21 Jun Happy Birthday Blog: Shirin Ebadi
Born: June 21, 1947
Known for: Founder of Defender of Human Rights Center in Iran and Nobel Prize Winner
In 2003, Dr. Shirin Ebadi became the first Muslim woman and only the 5th Muslim to win a Nobel Prize when she was awarded the Peace Prize for her work in law, justice, and women’s rights. Dr. Ebadi got her law degree from Tehran University in 1965, when she was given a position on the faculty.
She continued to work through her doctoral degree, which she earned from the same university in 1971. Following that degree she continued to rise in rank in the Justice Department, becoming the first female judge in Iran and the first female Chief Justice.
After the Iranian Revolution on 1979, she was stripped of her position and demoted to a clerk in her own courtroom. Ebadi protested this move along with the other women judges, and they were eventually awarded the position of expert within the Justice Department. Not satisfied with this change, Ebadi asked for early retirement and left the judicial system.
She obtained her lawyer’s license in 1992, and opened a private practice. While a lawyer, Dr. Ebadi took on many controversial cases, particularly those of political dissidents. In addition to being an international recognized advocate for human rights, Dr. Ebadi has also started several non profit organizations. She spearheaded the Million Signatures Campaign, that demanded an end to legal discrimination in Iranian law.
Dr. Ebadi has remained a university professor for her entire career. She has published 70 articles and 13 books dedicated to a range of human rights issues.
For all her continued work to fight for human rights around the world, we wish her a very happy birthday.
Learn more about Dr. Ebadi here.