21 Badass Women Who Created History & Changed The World


A few of the world’s most courageous, intelligent, and accomplished women who did their part, both big and small, to make the world a better place

Marie Curie

She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, and the only person to win twice in multiple sciences. Curie was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and the first woman, on her own merit, to be entombed in the Panthéon in Paris.


Malala Yousafzai

Malala is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. Her advocacy has since grown into an international movement.

Malala Yousafzai

Kathrine Switzer

She is best known for being the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry in 1967. Race official Jock Semple, attempted to physically remove her from the race. Women were not officially welcome to run the Boston Marathon until 1972

Kathrine Switzer

Margaret Heafield

She was a director of software engineering for NASA’s Apollo Space Program (1969). She wrote out by hand the mathematical sequence that prevented an abort of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Margaret Heafield

Valentina Tereshkova

Tereshkova is the first woman to have flown in space. She was selected from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963.

Valentina Tereshkova

Rosa Louise Mccauley Parks

Parks was an African-American Civil Rights activist, whom the United States Congress called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.

Rossa Louise Mccauley Parks

Sofia Ionescu

Sofia was a Romanian neurosurgeon and is considered to be one of the first female neurosurgeons in the world.


Anne Frank

Anne was a German-born Jewish diarist and writer. She gained international fame posthumously after her diary, which documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, was published in 1947.

Anne Frank

Jane Goodall

Dame Jane Goodall, a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace, is considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.


Nadia Comaneci

She is a former Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, and the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event.


Maud Stevens Wagner

Maud was a circus performer and the first known female tattoo artist in the United States.


Sarla Thakral

Sarla was the first Indian woman to fly an aircraft. In 1936, at the age of 21, she earned an aviation pilot license and flew a Gypsy Moth solo.


Annette Kellerman

Kellerman, an Australian professional swimmer, was one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing costume, instead of the then-accepted pantaloons, and inspired others to follow her example.


Bertha Von Suttner

A Czech-Austrian pacifist and novelist, Bertha was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


Aung San Suu Kyi

For her pre-democracy campaigning, she remained under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from 20 July, 1989 until her most recent release on 13 November, 2010—becoming one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners.


Taramon Bibi

Bibi is one of the two female freedom fighters in Bangladesh obtaining the prestigious Bir Protik award. She had engaged in direct combat.


Annie Lumpkins

Annie was a Freedom Rider that believed everyone had a right to vote.


Sarmiza Bilcescu

She was a Romanian lawyer, the first European woman ever to obtain a license and a PhD in Law from the University of Paris, and the first one in her country to practice law.


Fatima al-Fihri

Fatima founded Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University, considered by many historians as the oldest, continually operating, degree-granting university in the world.


Amelia Earhart

Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this record.


Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu

Elisa was one of the world’s first female engineers. She led several geology laboratories and participated in various field studies, including some that identified new resources of coal, shale, natural gas, chromium, bauxite and copper.


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  1. And the black female mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, at NASA who weren’t allowed to call themselves engineers or be supervisors, and who had to sit at segregated lunch tables. They did the calculations that got us to the moon.


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