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Throughout time women have been catalysts for progress. They faced adversity and persevered through their plight to educate and advance liberties for all. Many notable women changed history.

Some women have affected history with only their words. Jane Austen’s witty writing style challenged traditional ideas about women’s roles. Anne Frank’s diary invoked compassion worldwide with her account of Jews hiding from Nazis in World War II. Maya Angelou’s writing inspires strength to face trauma and prejudice.

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani female activist. After being shot in the head, she still promotes women’s education. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her contribution to women’s rights.

The actions of other women have set precedents for society to model. Rosa Parks is historic for defying racist laws in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama. She refused to move to the back of the bus for a white man, confronting injustice. The event echoed across the south and conveyed the power of peaceful protest. Sojourner Truth escaped slavery and helped others find freedom. Her inspirational speech “Ain’t I A Woman” affected societal views of women, and she often spoke of equal suffrage.

Catherine the Great overthrew her husband and started the first state-funded girl’s school in Russia. Queen Elizabeth I successfully ruled England despite many challenges. She was famous for her intelligence and choosing to marry her country instead of a man.

Edith Cowan proudly became Australia’s first female member of parliament. She promoted women’s rights, migrant welfare, sexual health education in schools. She remains on the $50 note, and a University in Western Australia remains named after her.

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician from England. She was the first woman to publish an algorithm. Lovelace’s contributions to computer science were far ahead of her time! Marie Curie, the Polish physicist, was the only person, male or female, to win Nobel Prizes for two different sciences. Amelia Earheart holds many aviation records. She was the first person to attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane. Though she never returned, her achievements transcended gender and permanently impacted aerial navigation.

The most memorable women in history are the women who defiantly stood up and continue to inspire generations to fight for change.