Despite the fact that gender equality has come a long way, women around the world are still faced with discrimination. Just because they are women. Yet there are women who successfully compete with men in just about any field. What is more, there are women who ‘made it big’ when the gender equality movement was only in its early phases, while some established themselves as equal to men in times when women were completely excluded from public life. Some of these women include:
Catherine the Great (1729-1796). One of the greatest female rulers and one of the most successful rulers of Tsarist Russia deposed her husband, Tsar Peter III and took control over the vast Russian Empire. She ruled Russia for more than three decades (from 1762 until her death in 1796) during which she considerably expanded the Russian borders, launched a series of reforms to modernise the Empire, started the era of the Russian Enlightenment and played the key role in Russia’s rise as one of the Great Powers.
Marie Curie (1867-1934). The renowned Polish-born French physicist and chemist is one of the greatest names in history of modern science. In 1903, she became the first woman to win the prestigious Nobel Prize (shared with her husband Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel) for her achievement in the field of radiation phenomena. Just 8 years later, she won her second Nobel Prize - this time in Chemistry - and became the first and only woman to win two Nobel Prizes, and the only person to win in two or multiple sciences.
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937). The fate of the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic is still surrounded by mystery. She disappeared without a trace during her attempt to fly around the world in 1937. Nevertheless, her life and contribution to both aviation and women’s rights are still a major inspiration and source of motivation for many people around the globe.
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). The famous Mexican painter didn’t only struggle to establish herself in the art scene that was at the time dominated by male artists but she also struggled with a series of health problems, most of which were a consequence of an accident in her early life. But she succeeded, gaining recognition not only in her native Mexico but worldwide.
Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013). Nicknamed the ‘Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister not only in the UK but the entire Europe. Serving from 1979 to 1990, Thatcher was also the longest serving British Prime Minister and the only woman to hold the office to date.