Shirin Ebadi

Nobel Peace Laureate 2003

Region(s): Middle East
Country of focus: Iran

Shirin was awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote human rights – in particular, the rights of women, children, and political prisoners in Iran. She is the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Shirin was one of the first female judges in Iran and was the first Iranian woman to achieve Chief Justice status. Along with other women judges, she was dismissed from this position after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Since obtaining her lawyer’s license in 1992, Shirin has taken on many controversial cases defending political dissidents and as a result has been arrested numerous times. She has written five books, including Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran (2016). She has also established many nongovernmental organizations in Iran, including the One Million Signatures Campaign, a campaign demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iranian law. In January 2006, along with sister Laureate Jody Williams, Shirin took the lead in establishing the Nobel Women’s Initiative.