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10 Greatest Women in the History of the Human Race

Updated on October 3, 2016

Who said that power, leadership, governance, and breakthroughs are only made for male domination? The following ten women are some of the greatest in the history of the human race and they have proved that girl power is truly present in our amazing society.

10. Susan B. Anthony


Known for her famous quotation "Women must not depend upon the protection of a man, but must be taught to protect herself," Susan B. Anthony was the founder of the Women's State Temperance Society. Undoubtedly, when she was younger, she already demonstrated leadership and witty thinking.

She became the President of the Rochester Branch of the Daughters of Temperance, with the aim to prohibit alcohol. This is only one of the many advocacy societies and associations that she had taken part of. Also, she was a part of the American Anti-Slavery Society and formed the Women's Loyal League for the emancipation of slaves. Further, she founded the National Woman's Suffrage Association.

She and her colleague Elizabeth Staton published "The Revolution," a newspaper covering the women's rights. She also founded and led the Working Women's Central Association.

Her greatest achievement as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which is now known as the 19th Amendment, granting women their right to vote.

9. Isadora Duncan


Her birth name was Angela Isadora Duncan. She was known as a dancer and a dance instructor. She was also known to be the pioneer of the modern dance and expressive dance. She was born to a divorced father, Joseph Duncan and her 30-year young mother, Dora Gray. Joseph left them after the birth of her sibling, Angela, when he was engaged in a banking scandal.

This led to the divorce of her parents. Her mother supported them by being a music teacher. However, her father returned and provided them a home. At an early age, Isadora started her ballet lessons.

She was specifically trained under the traditional dance style but later developed her personal style. She was teaching dance to others at the age of six and continued to be a committed teacher through her lifetime.

She had danced at the San Francisco Barn Theater and traveled to New York and Chicago. During her adulthood, she experienced the tragic death of her three children, which paved the way for her tragically themed performances.

She started her dance school in Moscow in the year 1920. She also founded other dance schools around the world, including those located in Germany and the United States, France, and the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, the schools that she founded were short-lived.

8. Margaret Thatcher

She was referred to as the Iron Lady and was the United Kingdom's Prime Minister for about 21 years. She was also the leader of the Conservative Party. She was known as the longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th Century and in the history of the United Kingdom and the only woman in that instance. She was admired for her leadership style which was known as Thatcherism.

She introduced economic and political initiatives to reduce the rapid unemployment and the ongoing recession of the time. She emphasized labor market flexibility, deregulation, reducing the influence and power of trade unions and privatization of state-owned companies.

During her third term, she supported the poll tax or community charge, which was opposed by members of her Cabinet. This led to her resignation from being the Party Leader and being the Prime Minister in November of 1990.

7. Margaret Fuller


She was born as Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli. She was a women's rights advocate, a journalist, and a critic. She was also recognized as the first American full-time female book reviewer connected to journalism, and one of her first major works as a feminist in the United States was the book "Woman in the Nineteenth Century."

Her early education was rendered by Timothy Fuller, her father. Later on, she attended formal school and became a teacher.

She became the first editor of the Dal, a transcendentalist journal. Later on, joined the staff of the New York Tribune. She was even considered as the best-read person in New England and the first woman permitted to use the Harvard Library.

She was sent by the New York Tribune to Europe as their first female correspondent. Unfortunately, she died in a tragic shipwreck. Though her body was never recovered, her contributions to the advocacy of women's education and the right to employment will never be forgotten.

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6. Florence Nightingale


Florence Nightingale is the founder of the nursing profession. She was also a statistician and a reformer. She served as a nurse in the Crimean War, where she took care of the wounded soldiers. She was also known as the Lady with the Lamp, derived from her usual rounds at night.

She is known as the founder the nursing profession because she had established her nursing school in St. Thomas Hospital, London. It was the first known nursing school in the world and is now part of the King's College in London. Nurses nowadays took a pledge in her honor, the Nightingale Pledge. Also, her birthday marks the annual International Nurses Day.

She also initiated the improvement in health care in the British society and advocated hunger relief and health care improvement in India. She also helped in abolishing the overly harsh laws in connection with regulating prostitution and expanded the woman participation in the workforce.

5. Boudica


She was the queen of the British Tribe, Iceni, the tribe who led the rebellion against the occupation of the Roman Empire. Her husband, Prasutagus, was the ruler of the said tribe. His will was to leave the tribe to his daughter and the Roman Emperor. When he died, his wife was flogged and her daughters were raped.

