Shirin Ebadi, Iranian human rights activist and lawyer, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2003. She is the first Iranian and Muslim woman to receive the prize. Born in 1947 in Hamadan, Iran, Ebadi received a law degree from the University of Tehran and became one of the first female judges in Iran. She was forced to resign her position following the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 and has been working ever since, at great risk of her own safety, as a lawyer, writer and university professor to advocate for human rights, especially for Iranian women and children. A practicing Muslim, Shirin Ebadi advocates that Islam can and must be interpreted with respect for democratic ideals, equality and
human rights. Shirin Ebadi has also received numerous other international awards and
acknowledgments including Rafto Human Rights Prize in 2001 and the Légion d’honneuur, one of the most important French distinctions in 2006, as well as a great number of honorary degrees and doctorates from the most prestigious universities all over the world.