s health and equality

Helene Gayle, USA
President and CEO of CARE
•  Placing women at the heart of anti-poverty campaigns

Leymah Gbowee, Liberia
Peace Activist, Founder and Executive Director of the Women Peace and Security Network – Africa
•  Organizing women to demand peace

Adrienne Germain, USA
President of the International Women’s Health Coalition
•  Putting the health and rights of women at the center of the international agenda

Rafia Ghubash, Bahrain
Former President of the Arabian Gulf University, President of the Arab Network for Women in Science and Technology
•  Transforming research in science and technology

Rebecca Gomperts, Netherlands
Doctor and Founder of Women on Waves and Women on Web
•  Demonstrating that access to safe abortion should know no boundaries

Geeta Rao Gupta, USA
Former President of the International Center for Research on Women, Senior Fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
•  Delivering the research which undergirds the advocacy

Catherine Hamlin, Australia
Doctor, Founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital
•  Caring for women disabled in childbirth

Sejal Hathi, USA
Founder, President and Executive Director of Girls Helping Girls
•  Connecting and empowering girls worldwide

Emily Heroy, USA
Founder and Executive Editor of Gender Across Borders
•  Taking the feminist blogosphere global

Wajeha Al-Huwaider, Saudi Arabia
Journalist, Poet, Co-founder of the Association for the Protection and Defense of Women's Rights
•  Speaking out vehemently for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia

Edna Adan Ismail, Somaliland
Director of the Edna Adan University Hospital, President of Victims of Torture, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Social Affairs
•  Saving women’s lives in Somaliland

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria
Managing Director of the World Bank
•  Fighting to increase investment in women

Kasha Jacqueline, Uganda
Director and founder of Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG)
•  Braving violence to fight for LGBT rights in Uganda

Guo Jianmei, China
Founder of the Women’s Legal Research and Services Center and Qian Qian Law Firm
•  Providing crucial legal aid to women in China

Andrea Jung, United States
Chairman and CEO of Avon Products, Inc.
•  Offering women a route to economic independence

Imtiaz Kamal, Pakistan
Midwife, Secretary General of the National Committee for Maternal Health, Vice President of the Maternity and Child Welfare Association of Pakistan (MCWAP)
•  Improving midwifery worldwide

Carolyne Kemunto, Kenya
Community Health Worker
•  Empowering sex workers to protect themselves in Busia, Kenya

Imane Khachani, Morocco
Member of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights
•  Reminding us that young women, speaking for themselves, can be their own most powerful advocates

Ban Ki-moon, South Korea
Secretary-General of the United Nations
•  Ramping up global efforts to meet MDG5

Anuradha Koirala, Nepal
Founder of Maiti Nepal, 2010 CNN Hero of the Year
•  Delivering women from sexual slavery

Nicholas Kristof, United States
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Author of “Half the Sky: From Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide”
•  Opening readers’ eyes to the obstacles women face all over the world

Inkosi Kwataine, Malawi
Chief, Community Leader
•  Pioneering a grassroots approach to maternal health

Marta Lamas, Mexico
Feminist activist, Professor, Co-founder of the Information Group on Reproductive Choice (GIRE)
•  Spearheading Mexico’s women’s rights movement

Xie Lihua, China
Founder of Rural Women Magazine and the Cultural Development Center for Rural Women
•  Championing China’s rural women

Wangari Maathai, Kenya
Founder of the Green Belt Movement, Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
•  Proving that environmental stewardship and women’s empowerment go hand in hand

Graça Machel, Mozambique
Founding Member of the Elders, President of the Foundation for Community Development in Mozambique, Former Minister for Education and Culture in Mozambique
•  Championing women’s and children’s rights on the world stage

Marina Mahathir, Malaysia
Journalist, Columnist and Blogger
•  Speaking out on Islam, gender equality and HIV/AIDS in Malaysia

Somaly Mam, Cambodia
Founder of AFESIP (Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation Precaire) and the Somaly Mam Foundation
•  Working to end sex-trafficking and support its survivors

Mary John Mananzan, Philippines
Prioress at St. Scholastica’s Priory, Founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Women’s Studies at St. Scholastica’s College
•  Integrating feminism into faith in the Philippines

María Consuelo Mejía, Mexico
Founder and Director of Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir
•  Proving that being both Catholic and pro-choice is not only possible, but essential

HH Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned, Qatar
Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Founder and Chair of the Arab Democracy Foundation
•  Championing education and opportunity across the Arab world

Denis Mukwege, Democratic Republic of Congo
Founder and Director of Panzi Hospital, Bukavu
•  Caring for the survivors of Congo’s civil war

Chouchou Namegabe, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Journalist and Founder of the South Kivu Women’s Media Association (AFEM)
•  Helping Congo’s women broadcast to the world

Shada Mohammed Nasser, Yemen
Human rights lawyer
•  Fighting to free girls from forced marriage

Woineshet Zebene Negash, Ethiopia
Women’s rights activist and aspiring lawyer
•  Breaking the silence on sexual violence in Ethiopia

Martha Sanchez Nestor, Mexico
Founder of Coordinadora Nacional de Mujeres Indigenas (CONAMI), Founder of Casa de Salud de la Mujer Indigena-Manos Unidas
•  Fighting for indigenous women’s health and rights

Dorothy Ngoma, Malawi
Nurse midwife, Executive Director of the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi
•  Organizing Malawi’s nurses to fight for their rights – and their patients

Sarah Nkhoma, Malawi
HIV/AIDS activist and educator
•  Educating young people about HIV/AIDS in Malawi

