Humanity's greatest weapon against malaria came from an unlikely source: a secret military program, where a woman worked in obscurity for decades.
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One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the by-the-book Victorian rebel who revolutionized the field of medicine who stood in stark to Mary Seacole's jolly reliance on folk remedies and home comforts.
First her father died. Then her sons. Then her husband. Pregnant, saddled with debt, a failing company, and an overbearing mother, Rebecca Lukens rolled up her sleeves and showed the world what she was made of: iron.
Recruited widows, orphans, and prostitutes into an all-woman ninja spy group, the largest in Asia at the time.
This Indonesian queen ruled wisely and justly in life, and was deified as the embodiment of all evil after her death. The story of why gets a bit complicated.
This Sikh warrior saint led 40 deserters back into battle and in so doing, possibly saved her entire religion from extinction.
One of the most powerful women in Zulu history, this cursed princess did what was necessary to protect the realm.
Loud, proud, uncompromising: this bold politician helped bring about Title IX, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Equal Rights Amendment - as well as much more.
Mekatilili wa Menza
When colonial powers went too far, she rebelled in the most stylish way possible: dancing from town to town. It was surprisingly effective.
When an oppressive regime threatened her home, this Samoan war goddess took matters into her own hands.
When her husband was killed in WW2, she sold all their belongings, bought a tank, named it Fighting Girlfriend, and started killing Nazis.