50 Women who changed the World

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Tribute to women on International Women's Day


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March 8:

March 8 *Images via Bing

5o famous women who changed the world:

5o famous women who changed the world *Image via Bing The list of 50 women has been chosen from an article- Women who changed the world. The presentation is an adaption from its original article, with no copyright infringements intended. Original article can be accessed at http:// www.biographyonline.net/people/women-who-changed-world.html .


Sappho One of the first published female writers. Much of her poetry has been lost but her immense reputation has remained. Referred to as one of the great 10 poets by none other than Plato himself. *Image via Bing 620-570 BC


Cleopatra *Image via Bing The last Greek ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra sought to defend Egypt from the expanding Roman Empire. As the last Ptolemaic heir of Alexander the Great, she also remained committed to his policy of cultural fusion, valuing all races and cultures with the ultimate aim of a single world community. 69-30 BC

Mary Magdalene:

Mary Magdalene *Image via Bing *Image via Bing Mary Magdalene is mentioned four times in the Gospels as a close devotee of Jesus Christ. She was with Jesus during the crucifixion and the first person to see Jesus after the resurrection. The fact she was first witness to his resurrection is significant, because at the time, women generally were not considered reliable as witness. 4 BC to 40 AD


Boudicca *Image via Bing Boudicca was an inspirational leader of the Britons. She led several tribes in revolt against the Roman occupation. Initially successful her army of 100,000 sacked Colchester and then London. Her army was eventually completely destroyed in battle by the Romans. 1 st century AD

Hildegard of Bingen:

Hildegard of Bingen *Image via Bing Hildegard produced major works of theology and visionary writings - the Scivias . She was also famous for writing sacred music and also wrote about natural history and medicine.   She was consulted by Popes, Kings and influential people of the time. Her writings and music have influenced people to this day. 1098-1179

Eleanor of Aquitaine :

Eleanor of Aquitaine  *Image via Bing Eleanor was one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages. Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she would go onto become queen-consort of France and later queen of England. Educated , beautiful and highly articulate, Eleanor influenced the politics of western Europe through her alliances and influence over her sons. 1122-1204

Joan of Arc:

Joan of Arc *Image via Bing The patron saint of France, Joan of Arc inspired a French revolt against the occupation of the English. An unlikely heroine; at the age of just 17, the diminutive Joan successfully led the French to victory at Orleans. Her later trial and martyrdom only heightened her mystique. 1412-1431


Mirabai *Image via Bing *Image via Bing Born to a privileged Hindu family Mirabai broke with the conventions of society to live the life of a mystic and devotee of Krishna. For her unconventional lifestyle her family tried to kill her, but on each occasion were unsuccessful. Her bhajans and songs helped revitalise Devotional Hinduism in India. 1498-1565

St Teresa of Avila:

St Teresa of Avila *Image via Bing Mystic and poet. In her journey to love God she reformed the Carmelite Order, stood out as a leader of the Counter-Reformation and authored some of the finest works on the mystical life of prayer within the treasury of the Church.  She  is the first woman to be named Doctor of the Church. 1515-1582

Catherine de Medici:

Catherine de Medici *Image via Bing Traditionally believed to have led to disastrous St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, a turning point in the French Wars of Religion. Born in Florence, Italy, Catherine was married to the King of France at the age of 14. She was involved in interminable political machinations. 1519-1589

Elizabeth 1:

Elizabeth 1 *Image via Bing The Queen of England who presided over ‘golden age’ in English history. During her reign she witnessed the defeat of the Spanish Armada leaving Britain to later become one of the world’s dominant superpowers . It was Queen Elizabeth who also established the supremacy of Protestantism in England. 1533-1603

Catherine The Great:

Catherine The Great *Image via Bing One of the greatest political leaders of the eighteenth century. Catherine the great was said to have played an important role in improving the lot of the Russian serfs. She placed great emphasis on the arts and helped to cement Russia as one of the dominant countries in Europe. 1729-1796

Mary Wollstonecraft:

