The Woman Who Demanded SchoolAt the age of seven, Kakenya Ntaiya made a bargain with her father: she would undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) if he agreed to let her finish her education.
The Miner Who Posed As A ManThis Tanzanian miner has a 70-person-strong company, but she built it by pretending to be a man for many years.
The Conservationist Who Saved Lions With DogsShe turned lion hunters to lion defenders, was slept on by a lion, and got a dentist to work on a leopard - quite a story!
Kenyan whistleblower who stopped mass poisoningAfter her son got lead poisoning from the plant she worked at, she campaigned to shut the plant down - and won.
Terminator of Child MarriagesSenior Chief Kachindamoto has worked to eliminate child marriages and sexual initiations of young girls, as well as providing for the education of girls.
The Mother Who Pretended to Be Crazy to Save Her ChildrenIn order to save her kids from Boko Hara, she went to extraordinary lengths: including stripping naked and pretending to be crazy.
"Queen Hunter" of Boko HaramOnce she hunted antelope. Now she hunts Boko Haram.
Yemen's First Female RapperYahya is billed as Yemen's first female rapper. For International Women's Day, Oxfam brought her and four other rappers together to raise awareness of the struggles of women in war.
Schoolgirl Inventor Who's Fighting Drought with Orange PeelsThe 16-year-old high schooler invented a polymer from orange peel and avocado skins, capable of storing massive reserves of water.
Born without arms or legs, this artist learned to write, sew, and paint with her mouth - and came to work for kings and queens.
50 years before women got the federal right to vote, Esther Morris became America's first female justice of the peace. A contemporary newspaper called her “the terror of all rogues” and said she offered “infinite delight to all lovers of peace and virtue."
Although her tribe was destroyed and she was forced into an unwanted marriage, this indomitable woman came to run the world's largest empire - with a woman as her companion.
This Mongol stood up to the most fearsome man in the world and in so doing, prevented a genocide.
When Singaporean guerrillas tried overthrowing British rule, they turned to this gangster to run their communications. The cat-and-mouse game in which she was caught by a female police officer is riveting stuff.
New York's first licensed female cabbie didn't let racism, sexism, or a speech impediment slow her down.
Without training, this 13-year-old shattered world records for running in 1967 -- unfortunately, it happened shortly after Kathrine Switzer's headline-making Boston marathon entry, and Mancuso's feat was all but forgotten.
When the true king of the Scots came to reclaim the throne, this spirited woman went up against her husband to back her chosen sovereign.
Tammie Jo Shults
One of the US Navy's first female fighter pilots took a job with a commercial airline - and then saved the day when an engine exploded mid-flight.
Her apartment, which she dubbed Dream Haven, was a “who’s-who of the Harlem Renaissance: artists, poets, writers, songwriters, intellectuals, and activists” - everyone from Zora Neale Hurston to Langston Hughes to W.E.B. Du Bois.
In 1931, a seventeen-year-old girl struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in front of a crowd of thousands -- and then was benched into obscurity.
This Indonesian queen ruled wisely and justly in life, and was deified as the embodiment of all evil after her death. The story of why gets a bit complicated.
Cross-dressing Queen of Thieves who flouted social norms and had plays written about her.
When her brother of this fairytale princess decided to marry her, she warded him off by cutting off her own hands. Then she gave birth to a dog. It got weirder after that.
After being saved from demonic forces, this legendary Indian princess is then subjected to endless purity tests by her own husband. She eventually puts an end to his questions in a manner that surprised everyone.