Boudica led the tribe as well as the Trinovantes and other tribes for a revolt. They destroyed the Camulodunum, which was the capital of the Trinovantes, and they destroyed the Londinium and Verulamium by burning them to the ground.

The interest in this part of the history of Boudica was revived during the English Renaissance and the fame of Boudica arose during the Victorian Era. She remained as one of the important cultural symbols of the United Kingdom. However, due to the absence of British Literature during Boudica's reign, her history solely belonged to the Roman writers.

4. Queen Elizabeth I


She was the Queen of Ireland and England for about 45 years. She was also known as Gloriana, The Virgin Queen, and the Good Queen Bess. She never bore a child and was the last monarch of the dynasty. She was born to Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. The marriage of her parents was annulled, and she was made as an illegitimate child.

When her half-brother Edward VI died, the crown was fought over by her half-sister Mary and Lady Jane Grey, which later on belonged to Mary. During this time, she was accused of supporting the rebels and was imprisoned. Not long after, she succeeded the throne and ruled by good counsel. She established the English Protestant Church, which was considered as her first action as a queen. She then became the Supreme Governor of the Church.

Today, this is known as the Church of England. She never married and therefore, she gained fame for her virginity. One of the highlights of her government was the defeat of the Spanish Armada to her associates, which was later part of the History of English Greatest Military Victory.

3. Cleopatra


Her actual name is Cleopatra VII Philopator. She was known as the last active Ancient Egypt Pharaoh. Her name was derived from a Greek word, which literally means the glory of the father or she who comes from the glorious father.

She was a part of the dynasty, the Ptolemaic dynasty, which lead Egypt after the death of Alexander the Great, during the Hellenistic period. Their regime refused to use the Egyptian language, rather, and instead used the Greek. Ironically, Cleopatra claimed to represent an Egyptian Goddess, Isis.

She originally ruled with her Ptolemy XII Auletes, her father, and later on ruled with her brother Ptolemy XIV and Ptolemy XII, which was according to the Egyptian custom, she should marry them. Not long since then, she has become the sole ruler.

She had connected with Julius Caesar to secure her position. She also joined with Mark Antony to oppose Caesar's heir, Augustus. She bore a twin and one son for Antony. After a tragic loss in a battle, Antony committed suicide and was soon followed by Cleopatra.

Still, today, she remains a favorite icon of the Western Culture.

2. Marie Curie


Her birth name was Maria Salome Sklodowska. She was born as a Polish and naturalized- French citizen. She was also a chemist and a physicist, and she pioneered the research regarding radioactivity. She was the first woman to be awarded as a Nobel Prize winner. She was also the first person to win the prestigious award twice and the only woman in this instance. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris and the only woman to be entombed in the Pantheon in Paris.

She first trained in Warsaw, relating to practical science. At the age of 24, she decided to study in Paris, where she conducted her further scientific research and earned a higher degree. Her greatest achievement was the theory of radioactivity. Her other achievements were the isolating radioactive isotope techniques, as well as the discovery of radium and polonium.

Finally, she was the founder of Curie Institutes in Warsaw and Paris, which are still centers of medical research to this day.

1. Eleanor Roosevelt


She was the longest serving First Lady in the history of the United States, due to her husband, Franklin Roosevelt's four–time presidential term. Her involvement in the advocacy of human rights gained her the title "First Lady of the World," which was connoted by President Harry S. Truman.

She experienced an unhappy childhood, due to the death of her family at a young age. Feminism influenced her at the age of 15. She later married her fifth cousin, Franklin Roosevelt. The marriage became complicated because of her mother-in-law, Sara, and the discovery of Franklin's affair with a girl named Lucy Mercer.

She made a public life of her own when she gave speeches in the place of his husband, who suffered partial paralysis. She was the first spouse of a president who held press conferences, wrote a column in a newspaper, and spoke at a national convention.


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    • profile image

      Setank Setunk 

      2 years ago

      A rather naive and Feminist list. I only see two World changers and Cleopatra? are you serious.

      If you want to deify modern women why not step outside of Hollywood and give credit to modern female writers who are introducing us to true world changing women of the past.

      Being famous does not make you a world changer. How about real world changers like Mary Magdalene, Eleanor of Aquitaine or Catherine the Great. Personal favorites of mine include Isabella of Castillo and Indira Gandhi.


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