With March being Women's History month we thought we should spend a little bit of time remembering and honoring some of the influential women who changed history all the way back to the BCE era, to those that are making history today. Including women from around the world, we will share those who made an impact on culture, food, travel and more. Keep reading and see if you recognize any of these women.
Sappho (circa 570 BCE, Greece)
She was an ancient Greek poet who was known as one of the first female writers. Her poetry filled with intense passion and description of love. Most of her poetry has been lost, but over the years historians have been able to piece together surviving fragments.
Boudicca (1st Century CE, Britain)
She was an inspirational leader of the Britons. Boudicca led several tribes in the revolt against the Roman occupation. Her army of 100,000 was first successful against Colchester, then London but was later defeated by the Romans where she either died from her wounds or took poison.
Catherine the Great (1729-1796, Russia)
She was one of the greatest political leaders of the 18th Century, playing an important role in improving the welfare of Russian serfs. Catherine the Great placed great emphasis on the arts and helped pave the way for Russia as on of the dominant countries in Europe.
Sojourner Truth (Isabella Baumfree) (1797-1883, United States)
She was born into slavery but escaped to freedom and became one of the most recognized women speakers on civil rights and abolition. Making history in a landmark legal case, where the first time a black woman had won a court case against a white man, for the freedom of her son. With her love for God and passion for freedom, she felt a calling to travel around the United States and speak about the realities of slavery and other forms injustice.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 - 1902, United States)
She was an American social activist and a leading figure in the early women's rights movement. Elizabeth was a key figure in helping create the beginning of the women's suffrage movements in the United States. She was the principle author of the Declaration of Sentiments in 1848.
Susan B. Anthony (1820 - 1906, United States)
She was an advocate for women's suffrage, women's property rights and the abolition of slavery. Susan traveled the country to give speeches, circulate petitions, and organize local women's rights organizations. She was also a co-founder of the American Equal Rights Association and co-author in writing the History of Women Suffrage. In 1872, Susan and her three sisters voted in the Presidential election. She was arrested and put on trial where she was found guilty. In 1920 as a tribute to Susan B. Anthony, the Nineteenth Amendment was named the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910, Britain)
A British nurse who served in the Crimean war and led the way for changes in the role as well as the perception of the nursing profession. Florence's dedicated service resulted in a significant improvement in the treatment of wounded soldiers. Her analysis of mortality rates helped improve hospital practices. She is considered to be the founder of the modern nursing profession.
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910, Britain)
Elizabeth was born in Britain and was the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. She was also the first women to be on the UK medical register. She helped break down social barriers, enabling women to be accepted as doctors.
Marie Curie (1867-1934, Poland)
A Polish scientist who was the first person to win the Nobel Prize in two separate categories, let alone be the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize. In 1903, she won her first award for research into radioactivity. In 1911, Marie Curie earned her second Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A few years later Curie helped develop the first x-ray machines.
Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003, United States)
She was an iconic figure of twentieth Century film; she won four Oscars and received over twelve Oscar nominations. Katharine's lifestyle was unconventional at the time, and through her acting and life, she helped redefine traditional views of women's roles in society.
Julia Child (1912 - 2004, United States)
World famous chef, journalist and cookbook author who stood 6 foot 2 inches tall. Julia tried to enlist in the Women's Army Corps and the United States Navy but wasn't allowed because she was too tall. Lucky for us she followed her passion for cooking and husband to Paris, where she attended Le Cordon Bleu. With her love of French cuisine, she went on to write over fifteen cookbooks, start her first television show, The French Chef. Julia was the first woman inducted into the CIA Hall of Fame in 1993. Also remembered as the person who brought real French cuisine to the average American.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (1938 -, Liberia)
Born in Liberia in 1938, she is a well educated political figure of Africa. A graduate of the College of West Africa at Monrovia, she has a bachelor’s degree in accountings from the Madison Business College, a degree in economics from the University of Colorado and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. From 1980 - 2005 Ellen served in Liberia’s government on and off, before being inaugurated in 2006 and becoming the world’s first elected black female president and Africa’s first elected head of state.
Anita Borg (1949 - 2003, United States)
She was a computer scientist and founder of the Institute for Women and Technology. In 1987 Anita founded Systers, an electronic community for women in computing. In 1994 she cofounded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, a technical conference that highlights the work of women and advocating policies intended to bring more women into science and technology. Anita was a recipient of numerous awards, including the Pioneer Award from the Association of Women in Computing. In 1998 she was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.
Tegla Loroupe (1973 -, Kenya)
Kenyan athlete who held the women's marathon world record from 1998-2001, and has won many prestigious marathons starting in 1994. Since retiring from running, Tegla devotes her time to humanitarian and peace activities through her Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation. She has managed in bringing members of warring tribes together. In 2006, Tegla was named a United Nations Ambassador of Sport; she is also an active participant of the ‘Champions for Peace' a group of athletes seeking to use the power of sport to bring about peace.
Malala Yousafzai (1997 -, Pakistan)
A young Pakistani spokesperson for women's rights to education. Malala began writing an anonymous blog for the BBC in 2009. Writing under an alias expressing her views on education and life under the threat of the Taliban. In retaliation for her high profile campaign for education and criticism of the Taliban, she was shot in the head. Malala survived the gunshot and has continued on to become a leading spokesperson for human rights, education and women's rights. Malala Yousafzai has received numerous peace awards and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
These are just a handful of women that have made history, from women's rights to amazing chefs; women continue to influence our society and the world we live in. These remarkable women have left lasting impressions and will continue to for years to come. Many of these women traveled their country as well as other nations to help further their efforts. As we travel, we can better appreciate these women and everything they did for women as well as the world. From Mother Teresa and Anne Frank to scientist Wangari Muta Maathai, physicist Dr. Mae Jamison, and all the women who continue to change the world for the better, we thank you and continue to remember all you have done.
About Journeys for Women
Journeys for Women is perfect for women who love to travel but don't want to travel alone. We are a diverse group that includes women from age 18-80. What we share is the love of fun and adventure.