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Women who have changed the world

Women and rights

WILMA MANKILLER Cherokee Nation Female Chief- As the first female chief of the Cherokees, from 1985 to 1995, Mankiller led the tribe in tripling its enrollment, doubling employment and building new health centers and children's programs.

WILMA MANKILLER Obituary Memorial Cherokee Nation Female Chief

Frances Perkins, First Female Cabinet Member | Came up with Social Security, the 40-hour work week, and overtime pay.

Rebecca Walker, daughter of Alice Walker and god-daughter of Gloria Steinem--After graduating cum laude from Yale University in 1992, she co-founded the Third Wave Foundation, a non-profit organization aiming to encourage young women to get involved in activism and leadership roles. In its first year, the organization initiated a campaign that registered over 20,000 new voters across the United States. The organization now provides grants to individuals and projects that support young women.

Rebecca Walker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edwina Shepherd Pepper - gave up wealth to live atop a mountain in WV and started a newpaper called Mountain Call - first environmentalist I ever knew.

Artist and feminist activist Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, born in 1827 (d. 1891), was a founder of the women's rights/suffrage movement in Britain. She wrote "A Brief Summary, in Plain Language, of the Most Important Laws Concerning Women," which listed for the first time the legal restrictions under which women lived. This book helped move forward the Married Women's Property Act. When she died, a newspaper wrote, "The deceased lady was a militant Radical, but she lived only to do good."

Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) was a Russian ballerina of the late 19th and early 20th century. She is widely regarded as one of the finest classical ballet dancers in history and was a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev. Pavlova is most recognized for the creation of the role The Dying Swan and, with her own company, became the first ballerina to tour around the world. She moved to London in 1912 and is photographed here in her garden

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, the first black woman to earn a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in nuclear physics.

Huda Shaarawi (1879–1947) was an Egyptian feminist who influenced not only women in Egypt but throughout the Arab world. She was a pioneer in feminism, and brought to light the restrictive world of upper-class women in her book The Harem Years.

Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin organized and fund raised throughout her life for woman and civil rights. In 1915 she was elected president of the Lucy Stone Woman Suffrage League, an organization of black Pittsburgh women, and through this position she became active in the National Association of Colored Women (NACW).

Education & Resources - National Women's History Museum - NWHM

Julian of Norwich. The first woman writer in English whose work survives. A contemporary of Chaucer. Fourteenth century.

Rosalyn Sussan Yalow, co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology in 1977, although both her M.S. and Ph.D. were earned in nuclear physics for the development of radioimmunoassay. She wanted to go to medical school but she was a woman and Jewish and was advised to become a secretary. She and Dr. Solomon Berson, discovered radioisotopes for diagnosis to measure minute quantities of biologically active molecules. Both researchers refused to patent the method and gave it to the world.

Sister Gertruda Stanisława Marciniak, Poland - The Polish nun who hid Jews in her orphanage

Mildred Harnack was a Milwaukee-born German-American who moved to Germany with her husband and became part of the nazi resistance. She was beheaded on 16 February 1943. Her last words were purported to have been: "Ich habe Deutschland auch so geliebt" ("I loved Germany so much"). She was the only American woman executed on the orders of Adolf Hitler.

Mildred Harnack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Poland, Zivia Lubetkin, one of the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

On the 70th Anniversary of the Execution of Sophie Scholl, 22 February 1943 - Sophie Scholl was a German woman executed by the Nazis for distributing anti-Nazi pamphlets. Prison officials, in later describing the scene, emphasized the courage with which she walked to her execution. Her last words were: "How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to offer themselves up individually for a righteous cause? Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go."

Nancy Grace Augusta Wake, British Agent known as the ‘White Mouse’ of World War II (1912-2011). Recipient of the Croix de Guerre and the most decorated servicewoman of the war. Among her many acts of courage, as a courier for the French Resistance, Wake once rode a bicycle over 500 miles through enemy territory on a mission. She recruited 1000s of Frenchmen to fight and led attacks on German installations. She earned the rank of Captain and died at the age of 98 in London.

Nancy Wake, ‘White Mouse’ of World War II, dies at 98

Countess Karolina Lanckorońska (1898-2002) was a Polish World War II resistance fighter, historian and art historian. As member of Polish resistance she was arrested, interrogated, tortured, tried and sentenced to death at Stanisławów prison. Thanks to her family connections, she wasn't executed but was instead sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Immediately after release in 1945, she wrote her war memoirs.


Audrey Hepburn was still a young teenager when she began to help the Dutch resistance during WWII. An accomplished ballerina by age 14, she started out helping the resistance by dancing. She danced in secret productions to raise money for the resistance. Hepburn also occasionally ran messages for the resistance. Had she been discovered doing either of these things, a swift execution would have followed.

WWII Files: Audrey Hepburn and the Dutch Resistance

File:Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands who was an inspiration for the Dutch Resistance during WWII

(Jannetje Johanna (Jo) Schaft), also known as Hannie Schaft, also known as "The Girl With the Red Hair." Dutch Resistance Fighter. Known for yelling "I could shoot better!" after being fatally wounded by a shot fired by a German solider after she was arrested and sentenced to execution for her involvement in the Dutch resistance of WWII.

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, 1948. When denied admission on the basis of race, Fisher filed a suit asserting that she must be admitted to the OU Law School since there was no comparable facility for African American students. Losing in state courts, Marshall argued the case before the Supreme Court which reversed the lower courts in 1948

One of the most significant discoveries in the field of science is nuclear fission and the person behind this is a woman named Lise Meitner. She was the first person to work on a hypothesis on the process of nuclear fission. Her works and discoveries related to Uranium and nuclear fission had great implications in the scientific world. Unfortunately, her works were marred by the Second World War. She is the first person to observe that Uranium is the largest naturally occurring element.

10 Groundbreaking Female Scientists Written Off By History

Donaldina Cameron - Donaldina Cameron: (1869–1968) Founder of Cameron House in San Francisco’s Chinatown, this Scottish Presbyterian social worker defied Chinese gangs and crime lords, corrupt police, and complacent politicians to rescue girls kidnapped from China to San Francisco for sale as prostitutes and slaves.

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