Mary Wollstonecraft *Image via Bing A true pioneer in the struggle for female suffrage. Wrote the most significant book in the early feminist movement. Her tract “ A Vindication of the Rights of Women”  laid down a clear moral and practical basis for extending human and political rights to women . 1759-1797

Jane Austen:

Jane Austen *Image via Bing One of the most popular female authors Jane Austen wrote several novels, which remain highly popular today. These include “Pride and Prejudice” “Emma” and “Northanger Abbey”. Jane Austen wrote at a time when female writers were very rare, helping pave the way for future writers. 1775-1817

Harriet Beecher Stowe:

Harriet Beecher Stowe *Image via Bing A life long anti slavery campaigner, her novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was a best seller and helped to popularize the anti slavery campaign. Was invited for a meeting with Abraham Lincoln in the White House. It was later remarked that Harriet was 'the little woman who started the big war'.  1811-1896

Queen Victoria:

Queen Victoria *Image via Bing Presiding over one of the largest empires ever seen, Queen Victoria was the head of state for most of the Nineteenth Century. Queen Victoria became synonymous with the period symbolizing propriety and middle class values. Queen Victoria sought to gain an influence in British politics whilst remaining aloof from party politics. 1809-1901

Florence Nightingale:

Florence Nightingale *Image via Bing By serving in the Crimean war, Florence Nightingale was instrumental in changing the role and perception of the nursing profession. Her dedicated service won widespread admiration and led to a significant improvement in the treatment of wounded soldiers.  1820-1910

Susan B Anthony:

Susan B Anthony *Image via Bing Susan Anthony campaigned against slavery and for the promotion of women’s and workers rights. She began campaigning within the temperance movement and this convinced her of the necessity for women to have the vote. She toured the US giving countless speeches on the subjects of human rights. 1820-1906

Emily Dickinson:

Emily Dickinson *Image via Bing One of America’s greatest poets Emily Dickinson lived most of her life in seclusion. Her poems were published posthumously and received widespread literary praise for their bold and unconventional style. Her poetic style left a significant legacy on 20th Century poetry. 1830-1886

Emmeline Pankhurst:

Emmeline Pankhurst *Image via Bing A British suffragette, Emily Pankhurst dedicated her life to the promotion of women’s rights. She explored all avenues of protest including violence, public demonstrations and hunger strikes. She died in 1928, 3 weeks before a law giving all women over 21 the right to vote. 1858-1928

Marie Curie:

Marie Curie *Image via Bing Marie Curie was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize and the first person to win it for 2 separate categories. Her first award was for research into radioactivity (Physics 1903). Her second Nobel prize was for Chemistry in 1911. A few years later she also helped develop the first X ray machines. 1867-1934

Emily Murphy:

Emily Murphy *Image via Bing A Canadian equal rights activist. She became Canada's first female magistrate and helped to repeal discriminatory legislation against women. In 1929, she succeed in gaining a ruling that stated Women were legal persons under the B.N.A Act and so could serve as a member of Congress and judges. 1868-1933

Rosa Luxemburg:

Rosa Luxemburg *Image via Bing A leading Marxist revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg sought to bring Social revolution to Germany. She wrote fiercely against German imperialism and for international socialism. In 1919, she was murdered after a failed attempt to bring about a Communist revolution in Germany. 1870-1919

Helena Rubinstein:

Helena Rubinstein *Image via Bing Helena Rubinstein formed one of the world’s first cosmetic companies. Her business enterprise proved immensely successful and later in life she used her enormous wealth to support charitable enterprises in the field of education, art and health . Her philanthropy, material support for Israel and her enhancement of women looking and feeling more beautiful is long remembered. 1870-1965

Helen Keller:

Helen Keller *Image via Bing At the age of 19 months Helen became deaf and blind. Overcoming the frustration of losing both sight and hearing she campaigned tirelessly on behalf of deaf and blind people .  Her public profile helped destigmatise blindness and deafness, and she was seen as a powerful example of someone overcoming difficult circumstances. 1880-1968

Coco Chanel:

