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List of female Nobel laureates

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List of female Nobel laureates

All Nobel Prizes won by women

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals who make outstanding contributions in the fields of Chemistry, Physics, Literature, Peace, Physiology or Medicine and Economics.[1] All but the economics prize were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel prize in Economics, or The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, for outstanding contributions in the field of Economics.[2] Each prize is awarded by a separate committee; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Economics, the Swedish Academy awards the Prize in Literature, the Karolinska Institute awards the Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Prize in Peace.[3] Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a cash prize that has varied throughout the years.[2]

As on 2011, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 803 men, 44 women, 22 organizations.[4][5][6] The first woman to win a Nobel Prize was Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 with her husband, Pierre Curie, and Henri Becquerel.[5][7] Curie is also the only woman to have won multiple Nobel Prizes; in 1911, she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Curie's daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935, making the two the only mother-daughter pair to have won Nobel Prizes.[5] Fifteen women have won the Nobel Peace Prize, thirteen have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, ten have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, four have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, two have won the Nobel Prize in Physics and one, Elinor Ostrom, has won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.[5][8] The most Nobel Prizes awarded to women in a single year was in 2009, when five women became laureates. The most recent women to be awarded a Nobel Prize were May-Britt Moser, and Malala Yousafzai .


Year Image Laureate Country Category Rationale
1903 Skłodowska-Curie, MarieMarie Skłodowska-Curie
(shared with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel)
Poland and France Physics "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel"[7]
1905 Suttner, Bertha vonBertha von Suttner Austria–Hungary Peace Honorary President of Permanent International Peace Bureau, Bern, Switzerland; Author of Lay Down Your Arms.[9]
1909 Lagerlof, SelmaSelma Lagerlöf Sweden Literature "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings"[10]
1911 Curie-Skłodowska, MarieMarie Curie-Skłodowska Poland and France Chemistry "for her discovery of radium and polonium"[11]
1926 Deledda, GraziaGrazia Deledda Italy Literature "for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general"[12]
1928 Undset, SigridSigrid Undset Norway Literature "principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages"[13]
1931 Addams, JaneJane Addams
(shared with Nicholas Murray Butler)
United States Peace Sociologist; International President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.[14]
1935 Joliot-Curie, IreneIrène Joliot-Curie
(shared with Frédéric Joliot-Curie)
France Chemistry "for their synthesis of new radioactive elements"[15]
1938 Buck, Pearl S.Pearl S. Buck United States Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces"[16]
1945 Mistral, GabrielaGabriela Mistral Chile Literature "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world"[17]
1946 Balch, Emily GreeneEmily Greene Balch
(shared with John Raleigh Mott)
United States Peace Formerly Professor of History and Sociology; Honorary International President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.[18]
1947 Cori, Gerty TheresaGerty Theresa Cori
(shared with Carl Ferdinand Cori and Bernardo Houssay)
United States Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen"[19]
1963 Goeppert-Mayer, MariaMaria Goeppert-Mayer
(shared with J. Hans D. Jensen and Eugene Wigner)
United States Physics "for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure"[20]
1964 Hodgkin, Dorothy CrowfootDorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin United Kingdom Chemistry "for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances"[21]
1966 Sachs, NellyNelly Sachs
(shared with Samuel Agnon)
Sweden and Germany Literature "for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel's destiny with touching strength"[22]
1976 Williams, BettyBetty Williams United Kingdom Peace Founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later renamed Community of Peace People)[23]
Corrigan, MaireadMairead Corrigan
1977 Sussman Yalow, RosalynRosalyn Sussman Yalow
(shared with Roger Guillemin and Andrew Schally)
United States Physiology or Medicine "for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones"[24]
1979 Teresa, MotherMother Teresa India and
Peace Leader of Missionaries of Charity, Calcutta.[25]
1982 Myrdal, AlvaAlva Myrdal
(shared with Alfonso García Robles)
Sweden Peace Former Cabinet Minister; Diplomat; Writer.[26]
1983 McClintock, BarbaraBarbara McClintock United States Physiology or Medicine "for her discovery of mobile genetic elements"[27]
1986 Levi-Montalcini, RitaRita Levi-Montalcini
(shared with Stanley Cohen)
Italy and
United States
Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of growth factors"[28]
1988 Elion, Gertrude B.Gertrude B. Elion
(shared with George H. Hitchings)
United States Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment"[29]
1991 Gordimer, NadineNadine Gordimer South Africa Literature "who through her magnificent epic writing has - in the words of Alfred Nobel - been of very great benefit to humanity"[30]
Suu Kyi, Aung SanAung San Suu Kyi Burma Peace "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights"[31]
1992 Menchu, RigobertaRigoberta Menchú Guatemala Peace "in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples"[32]
1993 Morrison, ToniToni Morrison United States Literature "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality"[33]
1995 Nusslein-Volhard, ChristianeChristiane Nüsslein-Volhard
(shared with Edward B. Lewis and Eric F. Wieschaus)
Germany Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development"[34]
1996 Szymborska, WislawaWisława Szymborska Poland Literature "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality"[35]
1997 Williams, JodyJody Williams
(shared with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines)
United States Peace "for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines"[36]
2003 Ebadi, ShirinShirin Ebadi Iran Peace "for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children"[37]
2004 Jelinek, ElfriedeElfriede Jelinek Austria Literature "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power"[38]
Maathai, WangariWangari Maathai Kenya Peace "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace"[39]
Buck, Linda B.Linda B. Buck
(shared with Richard Axel)
United States Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of olfactory system"[40]
2007 Lessing, DorisDoris Lessing United Kingdom Literature "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny"[41]
2008 Barre-Sinoussi, FrancoiseFrançoise Barré-Sinoussi
(shared with Harald zur Hausen and Luc Montagnier)
France Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of HIV, human immunodeficiency virus"[42]
2009 Blackburn, ElizabethElizabeth Blackburn
(shared with Jack W. Szostak)
Australia and United States Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase"[43]
Greider, Carol W.Carol W. Greider
(shared with Jack W. Szostak)
United States
Yonath, Ada E.Ada E. Yonath
(shared with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz)
Israel Chemistry "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome"[44]
Muller, HertaHerta Müller Germany and Romania Literature "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed"[45]
Ostrom, ElinorElinor Ostrom
(shared with Oliver E. Williamson)
United States Economics "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons"[46]
2011 Johnson Sirleaf, EllenEllen Johnson Sirleaf Liberia Peace "For their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work"[47]
Gbowee, LeymahLeymah Gbowee
Karman, TawakelTawakel Karman Yemen
2013 Munro, AliceAlice Munro Canada Literature "master of the contemporary short story"[48]

