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This Mongol stood up to the most fearsome man in the world and in so doing, prevented a genocide.
This revolutionary heroine of South America kept a pet bear, a disembodied moustache, and a lifestyle that defied every convention possible.
The daughter of an aboriginal woman and a white man, her race led her to be kidnapped by the Australian government - only for her to escape and walk across the continent to get home... twice.
Revolutionized the field of mathematics, yet was persecuted for being Jewish and paid a pittance for her visionary teaching work.
Sonya Golden Hand
Russia's greatest female thief was so slippery that even once she was re-captured after escaping from a Siberian prison, nobody was totally sure it was her.
Rose from dire poverty and violence to become the greatest black entertainer of all time - Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie all rolled into one.
This stubborn empress led her native Ethiopia to do the unthinkable - defeat one of the major European powers in war.
First her father died. Then her sons. Then her husband. Pregnant, saddled with debt, a failing company, and an overbearing mother, Rebecca Lukens rolled up her sleeves and showed the world what she was made of: iron.
Christine de Pizan
When her husband unexpectedly died, she rolled up her sleeves and became one of the greatest authors of the age to keep food on the table. She wrote passionate defenses of her gender (and military treatises!) that were centuries ahead of their time.
This undefeated half-Spaniard fencer was a household name in the 1800s - only to vanish into retirement (and obscurity) when she ran out of people to fight.