In 1985, India widely considered AIDS to be a disease of Western debauchery which would not infect their country. Until Nirmala, as part of her dissertation, took blood samples that tested positive for HIV.
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Annie Jump Cannon
This astronomer threw off all the social conventions of her day to pursue her one true calling: the stars.
This Polish nurse sacrificed her safety, her marriage, her very family to save 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust.
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.
Spy, smuggler, saboteur, partisan: this Jewish woman refused to go like a lamb to the slaughter, and fought the Nazis tooth and nail... even after the war, when she, alongside others, poisoned thousands of Nazi POWs in a revenge plot.
When attacked by Native Americans, this pregnant viking bared her chest, brandished a sword, and took them on by herself. And she won.
Let her leprosy go untreated for years to make herself the perfect spy in the Japan-occupied Philippines - soldiers wouldn't touch her, so she could slip right through.
When her kid was stolen from her, this ex-slave successfully sued to get him back; she then went on to become a forceful speaker for abolition across the United States.
This unassuming middle-aged woman became one of Britain's most notorious terrorists in her unyielding quest to win women the right to vote.
When her husband was killed in WW2, she sold all their belongings, bought a tank, named it Fighting Girlfriend, and started killing Nazis.
After being saved from demonic forces, this legendary Indian princess is then subjected to endless purity tests by her own husband. She eventually puts an end to his questions in a manner that surprised everyone.