6th C Byzantine Constantinople
Theodora grew to be an actress and dancer in the hippodromes of Constantinople. She was a child prostitute and experienced several abortions before giving birth as a young girl.
Theodora met Emperor Justinian when she was 21, the unconditional love they shared for one another proving to be the turning point for women of the recently established Byzantine Era.
Theodora used her power to help women who also lived lives
of poverty and vulnerability.
She housed prostitutes and achieved legislation which prohibited forced prostitution and banished brothels. Theodora developed women’s marriage and dowry rights, altering divorce laws to be more favorable to women.
She influenced anti-rape legislation and supported the many young girls being sold into sexual slavery and secured mothers
guardianship over their children.
Her infamous displays of courage against the issues women face today make her a great, timeless inspiration.