Dr. Shirin EBADI
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Founder, Centre for the Defence of Human Rights, Tehran
Shirin Ebadi won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting the rights of women and children in her home country of Iran. Ebadi studied at Tehran University, graduating with a law degree in 1971, and was named Iran's first-ever female judge in 1975. However, she and other female judges were forced to resign when Iran became an Islamic Republic after the revolution of 1979. After years of being denied a law license, Ebadi set up her own legal practice in 1992 and quickly developed a special interest the rights of women, journalists, and others who lacked power under the Iranian regime. She co-founded the Association for Support of Children's Rights (in 1995) and the Human Rights Defense Center (in 2001) and became known outside Iran for her clashes with the country's ruling clerics. The 2003 announcement from the Nobel Committee praised Ebadi for "her efforts for democracy and human rights" and said "She has stood up as a sound professional, a courageous person, and has never heeded the threats to her own safety.