When Japan's seaweed production suffered a crippling year, this scientist's work on commercial cultivation helped save the entire nation.
Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker
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Fiery defender of the pope who made kings kneel before her.
When her shogun husband cheated on her, she raised an army and destroyed the other woman's house. Later she deposed her incompetent son to become the first nun to rule Japan.
This revolutionary martyred herself to help rid China of the Qing dynasty.
Labotsibeni Gwamile LaMdluli
When her husband inadvertently sold the country to colonial forces, this queen spent the rest of her life getting it back.
When a government magistrate unjustly killed her son, this unassuming middle-aged wife spent years raising an army to topple that same government.
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.
Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz
This brilliant poet rose from illegitimacy and poverty to become one of the luminaries of her age - until she flew too close to the sun.