A’isha bint abi Bakr (614-678)
Mother of the Believers
Independent, bold wife of the Prophet Muhammad, she led armies in the Battle of the Camel and was one of the central figures of the Shia/Sunni civil war that continues to this day. (Note: this entry’s image follows Islamic artistic conventions to depict its figures respectfully)
Christine de Pizan (c.1364-1430)
Architect of the City of Ladies
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.
Gertrude Bell (1868-1926)
Edwardian England's Loudest Advocate for Iraq
Tossed off the expectations of Victorian society to become an expert mountaineer and archaeologist, traveled the Middle East by herself – later teaching Lawrence of Arabia how it’s done – and became one of the most influential women in the English empire, advocating loudly for Iraq’s self-governance.