Most Influential Women in History

Category : Technology
Posted By : AmnaAnees
Posted Date : 07 Mar 2020 12:17 hrs

Today, I will share with you some of the most influential women in history who changed the world with their talent, dedication, hard work, and utmost sincerity to a greater cause. The world has seen numerous great women, but they are not talked about as much as they all deserve. Here, we ought to change that course and will share some of these great names. So, without further ado, let's dive in!
1.    Elizabeth Fry
Elizabeth Fry who was often called "Angel of Prisons" or "Betsy Fry", was an English social reformer, a philanthropist and a Quaker as well. She led a highly organized and active campaign to give humane and better conditions in the prisons, in the Victorian period. Not only that, but Elizabeth Fry also raised voice and accomplished a lot in reforming the British hospital system and betterment of the treatment of psychologically challenged people. She has certainly changed the British system as to what we see today.
2.    Mary Seacole
Mary Jane Seacole moved from Jamaica, her home country, to Britain to serve as a nurse during the Crimean War that held from 1853 till 1856. Her mother was Jamaican while her father was of Scottish descend, and for her color, she had to deal with discrimination, hatred, and prejudice all her life. But she never gave up. She remained true to her services and went above and beyond in helping the wounded. She set up a modest "British Hotel" near Balaclava during the times of war for the wounded serviceman of the battlefield. This hotel is described as " a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers". She funded herself for all the expenses used to establish this place. Moreover, for her outstanding services as a nurse for the wounded soldiers, Mary received the title of Mother Seacole.
3.    Catherine II, Empress of Russia
Catherine II, also famously known as Catherine the Great was Russia's longest-ruling female monarch. Her reign lasted from 1762 to 1796. Under her reign, Russia expanded, modernized, and became more powerful. Catherine came into power after she organized a coup against her husband and at that time ruler of the country. With her incredible support for education, arts and crafts, and various other social reforms, she became one of the top most influential women in history of Russia and of course the world.
4.    Amelia Earhart
In 1932 Amelia Earhart became the first woman ever to fly across the Atlantic ocean in solo flight. She was an American aviation pioneer and had also authored renowned books. She is also known for being the first female passenger to fly with pilot Wilmer Stultz in 1928. Moreover, Earhart joined Purdue University in 1935 as a visiting faculty member to lecture on subjects of aeronautical engineering and most importantly being a career counselor for female students. She was an inspiration for aspiring students then and will surely remain forever. Her tragic death put a dismal end to her great achievements. In 1937, Amelia Earhart and plane navigator Fred Noonan attempted to go for a circumnavigational flight around the globe in Lockheed Model 10-E Electra. But, unfortunately, their plane disappeared near Howland Island over the central Pacific Ocean. Earhart was dead on 5th January 1939 by the court in Los Angeles after the request put forward by Putnam who had to manage her finances. Amelia once said, "Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others." She incited people to change the course and routine to bring positive change in the world.
5.    Josephine Butler
Josephine Elizabeth Butler struggled all her life against injustice in a society based on gender. She was one of the most notable feminist and social workers of the Victorian period who tried to educate women and society as a whole about women's rights and their equal place in the betterment of the country. She fights against the double standards in society and stood strong in the male dominating society. One of her most prominent works includes repeal of the Contagious Diseases Act (particularly in the Royal Navy and the British Army) that only included prostitutes and not their male counterparts. This legislation forced the prostitutes for medical examination which was then described as surgical rape. Josephine Butler also advocated ending the human trafficking of children and young girls in Europe for prostitution.  She is surely one of the most influential women in history.
6.    Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Franklin was the genius behind discovering the helical structure of DNA. This discovery is among the greatest discoveries of the century. However, she did not receive that amount of recognition and acclaim as much she deserved. She was an X-ray crystallographer and chemist who played a central role in exploring the molecular structure of both nucleic acids, RNA and DNA, virus, graphite, and coal. The ever famous photograph 51 taken by Franklin had become the basic subject of discussion and opened doors for discoveries as well, including human genome mapping project, test-tube babies, the study of mutations, genetic engineering and lots more.
