For a nation whose Pride events are often a target for violent bigots, the 2017 election of a lesbian Prime Minister is an important step – but there’s a long way to go.
Rome's First Female MayorRaggi is the first woman to lead Rome in a history that spans almost three millennia.
Lady of the CellsRita Levi-Montalcini had to deal with patriarchal disapproval, Fascist anti-Semitism, misogyny and war before earning a Nobel Prize for discovering nerve growth factor. Says she, "If I had not been discriminated against or had not suffered persecution, I would never have received the Nobel Prize."
Frau Black DeathYevdokiya Zavaliy joined World War II while underage, and eventually rose to commander of her own platoon. She and her platoon terrified the Nazis so much that they gave her the nickname Frau Black Death.
The Survivor Who Refused to Marry Her RapistIn the 60s, an Italian woman was abducted and raped - and then pressured to marry her rapist. She instead took him to court and got him tossed into jail.
Olympic Swimmer Who Swam Three Hours Pushing a Boat of Other Syrian Refugees to SafetyA dinghy, built for six but holding twenty refugees, broke down in the Aegean Sea. Mardini, her sister Sarah, and two others jumped out and swam for three hours, pushing the boat all the way to Lesbos.
The Woman Who Made Microbiology PossibleIn the 1880s, scientists were trying to isolate and culture tuberculosis bacteria. Hesse's husband Walther was running into problems until she offered a solution.
The Academic Who Overcame it AllCecile DeWitt-Morette was a pioneering mathematical physicist who worked with Albert Einstein, Irene Joliot-Curie, and Richard Feynman, and advocated for more women in the sciences.
The Millennium PhysicistThe former project leader of one of the teams that discovered the Higgs boson has been promoted to director-general of CERN, the first woman to hold that position.
Serbia's first Lesbian Prime MinisterFor a nation whose Pride events are often a target for violent bigots, the 2017 election of a lesbian Prime Minister is an important step - but there’s a long way to go.
As a Holocaust survivor, her poetry was too dark for some, but it was perfect for death metal.
At age 101, this woman was one of the last surviving female pilots from WW2, and older than the Royal Air Force by one year - she died today.
She wrote 270 Wikipedia articles in a single year -- “I had a target for doing one a day, but sometimes I get too excited and do three.”
Miriam O’Brien Underhill
Men? Mountaineer Miriam O'Brien Underhill Don't Need No Stinkin' Men - She pioneered and argued for "manless" climbing in a…
She was attacked while putting up a “Women who behave rarely make history” bumper sticker on her truck. No, seriously.
Mary Ann Shadd Cary
She was the first black woman in North America to edit and publish a newspaper, one of the first black female lawyers in the United States and an advocate for granting women the right to vote.
She’s the first female composer to score a major superhero movie, with the female-led Captain Marvel.
Forced to marry a mobster, she escaped, ran for parliament and won -- while obscuring her face. But now, she's showing it freely.
The publisher of America's first newspaper by and for women - and someone sadly overshadowed by her more-famous contemporaries.
This 15-year-old Pakistani girl who drives motorcycles, rickshaws, and garbage trucks to help earn money for her family. She is also a medal-winning boxer and a teacher.
Ludicrously over-accomplished athlete who invented flying ambulances and won the only gold medal ever awarded by the French Academy of Sports for "all sports" - yes, all of them.
An Inuit woman so strong nobody could even beat her lice in arm-wrestling, her story just gets stranger the closer you look.
A phenomenally successful archaeologist who became a fashion icon for wearing men's clothing.
Annie Jump Cannon
This astronomer threw off all the social conventions of her day to pursue her one true calling: the stars.
Champion weightlifter, suffragette, mom - this "Lady Hercules" did it all.