Fannie Lou Hamer
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When the Portuguese took the throne from her, this Angolan queen made a new one: out of her own servant. She then fled to the jungle, conquered a tribe of cannibals, and waged war on the Portuguese for so long that they gave up and left.
3rd century Rome had a major woman problem. Her name was Zenobia, and she took over a huge chunk of their empire in her brief and tumultuous career as rebel queen.
This Sikh warrior saint led 40 deserters back into battle and in so doing, possibly saved her entire religion from extinction.
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.
This unlikely heroine created her own Woman's Army of 70,000 soldiers through good manners and political savvy - and then used it to overthrow one of China's greatest douchebags.
The Mirabal Sisters
When a cruel dictator ruined this Dominican Republic family, these sisters gave their lives to end his.
This legendary pockmarked poet sang truth to power and was killed for it, becoming an enduring symbol of resistance.
Sold into sexual slavery to Hernan Cortes, this maligned woman became his interpreter, and it was with her words that…
When Rome set its eyes on her country, this one-eyed queen fought them tooth and nail, until they left her alone.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the jolly black businesswoman who swore by folk remedies, in stark contrast to Florence Nightingale's by-the-book Victorian approach to medicine.