Girls Who Ran the World

March is Women’s History Month. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this little history lesson on 12 of the women who ran the world.

Women in Combat

The Amazonian Warriors

These women were ruthless warriors in Ancient Greece. They took the term “sisterhood” to a whole new level. In their all-female clans, everyone had to contribute to fighting, hunting, and defending the group. They fought like men, and best believe men feared them. That’s girl power to the max.

Joan of Arc 

When she was just 18 years old, she inspired a revolt against England. She fearlessly led a French army to victory during the Hundred Years War. That’s right, she led an army. Of men. She was the Mulan of 15th century France.

Women in Literature

Jane Austen 

She’s the author of the popular novel, “Pride and Prejudice." She is one of the most well-known female writers. She wrote at a time when not a lot of women could voice their opinions and she helped pave the way for women in literature.

Margaret Fuller 

She’s the author of one of the first published feminist works. In the mid 18OOs she wrote a book, Women in the Nineteenth Century, which challenged the way society viewed women. She was one of the first to argue for equality and that fight has come a long way since her time.

Women in Education

Catherine Brewer Benson- In 184O, she became the first woman to graduate from college. According to National Journal Online, She graduated with “a bachelor’s degree from what is now Wesleyan College in Georgia.”

Helen Keller 

She was the first deaf-blind person to graduate from college. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 19O7. Author Mark Twain persuaded a businessman to fund her education because he was so inspired by her.  So next time you’re about to make a Helen Keller joke, stop and remember how she inspired one of America’s most iconic authors to get her into college for free. There’s nothing joke-worthy about that.

Women in Fashion and Entertainment

Coco Chanel 

We’ve all heard of Chanel, but did you know that the woman behind the brand was a revolutionary one? She took clothes what were traditionally made for men and feminized them. You have her to thank for your little black dress.

Katharine Hepburn 

She was an actress who won four Oscars. Fun fact: for one of her roles in the 197Os, she starred as Coco Chanel. Hepburn lived outside of the norm of women at her time and she didn’t care what others thought of her uncommon lifestyle. Her independence and confidence was, and still is, inspiring for girls of all ages.

Women in Science

Maria Sklodowska Curie

In 19O3, she became the first woman to win a Noble Prize and remains the only woman to ever receive two Noble Prizes. She was a physicist and a chemist, and she just looks like a tough cookie.

Christa McAuliffe 

In 1985, this high school teacher was selected to be the first everyday American to venture into space. She trained in NASA for a year, preparing for the mission. Unfortunately, shortly after takeoff, all passengers on her space shuttle, The Challenger, died during an explosion. Though she didn’t get a chance to complete the mission, her bravery will never be forgotten.

Women in Charity

Eva Peró

She was the ‘rags to riches’ story of Argentina. She left her poor, rural town behind and pursued acting in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. She was strikingly beautiful and quickly became popular enough to attract the country’s president. They married and Eva used her power and money to give back to the poor. She pushed for women’s suffrage and frequently made public donations to Argentina’s lower class. The people worshipped her like a saint and though she died in 1952, Argentinians still adore her memory.

Mother Teresa

This saint was a humanitarian worker who showed compassion for everyone. She founded missionaries all over the world and was a Noble Peace Prize recipient in 1979. She died in 1997, but her work didn’t go unnoticed. According to an MSN article, Most Influential Women in Modern History, “She was even beatified as ‘Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’ in 2003.” Calling her a saint is no longer a figure of speech. Amen. 

Women have come a long way thanks to these dozen ladies and countless more. We’re no longer regarded as hushed housewives and that’s what Women’s History Month is all about. It celebrates the fights, achievements, advances, and selflessness of women in an array of categories.

Use this month to educate yourself on the extraordinary women of our past and/or find the inspiration to do something extraordinary. Who knows, with enough work you could be a part of history, too.