Amazing Women from History
There are thousands of examples of amazing and talented people throughout history. Such people are often branded as heroes for their actions, inventions or organisations. Here are some amazing women who have used bravery and intellect to change the world.
Huda Shaarawi was an Egyptian feminist icon who fought for gender equality. Born in 1879, Shaarawi was brought up with strong political links as her father was a member of the Chamber of Delegates.
Shaarawi, like many women during this time, grew up in a harem system; women were expected to remain isolated in apartments and could only go outside if they had a veil to cover their faces.
In 1908 she helped to found an organisation which offered medical care to women and children. As a nationalist, she advocated for Egyptian independence from Great Britain through the Wafd party. She later founded the Egyptian Feminist Union which pushed for rights such as education.
Her most famous act of protest occurred during 1923 when she removed her face veil in public to express her rejection of the harem system which segregated men and women.
She died in 1947 but is remembered throughout history for her nationalist and feminist contribution to the world of politics and gender equality.
Contrary to what her name suggests, Lillian Bland was an adventurous and intelligent woman who enjoyed a vast variety of activities such as fishing and hunting. However, she is best known for her conviction to fly.
Bland was born in 1878 from a long line of Irish ancestors. She was a sports journalist and photographer for London newspapers but her real talent lay in building and flying planes.
She was the first to fly a powered biplane in Ireland and the first woman to build her a plane she had designed and successfully fly it. After testing and improving on designs for her glider, the Mayfly, she worked for Ford before retiring.
She passed away in 1971.
Shirley Chisholm was an intelligent and driven woman who became the first ever African American woman in congress.
Born in 1924 Chisholm grew up facing both racism and sexism, in retaliation she joined various groups such as the League of Women Voters, the Democratic Party Club and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. She later became the co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus.
In 1968 she became the first African American woman in congress and pressed for racial and gender equality.
Her campaign slogan, "unbossed and unbought" later became the title of her autobiography which describes her journey to becoming the first African American congresswoman.
After seven terms she retired to become a teacher and died in 2005.
Marie Curie was born in 1867 in Poland but later travelled to Paris to study Physics and also did Maths at the Sorbonne university. This is where she met her husband, Pierre Curie.
Together they studied radioactivity and discovered the elements polonium and radium. They were awarded the Nobel Prize for physics.Their research proved to be life saving when Curie was able to equip ambulances with x-rays.
After her husband died she began to teach at Sorbonne and was rewarded a second Nobel Prize for chemistry.
Unfortunately, her research gave her Leukaemia due to high levels of radiation exposure and she died in 1934.
Born in Jamaica, 1805, Mary Seacole is celebrated for her bravery and kindness after dedicating the majority of her life to healing the sick and injured. In 2004 she was voted as the top Black Briton and will be remembered throughout history as a truly remarkable woman.
Seacole developed an interest in medicine because of her mother, who was a healer, and her knowledge continued to expand as she travelled around the world. Seacole learnt through the careful observation of doctors how to diagnose and treat cholera; and in 1850 she put this information to good use as she began treating cholera patients in England and Panama.
When the Crimean war broke out in 1853 she applied as a nurse on Florence Nightingale's team but was rejected. However, this did not discourage Seacole and instead she used her own funds to travel to the Crimea. In 1855 she opened a hotel near Balaclava and began to offer help to soldiers.
In 1856 she returned to England with no money leftover. Fortunately, her autobiography The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands became extremely popular which allowed her to make some money as she continued her medicinal work.
She died in 1881.
BBC (2014) Marie Curie Published online, available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/curie_marie.shtml
Florence Nightingale Museum (2019) Mary Seacole Published online, available at https://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/resources/mary-seacole/?v=79cba1185463
Jaffer, J. (2019) Huda Sharawi Egyptian Feminist and Nationalist Published online, available at https://www.britannica.com/biography/Huda-Sharawi
Michals, D. (2015) Shirley Chisholm Published online, available at https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/shirley-chisholm
Science Museum Brought to Life Mary Seacole (1805-81) Published online, available at http://broughttolife.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/people/maryseacole
Woman's Museum of Ireland (2013) Lilian Bland Published online, available at https://womensmuseumofireland.ie/articles/lilian-bland
© 2019 Angel Harper