Kakenya Ntaiya, Kenya
Founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence
•  Educating and empowering girls in rural Kenya

Rolake Odetoyinbo, Nigeria
Executive Director of Positive Action for Treatment Access
•  Empowering HIV-positive women in Nigeria

Olufunmilayo Olopade, Nigeria
Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and Director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago
•  Pioneering breast cancer research and care

Marina Pisklakova-Parker, Russia
Founder of Center ANNA (Association to Prevent Violence)
•  Fighting gender-based violence in Russia

Jacqueline Pitanguy, Brazil
Professor of Women’s Studies, Founder and Director of Citizenship, Studies, Information and Action (Cidadania, Estudo, Pesquisa, Informação e Ação-CEPIA), Former President of National Council for Women’s Rights
•  Advancing gender equality in Latin America

Ai-jen Poo, USA
Director and co-founder, National Domestic Workers Alliance; Co-Founder, Domestic Workers United
•  Organizing domestic workers to fight for rights and recognition

Zahra Rahnavard, Iran
Artist and Activist, Former Chancellor of al-Zahra University
•  The face of women’s rights in Iran’s Green Revolution

Kavita Ramdas, India
Senior Advisor and Former President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women
•  Sustaining women’s leadership worldwide

Nadia Ribadeneira, Ecuador
Founding member of La Casa Feminista de Rosa, Member of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
•  Advocating for female prisoners’ rights and young women’s reproductive freedom in Ecuador

Mary Robinson, Ireland
President of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Former President of Ireland, Founding member of The Elders
•  Championing the world’s marginalized and disenfranchised

Casimira Rodríguez, Bolivia
Labor organizer and former Minister of Justice
•  Empowering indigenous girls to fight for their rights in Bolivia

Nawal El Saadawi, Egypt
Feminist, human rights activist, psychiatrist, poet and writer
•  Fighting for women’s rights and democracy in Egypt

Fred Sai, Ghana
Physician, Former President of International Planned Parenthood Federation
•  Groundbreaking maternal health advocate

Zainab Salbi, Iraq
Founder and CEO of Women for Women International
•  Offering an economic lifeline to women survivors of war

Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, Afghanistan
Co-Founder of the Oruj Learning Center
•  Getting girls into school in Afghanistan

Sima Samar, Afghanistan
Doctor, Founder of Shuhada (Afghanistan’s largest NGO), Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Sudan, Former Minister of Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan
•  Fighting for the rights of Afghan girls and women

Saudatu Sani, Nigeria
Chairperson of the House of Representatives Committee on MDGs, Chair of AdvocacyNigeria
•  Bringing Nigeria’s parliament into the battle for women’s health

Amartya Sen, India
Economist, Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics
•  Convincing policymakers that women belong at the center of international development

Jill W. Sheffield, USA
Founder and President of Women Deliver, Co-founder and former President of Family Care International
•  Fighting to make sure that world leaders put women – and their health – first

Mu Sochua, Cambodia
Member of Parliament and human rights advocate
•  Championing gender equality in the Cambodian parliament

Gloria Steinem, USA
Writer, Feminist, Organizer and Activist
•  Fighting for a world in which everyone matters

Shershah Syed, Pakistan
Ob/gyn, President of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Pakistan
•  Serving Pakistan’s marginalized women and supporting the midwives who care for them

Tatiana Therosme, Haiti
Head Psychologist at Zanmi Lasante
• Offering mental health care – and hope – in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake

Karma Lekshe Tsomo, USA
Buddhist nun, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, Director of the Jamyang Foundation
•  Forging a place for women within Tibetan Buddhism

Cristina Villarreal, Colombia
Psychologist, Executive Director of Fundacion Oriéntame
•  Training the next generation of women’s healthcare providers in Latin America

Oprah Winfrey, USA
Television producer, Philanthropist, Founder of the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa
•  Broadcasting women’s stories to the world

Muhammad Yunus, Bangladesh
Founder of the Grameen Bank, Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
•  Empowering women to lift themselves from poverty

UNFPA's Iconic Leaders: Nafis Sadik, PakistanFormer Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS; Thoraya Obaid, Saudi ArabiaFormer Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
•  Together, they transformed the UNFPA, and the lives of the millions of girls and women it serves

IPPF's Changemakers: Gill Greer, New ZealandDirector-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF); Carmen Barroso, BrazilRegional Director of IPPF Western Hemisphere Region; Steven Sinding, USAFormer Director General of IPPF, Senior Fellow at the Guttmacher Institute
•  Transforming Planned Parenthood into an international force for women’s rights

Scientific Visionaries: Étienne-Émile Baulieu, FranceBiochemist and Endrocrinologis at INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research); Ian Frazer, AustraliaDirector of the Diamantina Institute (DI), at the University of Queensland, Australia; Pak-Chung Ho, ChinaPresident of the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, President of the Asia Oceania Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Robert G. Edwards, UKRecipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2010
•  The men behind the science transforming women’s lives

European Champions: Tore Godal, NorwaySpecial Advisor to the Prime Minister of Norway; Bert Koenders, NetherlandsFormer Minister for Development Cooperation, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Rutgers WPF; Andrew Mitchell, UKSecretary of State for International Development
•  The architects and guardians of Europe’s woman-centered foreign aid policy

Heads of State: Jens Stoltenberg, NorwayPrime Minister of Norway; José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spain – Prime Minister of SpainTarja Halonen, Finland – President of FinlandEllen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia President of Liberia
•  Advancing the cause of gender equality while leading their nations

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Special thanks to Frances Kissling who brought the idea of this list to
Women Deliver and worked to develop the concept.