7.    Marie Curie
Marie Sklodowska Curie is definitely on top of the list of the most influential women in history. She is an inspiration for all the girls all over the globe, especially for those who want to excel in the field of science and are looking for an epitome of success to be thrilled by. Marie Curie was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867. She achieved numerous awards in the fields of Physics and Chemistry, including Nobel Prize in Physics (1903), Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1911), Davy Medal (1903), Matteucci  Medal, John Scott Legacy Medal and Premium (1921) and others. Most notably, Curie discovered the secret behind the science of radioactivity. The word "radioactive" is her invention. Moreover, her distinctive discoveries made effective successes in finding a cancer cure. She had achieved so many "firsts" in her life. She was the first female faculty member at the University of Paris, she was the first woman ever to win a Nobel Prize, and the first "person" ever to win second Nobel Prize as well. Her life is full of lessons to lead a successful life. She once said, "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." She was not someone who keeps an eye on what has already been done, but she herself can put in the world as she said, " One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done."
8.    Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace or famously known as Augusta Ada King was a British Royal, particularly known for her contribution as a mathematician in the basic design of mechanical computer or the Analytical Engine. Lovelace is regarded as the first-ever computer programmer. This is extremely astonishing to know that the computer industry of this modern age that is dominated by men, is fundamentally conceived by a female genius. She was the person ever who outlined the connection of mathematical calculations with the mechanical application and thereby proposed the first algorithm that can be run by such a machine.
9.    Mary Shelley
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly authored a Gothic novel, Frankenstein, the Last Man, and several other classics. She was born on August 30, 1797, in Somers Town, London in an activist family of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. With her amazing work, she made her name among the renowned ones. Through this novel, she magically amalgamated a horrific personality with a sympathetic one in a Gothic world and embellished it with romance. Her novel became a literary classic and people love to read her work till this date. In addition to being the greatest of all time herself, she also edited and endorsed her husband's work. Her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley was also a romantic poet and philosopher. She wrote, "The agony of my feelings allowed me no respite; no incident occurred from which my rage and misery could not extract its food." She beautifully depicted the worlds of darkness and light saying, "Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first breakthrough, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world." In another script she wrote, "My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed - my dearest pleasure when free."
10.    Cleopatra
Whenever the names of the most influential women in history will be written, this Egyptian queen, Cleopatra will surely be remembered. She was the last ruler of Egypt's Ptolemaic dynasty. After her death, the Egyptian Hellenistic period was ended and it became a provincial territory of the Roman Empire. Cleopatra was particularly known for her looks, but she certainly was a beauty with brains. She was the first Ptolemaic ruler ever to learn the Egyptian language as her native language was Koine Greek. She was an active, brave, and resilient ruler who runs her country fiercely and admits terrible political turmoil. Cleopatra is one of the fiercest and finest political leaders ever.
11.    Wangari Maathai
Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan political activist, environmentalist, and social worker. More notably, she was the first African woman ever to have won the Noble Peace Prize. She was born on April 1, 1940, in Nyeri, Kenya and died on September 25, 2011, in her homeland. Among her renowned works include the Green Belt Movement that campaigned for tree plantation and women's rights and environmental conservation. She was the first Central and East African woman ever to have earned a doctorate. Her immense work in the wellbeing of women and the environment was internationally acclaimed. In recognition of her great work, she had achieved numerous awards and prizes including Nobel  Prize, Right Livelihood Award, NAACP Image Award, and several others.

Her philosophy of life has inspired many. She once explained the tragic situation we are facing today saying, “Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own - indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy, and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come” She was a fearless, determined, and goal-oriented person who succeeded in her life with her passion and resilience. Describing her life, she said, “Throughout my life, I have never stopped to strategize about my next steps. I often just keep walking along, through whichever door opens. I have been on a journey and this journey has never stopped. When the journey is acknowledged and sustained by those I work with, they are a source of inspiration, energy, and encouragement. They are the reasons I kept walking and will keep walking, as long as my knees hold out.” She has written history by becoming one of the most influential women in history.