Moser, May-BrittMay-Britt Moser
(shared with Edvard Moser and John O'Keefe)
Norway Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain"[49]
Yousafzai, MalalaMalala Yousafzai
(shared with Kailash Satyarthi)
Pakistan Peace "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education".[50]


  • "Women Nobel Laureates".  
  1. ^ "Alfred Nobel – The Man Behind the Nobel Prize".  
  2. ^ a b "The Nobel Prize".  
  3. ^ "The Nobel Prize Awarders".  
  4. ^ "Nobel Laureates Facts".  
  5. ^ a b c d "Nobel Laureates Facts - Women".  
  6. ^ "Nobel Laureates Facts - Organizations".  
  7. ^ a b "Nobel Prize in Physics 1903".  
  8. ^ "Economics 2009".  
  9. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 1905".  
  10. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1909".  
  11. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1911".  
  12. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1926".  
  13. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1928".  
  14. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 1931".  
  15. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1935".  
  16. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1938".  
  17. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1945".  
  18. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 1946".  
  19. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1947".  
  20. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1963".  
  21. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1964".  
  22. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1966".  
  23. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 1976".  
  24. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1977".  
  25. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 1979".  
  26. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 1982".  
  27. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1983".  
  28. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1986".  
  29. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1988".  
  30. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1991".  
  31. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 1991".  
  32. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 1992".  
  33. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1993".  
  34. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1995".  
  35. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1996".  
  36. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 1997".  
  37. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 2003".  
  38. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 2004".  
  39. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 2004".  
  40. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2004".  
  41. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 2007".  
  42. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008".  
  43. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009".  
  44. ^ "Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009".  
  45. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 2009".  
  46. ^ "Nobel Prize in Economics 2009".  
  47. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 2011". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  48. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013" (PDF). Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  49. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2014-10-07. 
  50. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 2014". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2014-10-10. 

External links

  • Nobel Prize Awarded Women page on the Nobel Foundation site
  • Alan Asaid (26 September 2009). "Så ratade Akademien kvinnorna" [How the Academy Rejected the Women].  
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