10 Bold Women Who Impacted History
Bold women throughout history have shaped the world as we know it — here are just ten of them!
Most history books only relish the power, ambition, and journeys that men have taken.
Women throughout history have broken traditional gender norms and changed our world for the better. The bold women of yesterday and today have accomplished amazing things, despite normally being relegated to being only a footnote in history.
Segregation in America was not that long ago. In fact, some of your parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents lived through it and remember it. Rosa Parks, and African-American women living in Alabama, challenged racial segregation when she refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white person in 1955. Many other people supported her protest which sparked the beginning of the civil rights movement in the United States. Thanks to her, equal rights were passed for everyone in the U.S. in the 1960s.
Susan B. Anthony
You can thank Susan B. Anthony for paving the way for women’s voting rights. As a teacher, she discovered that she was making less salary than her male co-workers. This occurrence caused her to focus her first reform on the efforts of anti-slavery and temperance. However, when she went to go speak at a temperance rally, all the men in attendance claimed that a woman had no right to speak. This ignited her to switch her focus to women’s voting rights. She protested and even tried voting. She was caught, fined, and jailed for this action. But she continued to fight for voting rights until the day she died.
Born to a wealthy family in Italy, Florence Nightingale went against her family’s wishes and joined the nursing profession. To further her career, she moved to London and was asked to create a team of medics to help wounded British soldiers in the Crimean War. She was the first woman who was officially allowed to serve in the army. When she arrived in Crimea, she noticed the filthy and unkept conditions of the hospital. With the help of healthy soldiers, she was able to clean and maintain the hospital. During the war, she made sure all the wounded patients were comfortable. She even got the nickname ‘lady of the lamp’ since she would monitor soldiers all night long. After the war, she got a thank you letter from Queen Victoria and traveled all over the world improving health facilities.
It has taken hundreds of years for society to normalize women’s birth control and sex education. Marie Stopes was a huge leader and advocate in England for proper sex education and birth control. Even though she was a controversial person, she was a key figure for the cause. She even opened the first birth control clinic for the poor-working class of London.
Many of us have heard of Cleopatra, but do you know why she made history? Cleopatra was a coregent ruler of ancient Egypt. She was intelligent, well-educated, and clever. Cleopatra spoke various languages and had romantic and military liaisons with Roman leaders Julius Ceasar and Mark Anthony. For many years, Cleopatra helped Egypt flourish until the Octavians defeated her in 30 B.C. Even though she had a tragic end, she left behind unimaginable stories and legends.
A fashion icon that created a luxury brand is Coco Chanel. Born in France, Coco Chanel taught herself to sew. She opened her first shop in the early 1900s designing hats. By the 1920s, she turned to clothing and perfume. Thanks to Coco Chanel, we have the little black dress and the Chanel No. 5 perfume (the world’s best-selling perfume). Now, Chanel sells clothes, shoes, perfume, handbags, accessories, handbags, and more.
Diana, Princess of Wales
As the first wife of the heir to the British throne, Diana made a huge impact on the world. Her wedding to Prince Charles reached 700 million people worldwide. And, even after their divorce in 1996, she continued to touch hearts all over the globe. Diana is known for her charity work for sick children, the banning of landmines, and raising awareness for different sicknesses like cancer, HIV/AIDS, and mental illness. Even though she passed away, she continues to stay in the minds and hearts of many people. There are many documentaries and articles about her life, her marriage, and even her death.
Joan of Arc
As the youngest person on our list, Joan of Arc is a name that many households know. Joan was a 15-year-old peasant girl living in France. She believed that God chose her to lead France into victory against England. With no military training, Joan convinced crown prince Charles of Valois to allow her to lead the French army to the besieged city of Orleans. She did win the city back but was eventually captured and killed by Anglo-Burgundian forces. Joan became a symbol of French unity and nationalism when she became a saint in the 1920s.
A devoted Roman Catholic, Mother Teresa went to India at the age of 12 to spread the message of God. While there, she began the Missionaries of Charity. She spent her entire life helping underprivileged and poor people all over the world. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work and even donated all the money from the big event that they were going to hold for her to charity. She was named a saint in 2016. Even after her death, she will always be remembered and loved by all the people she helped.
Amelia Earhart took up aviation at the age of 24 in 1921. Not too long after, she broke the altitude record of a woman going above 14,000 feet. She became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932. And over the next five years, she continued to break speed and flying records. In June 1937, Earhart began her journey to fly across the world. She became the first person to fly from the Red Sea to India. But, she never finished her journey. On July 2, 1937, Earhart was reported missing. To this day, her disappearance is one of the biggest mysteries in the world.
These were just ten of the thousands of bold women who made an impact on history. You can be one as well! Do not be afraid to go out there and stand up for what you believe in. Before you know it, you will be making history as well.
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