Coco Chanel *Image via Bing One of the most innovative fashion designers, Coco Chanel was instrumental in defining feminine style and dress during the 20th Century. Her ideas were revolutionary; in particular she often took traditionally male clothes and redesigned them for the benefit of women. 1883-1971

Eleanor Roosevelt:

Eleanor Roosevelt *Image via Bing Wife and political aide of American president F.D . Roosevelt . In her own right Eleanor made a significant contribution to the field of human rights, a topic she campaigned upon throughout her life. As head of UN human rights commission she helped to draft the 1948 UN declaration of human rights. 1884-1962

Annie Besant:

Annie Besant *Image via Bing Annie Besant was a campaigner for social justice, advocate of women's rights and later member of the Theosophist society. She also actively campaigned for Indian independence.  She espoused freedom of thought, women's rights, secularism, birth control and the rights of the working class. 1847-1933

Katharine Hepburn:

Katharine Hepburn *Image via Bing An iconic figure of Twentieth Century film Katharine Hepburn won 4 Oscars and received over 12 Oscar nominations. Her lifestyle was unconventional for the time and through her acting and life she helped redefine traditional views of women’s role in society. 1907-2003

Simone de Beauvoir:

Simone de Beauvoir *Image via Bing One of the leading existentialist philosophers of the Twentieth Century, Simone de Beauvoir developed a close personal and intellectual relationship with Jean Paul Satre . Her book “The Second Sex” depicted the traditions of sexism that dominated society and history. It was a defining book for the feminist movement. 1908-1986

Mother Teresa:

Mother Teresa *Image via Bing Devoting her life to the service of the poor and dispossessed Mother Teresa became a global icon for selfless service to others. Through her Missionary of Charities organization she personally cared for 1000s of sick and dying people in Calcutta. She was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1979. 1910-1997

Dorothy Hodgkin:

Dorothy Hodgkin *Image via Bing Awarded the Nobel prize for chemistry Dorothy Hodgkin work on critical discoveries of the structure of both penicillin and later insulin. These discoveries led to significant improvements in health care. An outstanding chemist Dorothy also devoted a large section of her life to the peace movement and promoting nuclear disarmament. 1910-1994

Rosa Parks:

Rosa Parks *Image via Bing Rosa Parks refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man indirectly led to some of the most significant civil rights legislation of American history. She sought to play down her role in the civil rights struggle but for her peaceful and dignified campaigning she became one of the most well respected figures in the civil rights movements. 1913-2005

Millicent Fawcett:

Millicent Fawcett *Image via Bing Millicent Garrett Fawcett was a leading suffragist and campaigner for equal rights for women. She led Britain's biggest suffrage organisation , the non-violent (NUWSS) and played a key role in gaining women the vote. She also helped found Newnham College, Cambridge. 1846-1929

Billie Holiday:

Billie Holiday *Image via Bing Given the title “First Lady of the Blues” Billie Holiday was widely considered to be the greatest and most expressive jazz singer of all time. Her voice was moving in its emotional intensity and poignancy. Despite dying at the age of only 44 Billie Holiday helped define the jazz era and her recordings are widely sold today. 1915-1959

Indira Gandhi:

Indira Gandhi *Image via Bing First female prime minister of India. She was in power from between 1966-77 and 1980-84. Accused of authoritarian tendencies she only narrowly avoided a military coup by agreeing to hold an election at the end of the “emergency period” of 1977. She was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards, in response to her storming of the Golden Temple. 1917-1984

Eva Peron:

Eva Peron *Image via Bing Eva Peron was widely loved by the ordinary people of Argentina. She campaigned tirelessly for both the poor and for the extension of women’s rights. At the same time she was feared by some in power for her popularity. She was also criticised for her intolerance of criticism; with her husband Juan Peron they shut down many independent newspapers. She died aged only 32 in 1952. 1919-1952

Betty Frieden:

