Happy International Women’s Day! To celebrate, we’ve included just a few of the many prominent women who have paved the way in world history. Included are artists, activists, chemists, political figures, poets, healthcare workers and so many more.

16. Rosa Parks

Photo courtesy Bob Fitch photography archive, © Stanford University Libraries

Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has honored her as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”

15. Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi official portrait.png
Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Indira Gandhi was an Indian politician and stateswoman who served as the third prime minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She was India’s first, and to date, only female prime minister and a central figure of the Indian National Congress.

14. Jane Goodall 

Photo courtesy Derek Bryceson/National Geographic Creative

Dame Jane Morris Goodall DBE, formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is an English primatologist and anthropologist. She is considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, after 60 years studying the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees

13. Anne Frank 

Photo courtesy United Archives GmbH/Alamy

Annelies Marie Frank was a German-born Jewish girl who kept a diary in which she documented life in hiding under Nazi persecution. She is a celebrated diarist who described everyday life from her family hiding place in an Amsterdam attic. 

12. Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman 1895.jpg
Photo by Horatio Seymour Squyer, 1848 – 18 Dec 1905 – National Portrait Gallery

Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and social activist. Born into chattel slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 similarly-enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

11. Empress Farah Pahlavi

Shahbanu of Iran.jpg
Public domain

 Farah Pahlavi is the widow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and was successively Queen and Empress of Iran from 1959 to 1979. Pahlavi encouraged an arts and culture renaissance in the country, with an upswing in ballet, opera and art. Museums and cultural centers created under her guidance include the Negarestan Cultural Center, the Reza Abbasi Museum, the Khorramabad Museum, the National Carpet Gallery and the Glassware and Ceramic Museum of Iran. Additionally, Pahlavi helped to create the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, and brought in works from lauded international artists including Vincent Van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jackson Pollack and Pablo Picasso. Due to threats following an impending revolution, the Shah and Pahlavi fled Iran; she currently lives in exile in Paris and Washington, D.C. 

10. Frida Kahlo

Bettmann/Bettmann Archive
Photo courtesy Bettman/Bettman Archive

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico.

9. Golda Meir

Golda Meir 03265u.jpg
Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Golda Meir was an Israeli politician, teacher, and kibbutznikit who served as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974. She was Israel’s first and only female head of state, the first female head of state in the Middle East, and the fourth elected female head of state in the world.

8. Maya Angelou

Aaron Rapoport/Getty Images
Photo courtesy Aaron Rapoport/Getty Images

Maya Angelou was an American memoirist, popular poet, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.

7. Marie Curie 

Marie Curie
Photo courtesy Atomic Archive

Marie Salomea Skłodowska–Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win a Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. 

6. Florence Nightengale

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Photograph by Henry Hering

Florence Nightingale OM RRC DStJ was an English social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers at Constantinople. 

5. Helen Keller 

A woman with full dark hair and wearing a long dark dress, her face in partial profile, sits in a simple wooden chair. A locket hangs from a slender chain around her neck; in her hands is a magnolia, its large white flower surrounded by dark leaves.
Los Angeles Times; restored by Rhododendrites – Los Angeles photographic archives, UCLA Library 

Helen Adams Keller was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, she lost her sight and her hearing after a bout of illness when she was 19 months old. 

4. Patsy Mink

Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority
Photo courtesy PBS Hawai’i

Patsy Matsu Mink was an American attorney and politician from the U.S. state of Hawaii. She served in the United States House of Representatives for 24 years. She was the first woman of color elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Asian-American woman to serve in Congress. 

3. Jane Austen

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Photo courtesy Hulton Archives/Getty Images

Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique, and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security.

2. Sojourner Truth

Photo courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

Sojourner Truth was an American abolitionist of New York Dutch heritage and a women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. 

1. Amelia Earhart 

Photo by Bettman/Getty Images

Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and writer. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. 

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