This bold quote says it all: “There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.”
Indeed, there are so many strong and dedicated women around the world and throughout history that couldn’t fit on one list. Yet, we tried our best and chose 15 most inspiring women to remember on International Women’s Day this year. Have a look!
#1 Cleopatra (69-30 BC)
Not taking into account the ongoing myth of her surpassing beauty, Cleopatra has earned her undeniable place in history by being the last Pharaoh of Egypt and improving her country’s standing and economy. Also, her name is written in people’s memory as the influential force of the then most powerful man on earth – the Roman leader Julius Caesar.
#2 Joan of Arc (1412-1431)
This French heroine played a crucial role in liberating the French from the English invasion in the 15th century. Thanks to her unbelievable deeds and prophetic visions, Joan of Arc was also proclaimed a saint to Roman Catholics.
#3 Maria Theresa of Austria (1717-1780)
This Hapsburg Empress is most famous for her revolutionary reforms in education, making it mandatory to attend a school for everyone in the empire. Aside from her political achievements, she gave birth to her sixteen children while reigning the Habsburg monarchy for 40 years.
#4 Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
During the Crimean War, Florence nursed wounded soldiers with a few other nurses, becoming the very first women that had been allowed to do so. Not only that, this passionate nurse, often regarded as ‘the lady with the lamp’, saved many lives by improving sanitary conditions in hospitals.
#5 Marie Curie (1867-1934)
This groundbreaking scientist was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize twice – in 1903 and then again in 1911. With her diligent research, she contributed to the development of x-rays in surgery, indirectly saving a countless number of lives ever since the invention.
#6 Coco Chanel (1883-1971)
One of the greatest fashion designers of all times, Coco Chanel started humbly as a club singer and a hat maker. Going against all trends at her time, she not only changed the entire perception of the women’s fashion ideal but also challenged the gender norms of the time, contributing to creating a more equal society down the road as a result.
#7 Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
This skillful artist suffered a great pain in her life. All of her emotions were then translated into her unique paintings, creating immortal artistic pieces outlasting her generation.
#8 Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
This Nobel Peace Prize winner from 1979 worked passionately towards her goal of putting a value on any human being she met. This inspirational quote of hers is a guidance for many: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
#9 Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
Rosa Parks became a visible figure for equal human rights in the USA after she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger – an unlawful act back in 1955 when the incident happened. The day she got arrested is now known as Rosa Parks Day.
#10 Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013)
Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for 11 years, holding the office between 1979 and 1990. She became the very first woman to take on this position. Notably, Thatcher is known as the ‘Iron Lady’ for her uncompromising politics and leadership style.
#11 Anne Frank (1929-1945)
The Diary of Anne Frank became one of the world’s most read books, impacting millions of readers with her heartbreaking testimony of the German occupation in the Netherlands during the Second World War. Despite dying at the age of 15 in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she still achieved her big dream that she mentioned in her diary – becoming a well-known writer.
#12 Oprah Winfrey (1954)
Oprah Winfrey was born to a poor single mother in the USA. Now a well-known US talk show host and philanthropist, her today’s worth amounts to $2.7 billion.
#13 Diana (1961-1997)
Diana, known as the ‘people’s princess’, devoted her life to charity work making a difference for the most marginalized, including a heavy involvement in the Nobel Peace Prize-winning campaign to ban landmines.
#14 J.K Rowling (1965)
The unbelievable story of J.K. Rowling is just captivating. She wrote first Harry Potter’s books as a single mom living on state benefits in the UK from one cute cafe in Edinbrough. In just 5 years since publishing the first book, she had become a multi-millionaire, selling now more than 400 million copies worldwide.
#15 Malala Yousafzai (1997)
Malala famously said: ‘I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.’ And she’s doing just that. Since the infamous incident, she has become a bold figure for fighting equal rights, co-receiving the Nobel Peace Prize even before she officially reached adulthood.
As brilliant Harriet Beecher Stowe once noticed, “Women are the real architects of society“. We are lucky to live in the world built by those strong and brave architects, and our primary duty is to preserve what has been created. Get your PastBook photo book to keep the memories safe and pass them to the future generations!
Happy International Women’s Day!