History is really fascinating! Who would have thought there are lots of women who have proven that they are not just for household chores! Though it was a hard time for me to feature ten (10) lists of the most known women in the world (because there are lots of them), I have chosen some who I think is really famous. It is really hard to determine who is more famous, so please keep in mind that the following people are listed in random.
Some of them are politically influential, some have high degree or with higher educational attainment, some are Nobel Prize winners who have been involved in a very significant contribution. We will become time travelers again, and we will start from the ancient times up to the twentieth century.
10 – Eleanor Roosevelt
She is one of the first women elected to the Senate in 1911. Even though she is not yet the first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt was already involved in different charitable organizations. When she became the first lady, she became more active as she support her husband in every political aspect. She is not just a first lady who enjoys her position, she is more about house reform, child welfare and equal rights for women and racial minorities. She did not stop even after the death of the President in 1945. She became the first chairman of the Commission on Human Rights in 1947 and helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights during her time.
She founded the Women’s Franchise League in 1889. She also founded the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1905. Pankhurst was imprisoned several times because of her tactics but that didn’t stop her to continue what she is fighting for. During World War I, she was encouraging employers to place women for jobs which was usually done by men. She was even funded several thousand pounds by the government as aid during her talks with employers. Her daughters Christabel and Sylvia joined her in her fight for Women’s Suffrage and their hard work came true in March 1918. Women with age of 30 and above can vote and later that year, women with age of 21 were given the right to become Parliament members though they still cannot vote.
8 – Rosa Parks
The U.S. Congress called her as the “Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement”. This African American civil activist became famous because of disobeying a bus driver (James Blake) to give up her seat for a white passenger. This resulted to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a movement against racial segregation. Rosa Parks died on October 24,2005 at the age of ninety-two (92) and three days after her death, the city of Montgomery and Detroit announced that in memory of her, the front seats of their city buses would be reserved with black ribbons.
7 – Mother Theresa
Born in Skopje, Macedonia on August 26, 1910, Mother Theresa is the most iconic nun ever lived. At a young age, she already felt God’s calling and when she reached the age of eighteen (18), she left home and joined the Sisters of Loreto. This Irish community had a mission to help poor people in India. In May 24, 1931, Mother Theresa became a vowed nun and started to teach in St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta. It lasted for seventeen (17) years, but in 1948 she had permission to leave the school and began dedicating herself for the poor. Although she is not a religious leader, her hard work and dedication for the poor made her to be a known religious figure.
6 – Cleopatra
She was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and a member of the Ptolemies. She was also the lover of Julius Caesar (Caesar was 52 years old that time while she was only 21) and Mark Anthony to whom she gave birth to twins Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II. Her death was very controversial, some historians say that she died from the bite of an Egyptian Cobra, some say that she applied a toxic ointment. Some authors stated that there is a possibility that Augustus had her killed. But no matter what might be the reason of her death, Cleopatra’s shady character is incomparable in terms of gaining power.
5 – Queen Victoria
Alexandrina Victoria Hanover, the daughter of Prince Edward (George III’s son)ruled an entire empire for 63 years. He reign started from 1837 to 1901. She successfully managed to double her empire that stretched from India to the Americans and also from Africa to the Far East. Some of her great contributions aside from the successful broadening of her empire is the forming of the Liberal and Conservative parties. She also broadened the suffrage through the Reform Acts of 1867 and 1884. Because of her astonishing regime, an entire era was synonymous to her name, which we refer today as the “Victorian Age.”
4 – Marie Curie
Maria Skladowska was born in Warsaw, Poland on November 7, 1867. Her dream was to become a physicist, she strived hard and work as a tutor and in 1891 she managed to go to Paris and had work at the laboratory of Gabriel Lippman, also a physicist. While in Paris, she met Pierre Curie, a physics and chemistry instructor, they fell in love with each other and get married in 1895. In a short period of time, this husband and wife science duo became Nobel Prize winners and Curie became the first woman who achieved a Nobel Prize. In 1911, Marie Curie gained her second Nobel Prize, which is for Chemistry and this made her the first person to achieve two Nobel Prizes.
This writer and statistician is also known as a pioneer of modern nursing. She was called “The Lady with the Lamp” as she shows compassion and commitment to every patient which became the best example of nurses everywhere. Her greatest contribution is during the Crimean war, wherein soldiers with horrific wound died eventually. She believed that the reasons behind the high death rates of wounded soldiers are due to the poor sanitation, lack of nutrition and supplies and overworking of soldiers. Florence Nightingale and fellow citizens cleaned the hospital and the equipments that will be used in treating the soldiers.
2 – Eva Peron
Also known as “Evita” was the First lady of Argentina (from 1946 to 1952) during the regime of his husband President Juan Peron. She founded the Eva Peron Foundation, a charitable institution which helps the poor and homeless and gives them free health care, too. Because of these, Evita was admired by many people, her image and name appeared everywhere. Actually a city was named after her, they called it “Ciudad Evita” and also a star was also named after her. On August 22, 1951, a historical date when the largest public display of support called “Cabildo Abierto” happened. A mass rally with two million people participating begged Eva to run for vice president, but eventually she declined.
1 – Joan of Arc
She was sent to the siege of Orleans as part of the relief mission and she gained prominence that time as she successfully overcame the rude attitude of the commanders and made siege successful in nine days. But she was executed at the age of nineteen (19) for heresy as she declared that she had visions from God. Her mission was to recover her homeland from the English domination. She was executed but twenty four (24) years later, the Pope declared that the judgment on her was invalid, she was innocent and a martyr. In 1909, Joan of Arc was beatified and in 1920 she was canonized as a saint.