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The illegitimate daughter of a minor noble, after losing her husband, she became one of the most powerful and fierce women in Italy - commanding troops, insulting Machiavelli, and fighting Cesare Borgia with unmatched ferocity.
A clever woman who rose from obscurity to become a political force, playing nations against each other to protect her people.
Mother Jones (Mary Harris Jones)
This leader of the labor movement suffered imprisonment, defamation, and untold misery to battle against forces that most of us just take for granted.
Overcame polio, poverty, measles, mumps, scarlet fever, racism, whooping cough, and teenage pregnancy to make Olympic history by winning three…
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America had Al Capone. Sydney had Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine - who *hated* each other.
The greatest ruler of Yemeni history, she defeated her numerous foes to usher the country into its golden age.
Juana Azurduy de Padilla
This revolutionary (and mother of five) should have been the namesake of Bolivia - and that's the opinion of Simon Bolivar, the actual namesake of Bolivia!
Once upon a time, there was a lesbian Wild West abortion doctor. She once horsewhipped a guy in the face and was tossed in San Quentin Prison for sedition. To the surprise of no one, she lived in Portland.
The exiled daughter of a deposed ruler, she could have been a fairytale bridge between worlds - but fairy tales are not real. Benazir, whose name means "without flaw," was anything but.
Turned into a revolutionary in middle age, this mother became one of the Philippines most heralded women.
When her husband was killed by conquistadors, this native Chilean showed the Spanish what "fight like a woman" really means.
This mythical Native American woman saved her loved ones from starvation with delicious magical leprosy - a fact that led to, shall we say, complications.
When a firebreathing shapeshifting hippo menaced her people, this shaman faced it down in a magic battle - and then hurled it into space.
Abducted from her tribe, this Maori woman managed to save her kinsmen and stop a war - by straddling a roof and cramming the house underneath.
Tossed off the expectations of Victorian society to become an expert mountaineer and archaeologist, traveled the Middle East by herself…
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.
Annie Jump Cannon
This astronomer threw off all the social conventions of her day to pursue her one true calling: the stars.
This undefeated warrior princess refused to marry unless her suitor could defeat her in wrestling - if he lost, he owed her 100 horses. In the end, she had 10,000 horses and no husband.
One of the greatest painters of the baroque, she revenged herself on her rapist both in the court of law…
Sex worker who became empress of the Byzantine Empire, and used her political power to safeguard her interests, and her…