Throughout history, there have been many people who have marked humanity, but this time we are going to dedicate it to women who, have changed the narrative while being badasses themselves. Here are a few of the most powerful women in history:
1. Merit Ptah (ca. 2701 BCE)
Merit Ptah is the first known female medical doctor and physician, and probably the first named female in all the of sciences as well. It’s unclear whether she belonged to the second or third Egyptian dynasty.
2. Sobekneferu (ca. 1802 BCE)
Sobekneferu was the daughter of Pharaoh Amenemhat III. She was the first historically known female Pharaoh of Egypt, succeeding her brother Pharaoh Amenemhat IV. She belonged to the Twelfth Dynasty, which died along with her.
3. Agnodice (ca. 4th Century BCE)
Agnodice was the first female Athenian physician, midwife, and gynaecologist. Though Athenian women were allowed to learn gynecology, obstetrics, healing, and midwifery in the time of Hippocrates, after his death the leaders of Athens discovered that women were performing abortions, and made becoming a female doctor a capital crime. Relentlessly determined to become a physician and help the women of Athens, Agnodice allegedly cut her hair short and donned men’s clothes to pursue medical training.
4. Wu Zetian (Tang Dynasty 624CE – December 16, 705CE)
Wu Zetian was the first female emperor of China. She ascended to the throne after her husband, Emperor Gaozong of Tang, died. Her power was not limited to her empire: she was also a consort of her husband during his reign.
5. Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 CE– April 1, 1204CE)
Eleanor of Aquitaine was a Queen consort of France and England. She was one of the most powerful and wealthy women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. She led armies several times in her life and was a leader of the Second Crusade. She outlived all her children except for John, King of England and Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile.
6. Joan of Arc (January 6, 1412CE – May 30, 1431CE)
Joan of Arc, also known as The Maid of Orléans, is still considered to this day as one of the most powerful women in history. She is famous for leading France to victory Lancasterian phase of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, particularly the circumstances of her capture and death: she was captured by English officials and was sentenced to be burned st the stake on charges of witchcraft, heresy and for “dressing like a man.” Joan of Arc is considered a heroine of France and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
7. Mary I of England (February 18, 1516 – November 17, 1558)
Mary I of England, is the less talked about child from Henry VIII. She became the first known queen and ruler of England without the need of being married to a king. She was half-sister of Elizabeth I of England and the one on the throne before her.
8. Elizabeth I of England (September 7, 1533 – March 24, 1603)
Elizabeth I of England, also known as The Virgin Queen, was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. In government, Elizabeth was more moderate than her father and half-siblings had been. One of her mottoes was “video et taceo” (“I see but say nothing”). Elizabeth was one of the best educated women of her generation. Her reign is known as the Elizabethan era, and represented the peak of the English Renaissance and saw the flowering of poetry, music and literature.
9. Jeannette Rankin (June 11, 1880 – May 18, 1973)
Jeannette Rankin,a Republican Representative from Montana, was the first female to hold a national office in the United States Congress. Rankin, a strong woman rights advocate and activist, was also instrumental in initiating the legislation that eventually became the 19th Constitutional Amendment, granting unrestricted voting rights to women. She was a pacifist and was the only one who opposed to the declaration of war to Japan in 1941. As of today, she remains the only woman to ever be elected to Congress from Montana.
10. Valentina Tereshkova (Born March 6, 1937)
Valentina Tereshkova is the first female who travelled to space, and completed 48 orbits of the Earth in her three days in space. She was selected among from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. She was also a politician for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in which she took many office positions.