By Brandi Calhoun
Great women have been leaving their mark on the world since time began, whether recognized or not. There are several famous women who probably come to mind, like Princess Diana, Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc and Michelle Obama, but there are so many others whose names tend to get lost among the rest.
Meet Millicent Fawcett
Fawcett was one of the leaders of the suffrage movement and was married to politician Henry Fawcett. She enabled him to carry on his work after he was blinded in an accident. She is said to have led the biggest suffrage organization, the non-violent National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, from 1890-1919. She played a key role in gaining women the right to vote and she also helped found Newnham College, Cambridge. She engaged in other political activities, like supporting worker rights and overcoming laws that were based on a dual morality for men and women.
Meet Benazir Bhutto
Bhutto was the first democratically elected female leader of a Muslim country. She was the daughter of Pakistan Peoples Party founder and Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. She was elected prime minister barely three months after giving birth to her first child. While in office, she brought electricity to the countryside and built schools all over the country. She made hunger, housing and healthcare her top priorities, and looked forward to continuing to modernize Pakistan.
Meet Aung San Suu Kyi
Suu Kyi fought for human rights and democracy and is the world’s only Nobel Peace Prize recipient currently imprisoned. The leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, Suu Kyi has been imprisoned by the country’s military dictatorship off-and-on since July 1989. She advocates nonviolent resistance in the tradition of Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She has refused to accept freedom in exchange for banishment from her country. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. To many in her country, Suu Kyi is a symbol of peaceful demonstration and civil disobedience in her country.
Meet Nancy Brinker
If you’ve participated in Race for a Cure or donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation, then you have Brinker to thank for that opportunity. The sister of a breast cancer victim, Brinker founded and organized the aforementioned and rallied more than 1,000,000 supporters from around the world. As a result of her work, breast cancer mortality rates have decreased significantly. She was appointed Chief of Protocol of the United States in 2007. In that role, she advises, assists and supports the administration on official matters of diplomatic procedure. A breast cancer survivor herself, she continues to serve on the board of the Foundation she established.
Meet Sojourner Truth
This is a name you have probably heard before. Truth fought for women’s rights and to abolish slavery. She escaped from slavery with her infant daughter and quickly learned of the illegal sale of her son into slavery. She successfully took his owner to court for his freedom. This was one of the first cases of its kind. Truth regularly delivered speeches and protested for human rights. Her main concerns included prison reform, universal suffrage, women’s rights, criticizing capital punishment and property rights. Her most famous speech at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention, “Ain’t I A Woman,” is still frequently referenced today. She also recruited African-American troops for the Union Army during the Civil War.
The list doesn’t stop here! There have been countless women who have made an impact on the world, and there will certainly be more to come.
Do you have a favorite rowdy woman in history? If so, add to our list in the comments below!