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She traded a life of privilege for one spent fighting for justice on both literal and political battlefields so tirelessly that even exiling her five times couldn't keep her down.
1920s Afghanistan was a progressive and rapidly-modernizing country in large part to the most powerful, empathic, and maligned queen it had ever seen.
Viking princess who decided she'd rather be a pirate than get married.
Sigrid the Haughty
When some scrubs hit on her, she burnt them alive. When a king slapped her across the face, she obliterated his kingdom. Sigrid the Haughty was not to be messed with.
This Sikh warrior saint led 40 deserters back into battle and in so doing, possibly saved her entire religion from extinction.
This unassuming middle-aged woman became one of Britain's most notorious terrorists in her unyielding quest to win women the right to vote.
Daring journalist who infiltrated insane asylums, exposed slavery rings, and raced around the world in under 80 days.
The first Japanese woman to go to college didn't have a choice. But the experience changed her - and she changed Japan in return.
Isabel Godin des Odonais
To reunite with her husband, she went on a months-long trek through the jungle -- and was the only survivor.
When a monster demanded teenage girl sacrifice, Li Chi saved herself, and was crowned princess for her troubles.
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.
Chaste and virtuous woman spends life assuming she's better than her more sex-positive neighbor, and for this haughtiness becomes in…