These handmade Ruth Bader Ginsburg dolls are encouraging people to donate to women’s charities


One woman is bringing Ruth Bader Ginsburg into people’s homes and hearts, while also inspiring people to donate to causes that can help women today.

25 years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg took a historic judicial oath to join the United States Supreme Court. In doing so, she became the first Jewish woman and second woman justice ever appointed to the Supreme Court. In the quarter of a century that’s followed, Ginburg has been a constant defender for women and other marginalized groups. As a political and cultural icon, Ginsburg is an inspiration to us all to fight the good fight.

That is one of the many reasons why her persona was chosen to be recreated in doll form, and be sent to anyone who was willing to make a donation to causes Ginsburg would be proud of.

The maker of these dolls, and the woman behind this charitable movement, is Diana Basmajian.

With a strong background in theater and the arts — she is the Co-CEO and Executive Producer of Playbill Theater Network and the founder of Smarty Skirts Media — Basmajian felt the need to do something, anything, in the wake of the 2016 election and most recently, after news of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

As Justice Anthony Kennedy plans to retire, women like Basmajian are concerned, as he was touted as a crucial swing vote for many pertinent cases. Now Ruth Bader Ginsburg seems to be — as Princess Leia would say — our only hope.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg doll. Photo via Diana Basmajian.

“I love her. I love reading about her. I love watching her. I love hearing her speak. To me, she symbolizes inspiration, being able to speak your voice, and being an articulate, strong woman,” Basmajian says.

Basmajian spoke with Culturess about the journey she’s had in creating RBG dolls for friends, family, and now, anyone who reaches out for one. It started with a simple prompt on her personal Facebook profile: Donate $50 to Planned Parenthood and Basmajian would send you a handmade doll in the likeness of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Basmajian picked that organization specifically as she’s been a longtime supporter for a very meaningful reason.

“I went through many years without health insurance,” Basmajian said. “I mean more years than I care to admit. Five years ago, I got a job with health insurance. A month after receiving my health insurance, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.” Having learned of her diagnosis, Basmajian fully saw the importance of accessible healthcare for women. It made her think of all the times she had gone to Planned Parenthood before, and what a void it would cause for women if it were to lose funding or worse, be eradicated.

With women’s rights and women’s bodies feeling as if they’re under attack every day by the current administration, Basmajian sees her call to action for donations to Planned Parenthood as her way to rise up and do good where she can.

It’s been pretty successful.  After an overwhelmingly positive response to her original post, Basmajian created this Facebook Page and website where people can learn more and donate to receive their own RBG doll. And while the initial Facebook post asked for Planned Parenthood donations, Basmajian says any donation meant for charitable organizations that support women is welcomed by her.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg doll. Photo via Diana Basmajian.

“A woman wrote me asking if she could give to a nonprofit that supports Filipino women… One person did UNICEF. A couple of other people did charities that were smaller charities that are important to them.” Basmajian says. “In the process, I’m learning about all these other charities that are for women.”

As the donations come in, Basmajian finds that people simply want to do their part to help and be a part of something positive, versus just getting a doll. As for her, she says her goal is to inspire people to give to nonprofits, as she has done much of her life.

“I have a lot of admiration for women who use their voice to effect change. That’s why I like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor and Hillary Clinton,” Basmajian says. And it is these women, and the obstacles they’ve faced that have motivated her throughout her career.

Basmajian says if she were given the chance to meet Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she’d ask her this:

“How did you find your voice? When did you recognize your value or has it always been something that you always just knew? What would you say to a young woman, a young person, about recognizing your own value and how important it is?”

Basmajian continued, “I think that’s a really important thing that I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that I don’t need others to determine my value. I determined my value and now, I can give back to the world and do something.”

With each doll Basmajian has made so far, and the encouragement she’s given others to donate what they can to organizations that will help women now and in the future, we think Ginsburg would easily be proud.

To learn more about Diana Basmajian’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg dolls and how to make a donation yourself, visit