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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.
After escaping the Armenian Genocide (by walking across the Syrian desert while pregnant), this woman went back into Armenia to rescue her sons, then made her way to America -- where she invented the recipe for Rice-a-Roni.
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.
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.
Noor Inayat Khan
Pacifist Indian princess who gave up everything of herself to hold the line in occupied Paris during World War 2.
The only female emperor of China in history, her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach.
When the Tsar became hellbent on nailing down her gender, this clever gender-nonconforming heroine kept him guessing to the end.
Nia Ngao Zhua Pa
This Hmong morality tale shows how to be a good person, but it certainly takes some twists getting there.
When horse-riding Spaniards invaded, she defied her tribe to befriend one of the abandoned horses, using her new bond to fight off the Spanish.
The first Japanese woman to go to college didn't have a choice. But the experience changed her - and she changed Japan in return.