Ebadi graduated with a degree in Law from Tehran University in 1969; she then completed exams necessary to become a judge. A successful early career resulted in her being appointed President of the Tehran City Court; the first woman to hold the position. After the revolution women were no longer allowed to be judges and she was stripped of her title.
Later she founded the Centre for the Defense of Human Rights in Tehran. She appears with out a head scarf in public, openly supports homosexuality, questions Islamic punishments and persistently questions the government about abuses of human rights.
She does not, however, believe that Islamic government is inherently anti women’s rights; the problem is non democratic governments exploiting Islam to deny women their rights.
An obvious target, Ebadi has been unable to return to Iran since the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; the threats made on her life have dramatically intensified. Her husband is not allowed leave to Tehran and was recently arrested and badly beaten.
In 2003 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2006 she wrote Iran Awakening. Censorship banned it in Iran but it has been received well internationally.