Over the course of human history, they might have been dubbed as the weaker and fairer sex; but believe the facts, countless women have made pivotal contributions to give us the world that we see today. On several occasions, women have risen above meager contributions to achieve social, scientific and stylistic breakthroughs fit to be the stuff of legends. Here is a list of the top 10 women who have virtually changed the world (or a part of it) from what it used to be. Read on to know why you need to respect women all the more.
10. Margaret Thatcher
The global participation of women in politics had two different definitions before and after the ‘era’ of Margaret Thatcher. She took over the reins of the country when things were ‘not so well’ in the United Kingdom. The first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Thatcher came up with some of the most radically innovative economic ideas to resurrect the nation from an elongated slide-sown. Hailed as the ‘iron lady’ of world polity, Margaret Thatcher is one of the most iconic female figures in history.
9. Marilyn Monroe
You might have your eyebrows raised over this entry in the list. But Marilyn Monroe is not just the Blonde Bomb that made men go weak in the knees and comprised of stuff (wet) dreams are made of. In fact, Marilyn Monroe is one name that will live along as long as fashion lives. Arguably the only fashion legend of her day, Monroe, was a woman far, far ahead of the time she lived in. Her mere presence set the celluloid on sizzling fire. Her name continues to be the [highlight]swear-word in global fashion[/highlight].
8. Mother Teresa
If you found the last entry debatable, you will definitely find Mother Teresa’s name undisputable in the list. The truest of messengers God ever sent on earth, Mother Teresa renounced her country and all mundane pleasures for the sake of loving and caring for the poor and incapacitated sects of society. The “Missionaries of Charity” founded by her in Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta) is currently active in over 130 countries. The world mourned the death of Mother Teresa and she is still considered the most caring figure the human race has ever seen.
7. Aung Sang Suu Kyi
An exponent of democratic civilization paralleled by none other than herself, Aung San Suu Kyi reiterated, through her actions, one of the most influential lines in intellectual society: Strength is not a product of fierceness. The determination and courage with which she staged a non-violent protest against what has been termed as one of the most disturbing patches of dictatorship in the world, is indeed commendable. Born to a Burmese with an enviable influence, Suu Kyi decided to join politics at an early age. She came on top highlighting several issues that were then the voice of the common man of Burma.
6. Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks is widely known for her legendary contribution to the black society of America. A lady of inspirational will-power, Parks is often remembered as the “first lady of civil rights”. The fight she put up against racial segregation was first localized. Shortly after, Parks joined some of the most prominent figures of the movement. Her charming presence was greatly acknowledged by the black American society and she still continues to be one of the most influential names in the movement towards the creation of a color insensitive society.
5. Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart is one of the many women in history who did deeds that were considered outside the powers and capabilities of women. She is not only remembered as one of the most daring women pilots of all time, but also as the author of many best-selling books. She played a gargantuan role in detaching the woman race from the stereotypical image that was attached to them. She is remembered mostly for her undying spirit, through which she demonstrated to the world, that there is no hurdle that is too high to stop a (wo)man with spirits.
4. Emmeline Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst had an understandably high political understanding, courtesy her parents, who were active in the concurrent politics of the United Kingdom. The Suffragette movement is what she is most famously remembered for. She leaped into the drive to promote women’s public life equality. A summary of the 20th-century world political scenario would be incomplete without a mention of Pankhurst. She is still remembered as one of the most successful women agitators of all times. Students are often given lessons in courage with reference to this lady.
3. Marie Curie
If you thought the list was just about women who made in big in politics and society, here is Marie Curie for you. You would know that she is the person to win two Nobel Prizes. Her in-depth research on radioactivity and discovery of radium is also widely popular. A lesser known fact about Marie Curie is that she is also the discoverer of the element polonium. She also initiated the treatment of cancer using radioactive isotopes. This makes all of us who are treated with radiotherapy, indebted to her.
2. Joan of Arc
In France, you will find the Eifel Tower and then you will find mention of Joan of Arc. Said to be guided by divine forces, Joan of Arc was a legendary warrior who helped the French Army crush many opponents during the famous Hundred Years’ of War. She is still widely regarded as the first superheroine of France.
1. Florence Nightingale
The modern nursing profession owes its lineage to this lady with the lamp. She came to prominence after her extended periods of service to the soldiers injured in the Crimean War. Her illustration of patient care, loyalty, and compassion continue to remain unmatched. She helped the sick and the needy both relentlessly and unconditionally. She is also considered to the pioneer behind the establishment of systemized hospital administration.
This list was just an earnest attempt to pay tribute to the women that helped shape history for the better. Please do not take offense if any name you believed deserving escaped our attention.