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Noor Inayat Khan
Pacifist Indian princess who gave up everything of herself to hold the line in occupied Paris during World War 2.
Muslim sultan who took the throne, defeated Louis IX in battle, ransomed him back to France for 30% of their GDP --- and did it all in secret.
Headed a squadron of 80,000 pirates, ruled the Chinese seas for two decades, and actually retired happily - but not before extorting a nice pension from the Chinese government.
Although her tribe was destroyed and she was forced into an unwanted marriage, this indomitable woman came to run the world's largest empire - with a woman as her companion.
The only female emperor of China in history, her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach.
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.
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!
Catalina de Erauso
After escaping from a convent, this swashbuckler had the strength to chase her dreams: which were apparently to drink, fight, and womanize.
This single mom developed the field of Mexican archaeology, while fiercely protecting it from the sleazy and opportunistic.
Abandoned and imprisoned, this real-life Amazon took back the life she had stolen away.