Betty Frieden *Image via Bing Leading feminist figure of the 1960s. Her book “The Feminine Mystique” became a best seller and received both lavish praise and intense criticism. Betty Frieden campaigned for an extension of female rights and an end to sexual discrimination. 1921-2006

Margaret Thatcher:

Margaret Thatcher *Image via Bing The first female Prime minister of Great Britain, Mrs Thatcher defined a decade. In particular she is remembered for her emphasis on individual responsibility and belief in free markets. Developed close relationships with R. Reagan, but was more sceptical of European integration.  1925-

Marilyn Monroe:

Marilyn Monroe Born Norma Jean Baker, Marilyn rose from childhood poverty to become one of the most iconic film legends. Her films were moderately successful, but her lasting fame came through her photogenic good looks and aura of glamour and sophistication. *Image via Bing 1926-1962

Anne Frank:

Anne Frank *Image via Bing Anne Frank’s diary is one of the most widely read books in the world. It reveals the thoughts of a young, yet surprisingly mature 13-year-old girl, confined to a secret hiding place. “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”  1929-1945

Audrey Hepburn:

Audrey Hepburn *Image via Bing Leading female actor of the 1950s and 60s. Audrey Hepburn defined feminine glamour and dignity, and was later voted as most beautiful women of the twentieth century. After her acting career ended in the mid 1960s, she devoted the remaining period of her life to humanitarian work with UNICEF.

Germaine Greer:

Germaine Greer *Image via Bing Leading feminist icon of the 1960s and 1970s Germaine Greer enjoys raising contentious issues. In particular her book “The Female Eunuch” was a defining manifesto for the feminist movement, which proved influential from the 1960s onwards. 1939-

Betty Williams:

Betty Williams *Image via Bing Together with Mairead Corrigan, Betty Williams campaigned passionately to bring an end to the sectarian violence of Northern Ireland. They founded the Community for Peace and were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 (post dated for 1976) 1943-

Billie Jean King:

Billie Jean King *Image via Bing One of the greatest female athletes Billie Jean King was one of the greatest female tennis champions who battled for equal pay for women. She won 67 professional titles including 20 titles at Wimbledon . She also played a key role in fighting for greater equality between men and women's tennis. 1943-

Benazir Bhutto:

Benazir Bhutto *Image via Bing Benazir Bhutto was the first female prime minister of a Muslim country. She helped to move Pakistan from a dictatorship to democracy becoming Prime Minister in 1988. She sought to implement social reforms, in particular helping women and the poor. She was assassinated in 2007. 1953-2007

Oprah Winfrey:

Oprah Winfrey Influential talk show host, Oprah Winfrey was the first women to own her own talk show host. The Oprah Winfrey show has proved to be one of the most successful and highly watched TV programme of all time. It has broken many social and cultural barriers such as gay and lesbian issues. Oprah has also remained a powerful role model for women, and black American women in particular. *Image via Bing 1954-


Madonna *Image via Bing Madonna is the most successful female musician of all time. She has sold over 300 million records worldwide, making her the best selling female artist of all time.  In addition to being a great pop musician she has rarely been out of the limelight. 1958-

Diana, Princess of Wales:

Diana, Princess of Wales *Image via Bing Princess Diana combined the appeal of a Royal princess with her humanitarian charity work. Although her marriage to Prince Charles was overshadowed by affairs on both sides, her popularity remained undimmed as many were inspired by her natural sympathy with the poor and mistreated. 1961-1997

JK Rowling:

JK Rowling *Image via Bing J.K . Rowling is the author of the phenomenal best selling Harry Potter series. The volume of sales was so high, it has been credited with leading a revival of reading by children. She wrote the first book as a single mother, struggling to make ends meet, but is now one of most successful self-made woman. 1965-

To all women:

To all women Thank you for nourishing us with your love and affection as a mother, sister, wife or daughter. We can never repay the debt in this life or lives to come. *Image via Bing

Let us pledge to respect women on this International Women’s Day and let us work together to make this world a better place to live in for all women.:

*Image via Bing Let us pledge to respect women on this International Women’s Day and let us work together to make this world a better place to live in for all women.