Marie Curie changed the world with her founding of radioactivity in science (even the word radioactivity was coined by her). This discovery of radium and polonium was instrumental in launching the beginnings of cures for cancer. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the first person (not first woman – first person) to win a second Nobel Prize! (And one of the streets on the uOttawa campus is named after her)!
Ada is considered to be the first computer programmer. She was a great mathematician and at the age of 12, she had conceptualized a flying machine. She made great strides in the computer programming industry, and in a field that is presently dominated by men it is amazing that the first computer programmer was a woman!
Wangrai was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize while also being the first female professor in her hometown in Kenya. She made great strides in bringing democracy to Kenya while also founding the Green Belt Movement. This movement campaigned for the planting of trees, environmental conservation, as well as women’s rights.
Indira, to this date, is the first and only female prime minister in India. She was prime minister from 1966-1977, and again in 1980 until she was assassinated. She still stands as the second longest serving prime minister in the history of India. She was an extremely popular leader because of her anti-poverty measures, green revolution, and her war with Pakistan which helped liberate Bangladesh.
Maria was one of the only women to fight in the Russian army during the First World War. She ended up leading an all female unit onto the battlefield on the Eastern Front. However, it was not so easy; for a long time, many of the other females in the war pretended to be male in order to fight. Maria managed to lead this team while the majority of other countries at the time did not allow women to fight in wars.
To find out more about inspirational women throughout history check them out here: https://www.historyextra.com/100-women/100-women-results/