Top 10 Greatest Women of All Times

There was a time when people believed that history is biography of only men. Legendary women of the past like Cleopatra were exception to this rule. This is no longer true. The modern history is equally shared by lives of great women. Ages of struggle has brought their genius to forefront and the visage of present society is being sculpted by great women as well.

10. Emmeline Pankhurst

In 1889, Emmeline founded Women’s Franchise League, which fought to allow married women to allow voting in local elections. In October 1903, she helped found more militant Women’s Social and Political Union or WSPU. Like many suffragettes, Emmeline was arrested on numerous occasions. When World War I broke out, she turned her energies to supporting war effort. In 1918, the Representation of People Act gave voting rights to women over 30. She died on 14 June in London, few weeks after Representation of People Act establishing voting equality for men and women was passed.


9. Boudicca

Boudicca was queen of the Iceni people of Eastern England. She led a major uprising against occupying Roman forces. She was married to Prasutagus, ruler of the Iceni people of East Angelia. When Roman conquered Southern England in AD 43, they allowed Prasutagus to continue to rule. However, when he died Romans decided to rule Iceni directly. Boudicca was herself stripped and beaten by Romans, and she rose to lead an uprising against them. She went from victory to victory. Her final defeat came in AD 61. She survived the battle but killed herself by taking poison.


8. Catherine of Sienna

A scholastic philosopher and theologian, she did not receive any education. She became lay member of Dominician religious order. She took care of the ill and the poor and dedicated her life to their service. She wrote letters to men and women in authority. Considered one of the greatest works of early Tuscan literature, more than 300 letters have survived. Pope Pius II canonized Catherine in 1461 and she is now one of three female Doctors of the Church. She is also one of the patron saints of Europe.


7. Eva Peron

She was wife of Argentine President Juan Peron. She founded the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, and the nation’s first large-scale female political party, the Female Peronist Party. Her charitable organization built homes for the poor and homeless, and also provided free health care to citizens.

On August 22, 1951 the unions held a mass rally of two million people called “Cabildo Abierto” at which they begged Eva Peron to run for vice president. It has been claimed that “Cabildo Abierto” was the largest public display of support in history for a female political figure.


6. Hatshepsut, King of Egypt Reign 1479 BC to 1458 BC

Hatshepsut was the first wife and Queen of Thutmose II. She was a very unique and intelligent individual. Unlike most women of that time, she attached a false beard, wore male clothing, and was depicted in statues as pharaoh, and not as a queen. She ruled for 20 years and under reign Egyptian economy flourished. She set off the army on a trade expedition to the land of Punt, where no Egyptian had been for more than 500 years. It was an enormous success and enhanced the reputation of Hatshepsut.


5. Rosa Parks

On 1 December 1995, she refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. This act of civil disobedience sparked off Montgomery Bus Boycott, which is one of the largest movements against racial segregation. In addition, this launched Martin Luther King, Jr., who was involved with the boycott, to prominence in the civil rights movement. She is a perfect example of how the action of one person can start a chain of reactions that have far reaching results. She died in Detroit at the age of ninety-two on October 24, 2005. City officials in Montgomery and Detroit announced on October 27, 2005 that the front seats of their city buses would be reserved with black ribbons in honor of Parks until her funeral. Her casket was transported to Washington, DC, and taken, aboard a bus similar to the one in which she made her protest, to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda (making her the first woman and second African American ever to receive this honor).

rosa parks

4. Catherine II, Empress of Russia 1729 1796

Catherine the Great was a German princess. She married Prince Carl Peter Ulrich, the heir to Russian throne. In June 1762, she took an active part in coup against her husband Peter III. He was overthrown and soon killed in an accident, while Catherine became Russia’s autocratic ruler. Throughout her long reign, many reforms were undertaken, and territory of Russia was further extended by acquiring lands of southern Ukraine and Crimea. She was one of the greatest of Russian rulers.

antropov catherine ii

3. Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, the youngest of three children of an Albanian builder, on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. At the age of 18, she joined the Order of the Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto in Ireland. It was here that she chose the name Teresa, in memory of Saint Teresa of Lemieux.

Mother Teresa later came to Calcutta to teach. However, she always wanted to serve the poor, and she received what she believed to be a call from God, telling her to devote her to working with the poorest in India. She established new order of nuns, The Missionary of Charity. Mother Teresa’s first orphanage was started in 1953. While in 1953, she and her Missionaries of Charity began working with lepers. Mother Teresa died in 1997.

She has been given many awards, The Nobel Peace Prize, The Pope John XXIII Peace Prize and Medal of Freedom, as well as many more. All through her life, she served people suffering from various incurable diseases and unwanted by the society and perhaps that’s why she is called ‘Angle of Mercy’.

Mother teresa

2. Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc was born in 1412, in little village of Domremy in France. Joan believed that she had vision from God, and she was determined to save France. When she was just 18 years old, she led her men to victory against English in city of Orleans. Her fame spread everywhere, and the English as well as French thought that she had more than human power. At last, English were driven far to the north of France. Then Charles, urged by Joan, went to Rheims, and there, in Joan’s presence, was crowned king.

Joan was later betrayed and accused of being a tool of evil. She was tried, and burned at the stake. Later, she was declared to be a saint by Catholic Church and to this day she remains national heroine of France.

joan of arc

1. Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale is known as founder of modern nursing. She was daughter of a well-to-do family in England. She was born in Florence, Italy on 12 May 1820. By the time she was 12, she was determined to do ‘something worthwhile’. She wanted to look after sick and used every spare minute to learn from nursing books she had secretly obtained. Her parents tried to get her to change her mind but she was adamant about becoming nurse.

During the Crimean War, she was put in charge of nursing. She went to battlefield with 38 nurses, cleaned up the huge, dirty building that served as a hospital. Through her efforts thousands of lives were saved. At night, she would visit the sick and the injured, carrying a lamp and so became known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’.

She will always be remembered for the fact that she changed the face of nursing from a mostly untrained profession to a highly skilled and well-respected medical profession, with very important responsibilities.

florence nightingale 1920

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