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When famine hit Jeju island, where she'd been exiled since birth, this prostitute-turned-businesswoman spent her fortune to feed everyone.
Fannie Lou Hamer
This uneducated, impoverished activist suffered unbelievable abuse in her journey to be able to vote -- but that did not stop her.
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.
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.
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Gracia Mendes Nasi
Jewish businesswoman who saved thousands of Jews from the Inquisition by smuggling them out of the country.
This uneducated rebel preacher upstaged New England magistrates so much that they founded Harvard University in part to prevent women like her from gaining power.