12.    Grace Hopper
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was the leading contributor to computer programming. Hopper was among the pioneers of computer programmers of the Harvard computer. She was the first female student of Yale University who earned a Ph.D. in mathematics in the year 1934. She served as an American computer scientist in addition to bring United States Navy rear admiral. Hopper developed COBOL computer language, which was the first commercially used programming language and that enabled the military to transform its services and take them into the business world. She was in love with her work as she said, "To me, programming is more than an important practical art. It is also a gigantic undertaking in the foundations of knowledge." She brilliantly explained the overflow of information and how to organize them as she said, "We're flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We've tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question." She poetically described what she did say, "There sat that beautiful big machine whose sole job was to copy things and do addition. Why not make the computer do it? That’s why I sat down and wrote the first compiler. It was very stupid. What I did was watch myself put together a program and make the computer do what I did." She was a genius and will certainly be a hero forever.
13.    Nellie Bly
Nellie Bly is considered as a pioneering journalist who became a role model for women of journalism until the end of times. Bly was born on May 5, 1864, in Pennsylvania, United States. Her first written piece ever was in response to a newspaper article that described a woman's only role as giving birth and housekeeping. Bly wrote her passionate response that thrilled the editor. Bly used pseudo-name "Lonely Orphan Girl" for that piece. Later when the editor asked her to write another piece, she chose another great piece entitled "The Girl Puzzle" which was about how divorce affects a woman. This piece asked for the reform of the divorce law of the United States. Her writing was a total U-turn to what women used to write in that period. A woman was considered to write on the topics of gardening, fashion or domestic stuff. However, Bly throws the first ripple for a greater revolution. Bly became one of the most influential women in history by being resilient, dedicated and passionate for the rights of the poor and the oppressed. She gained fame with the passage of time and with that she traveled the whole world. And set a new world record of roaming around the world in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds. She was an energetic, and goal-oriented woman who paved way for millions of women all around the globe. In her book, "Around the World in 72 Days" she wrote, " “I always have a comfortable feeling that nothing is impossible if one applies a certain amount of energy in the right direction. When I want things done, which is always at the last moment, and I am met with such an answer: "It's too late. I hardly think it can be done;" I simply say "Nonsense! If you want to do it, you can do it. The question is, do you want to do it?”
14.    Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer who started or rather struggled from a very humble and difficult background. She paved her way to success by clearing the obstacles from her way and moving forward despite them. And eventually, she became the epitome of the elegance and queen of the fashion industry. People feel pride wearing the Chanel logo. She described fashion saying, "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." She gave women a sense of dressing up and explained the importance of it. And in no time her name became a must-have for every woman in the world. She said, "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman." She was a huge preacher of following dreams and passion, as she advised, "Jump out the window if you are the object of passion. Flee it if you feel it. Passion goes, boredom remains." Young and upcoming fashion designers follow her pursuit and take inspiration from her work.
15.    Clara Barton
Clara Barton was among the pioneer American nurse who is most notably renowned as the founder of the American Red Cross. Barton founded this organization in 1881 and remained its president until 1904. She served as a nurse during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865. Her passionate and dedicated work earned her the title of "Angel of the Battlefield".  She also served the office of Missing Soldiers and there he helped thousands of families to locate their loved ones missed during the war.
16.    Maryam Mirzakhani
Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician and professor of Mathematics at Stanford University. She is among the most influential women in history who became the first woman and first Iranian woman ever to win the coveted Fields medal. This medal is equivalent to the Nobel Prize in the field of mathematics. Unfortunately, she died at the young age of 40, but she surely made history. 
She described the experience of the happiest moments of her life saying, "The most rewarding part of my work is the "Aha" moment, the excitement of discovery and enjoyment of understanding something new - the feeling of being on top of a hill and having a clear view. But most of the time, doing mathematics for me is like being on a long hike with no trail and no end in sight. I find discussing mathematics with colleagues of different backgrounds one of the most productive ways of making progress." She tried to increase the interest of mathematics in young kids by relating to her own experiences saying, "I don't think that everyone should become a mathematician, but I do believe that many students don't give mathematics a real chance. I did poorly in math for a couple of years in middle school; I was just not interested in thinking about it. I can see that without being excited mathematics can look pointless and cold. The beauty of mathematics only shows itself to more patient followers." She changed the world with her amazing talent for many.
There you go. Hope you have enjoyed reading about the most influential women in history, and they must have inspired you to do great things in life. Women from all around the globe contributed to every field of Science and Arts and we all must learn about them.

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