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When her shogun husband cheated on her, she raised an army and destroyed the other woman's house. Later she deposed her incompetent son to become the first nun to rule Japan.
When terrorists hijacked her plane, she gave her life to save it, becoming the youngest recipient of India's highest honor.
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!
This heroine of South America and Italy fought in numerous civil wars alongside her husband, Giuseppe Garibaldi, often while pregnant…
Olga of Kiev
Brutal princess-turned-Christian saint who burnt down enemy towns using pigeons.
The first naval admiral of modern times, she protected her country from foreign invaders with aplomb.
Trung Trac and Trung Nhi
Sisters who led an army on elephant-back to overthrow oppressive Chinese rule and establish a short-lived Vietnamese kingdom.
When the end of an era was at hand, this samurai woman refused to go gently.
Mekatilili wa Menza
When colonial powers went too far, she rebelled in the most stylish way possible: dancing from town to town. It was surprisingly effective.
Carolina Maria de Jesus
Brash, funny, and difficult, this mother of three wrote her way out of extreme poverty with her uncompromising look at Brazilian society - and was alternately lauded and berated for it.