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The only female emperor of China in history, her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach.
When she was told to "go do women's work" after upstaging the medical community in her treatment of Hodgkin's disease, Dr. Vera Peters revolutionized breast cancer treatment through years of painstaking, meticulous work.
The greatest ruler of Yemeni history, she defeated her numerous foes to usher the country into its golden age.
When a government magistrate unjustly killed her son, this unassuming middle-aged wife spent years raising an army to topple that same government.
Spy, smuggler, saboteur, partisan: this Jewish woman refused to go like a lamb to the slaughter, and fought the Nazis tooth and nail... even after the war, when she, alongside others, poisoned thousands of Nazi POWs in a revenge plot.
One of the most famous women in American history, this hyper-capable Shoshone woman walked across America with a baby strapped to her back, in order to map it.
This Polish nurse sacrificed her safety, her marriage, her very family to save 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust.
An unbeatable warrior princess who just wanted to have kids - and founded a new nation in her quest to…
Isabella of France
After years of neglect and abuse from her husband, this queen raised an army and took over England for herself.
Ida B. Wells
One of the first anti-lynching advocates, she risked her life for decades to report on the truth when nobody would believe her.
Isabel Godin des Odonais
To reunite with her husband, she went on a months-long trek through the jungle -- and was the only survivor.
One of the first Indian women to practice law, she fought against -- and inside of -- a system that held no room for her.
Instigated a massive "women's war" against British taxation, the effect of which was one part protest movement, one part comedy roast, and one part block party.
An Inuit woman so strong nobody could even beat her lice in arm-wrestling, her story just gets stranger the closer you look.
This Sikh warrior saint led 40 deserters back into battle and in so doing, possibly saved her entire religion from extinction.
Cut Nyak Dhien
When her (second) rebel husband was killed, this heroine of Indonesian revolution took over the fight against the Dutch.
Tamar of Georgia
Saint, sovereign, and fiercely independent woman, she quashed two rebellions from her ex-husband, expanded her nation's borders, and ushered in a golden age.
Saved the Jewish people by hammering a tent spike through an unsuspecting house guest's head.
When her beloved college of history was bombed by the Germans, this woman began a dark path that would see her become history's deadliest female sniper -- and one of Eleanor Roosevelt's best friends.
This superhero of early Iranian mythology starred in her own stories, and plenty of them.