Dorothy Day with her prison dress. On November 1917 Day went to prison for being one of forty women in front of the White House protesting women's exclusion from the electorate. Arriving at a rural workhouse, the women were roughly handled. The women responded with a hunger strike. Finally they were freed by presidential order.
Mukhtar Mai is a Pakistani woman who, after being gang-raped, was expected to commit suicide. Instead, she prosecuted her attackers and used compensation money to start schools, a women's shelter and an organization to support women from around Pakistan. We have a chapter about her story in Half the Sky.
Marie Curie was a woman before her time. Born in 1867, in Poland, she was a genius in physics and in chemistry; she is the first woman ever to receive a Nobel Prize and the only woman in history to receive two Nobel Prizes.
Helen Richey was Amelia Earhart's copilot on one flight across the Atlantic. She became the first woman hired to be a pilot by a commercial airline in the US. She was the first woman licensed as an aviation instructor. She was the first woman to fly a scheduled mail flight. During WWII she commanded a group of women pilots for the British Air Transport Auxiliary, flying bombs between factories and airbases. She died by suicide at age 38
Victoria Woodhull (1838 - 1927). She was quite a lady ... the first woman to run for President of the United States (1872); first woman to start a weekly newspaper, first woman along with her sister to operate a brokerage firm in Wall Street (where she made a fortune). She fought for women's rights, against corruption and for labor reforms. The reforms and ideals espoused by her for the common working class against the corrupt rich business elite were extremely controversial in her time.