b 21 May 1944
Irish academic, barrister and campaigner, first woman President of Ireland (1990)
I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.
In a society where the rights and potential of women are constrained, no man can be truly free. He may have power, but he will not have freedom.
It's only when you have a critical mass of women in politics that you get women's issues attacked.
Count up the results of 50 years of human rights mechanisms, 30 years of multibillion-dollar development programs and endless high-level rhetoric, and the global impact is quite underwhelming.