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The first European woman to end up in New Zealand, Charlotte Badger was part pirate, part adopted Maori, and part mom. Which part is which is somewhat lost to history.
The first female mathematician in recorded history, and one of the luminaries of the ancient world - but her grisly death at the hands of a mob was only the start of her troubles.
Khawlah bint al-Azwar
When Byzantine forces captured her brother, this warrior poet donned the outfit of a black knight and went on a bloody rescue mission.
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.
This princess held her father to his word in the most unexpected way: by demanding to marry the stupidest man in Korea.
To save an oncoming passenger train, this 15-year-old girl climbed across a collapsing bridge, with nothing but flashes of lightning to keep her from falling to her death in the flooding river below -- a river that had already killed her father.
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.
Massively educated princess who started all-female gang of itinerant teachers, who would roam the land and educate unsuspecting passersby.
Christine de Pizan
When her husband unexpectedly died, she rolled up her sleeves and became one of the greatest authors of the age to keep food on the table. She wrote passionate defenses of her gender (and military treatises!) that were centuries ahead of their time.
Nia Ngao Zhua Pa
This Hmong morality tale shows how to be a good person, but it certainly takes some twists getting there.