Throughout history, women have always struggled to get the recognition they deserve. From scientists to revolutionaries, women have fundamentally altered the course of the history of the world. Here are 10 women who changed the world that you never read about in your history lessons.
1. Nadezhda Krupskaya
While Nadezhda Krupskaya is popularly known for being Vladimir Lenin’s wife, it is her individual accomplishments that grant her a place on this list. Beginning as a student obsessed with the then banned works by Marx and Engels she became resolute in her purpose early on. Her accomplishments include serving in the Soviet Union Communist Party, in the Supreme Soviet and as the Soviet Union’s Deputy Minister of Education for over a decade.
2. Constance Markievicz
Markievicz’s political leanings took her to her Irish Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail. Additionally, her other titles include suffragette, nationalist and socialist. And it wasn’t all speeches either. She led in the 1916 Easter Rising and was found guilty of shooting and wounding a British soldier.
While she was initially given the death penalty, the sentence was reduced to solitary confinement because she was the only woman arrested. Moreover, she holds the record for being the first female member of the House of Commons. And the first female cabinet member as the Minister for Labor of the Irish Republic.
3. Petra Herrera
Throughout major political risings in the past, women have often played a huge role. And one of these was that of the soldiers who fought in combat situations where rape and abuse were rampant. Petra who called herself ‘Pedro Herrera’ pretended to be a man, gained notoriety for her skill with explosives and later revealed her gender. Additionally, she was one of 400 women who fought in the second battle of Torreon. They later formed an all-women’s brigade.
Nwanyeruwa is known for being the Nigerian woman chiefly responsible for starting the Women’s War which was the first major West African defiance of colonial authority. Over 25,000 African women revolted and protested over changing tax laws. Because while women were traditionally not taxed the British wanted to change this. The war stopped these plans from being implemented.
5. Lakshmi Sehgal
Inspired by the legendary Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmi Segal was an Indian Army officer responsible for starting, training and leading the Reni of Jhansi regiment in the 1940s. The all-women’s troop was one of a handful of the female combatants in the Second World War. Additionally, Captain Lakshmi later held the position of Minister of Women’s affairs.
6. Sophie Scholl
Sophie Scholl was responsible for founding the White Rose – a non-violent resistance organization in Nazi Germany. They were responsible for publishing the leaflet that the Allied forces later air dropped as part of their war efforts. They were executed by guillotine for their movement.
7. Blanca Canales
Blanca Canales is the Puerto Rican revolutionary responsible for establishing the Daughters of Freedom. This group is known for revolting and protesting a bill called the Gag Bill that wanted to restrict civil liberties and legalize extreme censorship. Blanca and her followers responded by taking up arms, marching through their town – Jayuga – setting fire to the post office building, showcasing the Puerto Rican flag and tampering with telephone wires.
8. Celia Sanchez
The leaders of the Cuban Revolution included Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Celia Sanchez. Sanchez was responsible for leading combat squads, managing resources and initiating the Granma landing.
9. Kathleen Neal Cleaver
One of the most prominent female members of the Blank Panther Party, Cleaver was a true revolutionary. Additionally, she served as the party’s press secretary and was on the decision-making committee.
10. Asmaa Mahfouz
Asmaa organized and initiated the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. She did this by posting a video on her blog inviting others to her cause.