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The most courageous women in history

On International Women’s Day, account executive, Rebecca, identifies some of the most courageous women in history.

Throughout history, women have fought courageously and tirelessly to assert themselves as equals whether that’s pay, opportunity, or even the ability to vote. So ahead of International Women’s Day, and 100 years since the suffrage we look at women who are far from equal – they are innovators, leaders and inspirations. Their achievements have led the way for other women to stand up for what they believe in, and share their opinions, showing others that their voice needs to be heard. 

Florence Nightingale

To light the way for the rest, I decided it was only fitting that Florence Nightingale was mentioned first. The lady with the lamp has transformed nursing as we know it. Florence is the founder of modern nursing, her greatest achievement was transforming nursing into a respectable profession. She established the first professional training school for nurses, the Nightingale Training School at St Thomas’ Hospital and her perseverance when told she wasn’t good enough didn’t stop her. Her attitude is something which can inspire us all, to keep pushing ourselves to achieve our dreams. 

Emmeline Pankhurst

Like many suffragettes, Emmeline was arrested on numerous occasions throughout the suffrage campaign, and even went on hunger strike, resulting in a violent force-feeding. She managed to organise one of the first women’s marches, targeting the main state institution, the British Parliament, to celebrate the release of activists from prison. It’s hard to believe that women suffered so much for the right to vote, but I’m proud that it’s a woman from Moss Side who paved the way for the rest of us. 

Malala Yousafzai

Malala is one of the bravest women in the Middle East’s history, she grew up in a poor family and had to witness horrendous mistreatment of her family, who suffered under Taliban coercive. She was only in her teens when she became an advocate for the rights of her people to get a proper education. When her campaigning gained momentum, and media coverage, it led to her shooting, which thankfully she survived. Despite this attack Malala continued to battle for education for Pakistani girls and she is now recognised as one of the bravest women in world history, and has even been awarded the Nobel Prize for her activities.

Amelia Earhart

Amelia, once said: ‘Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.’ Amelia was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean back in 1928. Amelia also joined ‘The Ninety-Nines’, an organisation of female pilots who joined together to encourage women in aviation. In the end, Amelia disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean during a flight and was never found. But her passion to encourage women to reach their goals and prove that women and men should be equal will always live on. 

Dame Kelly Holmes

When looking back at Dame Kelly Holme’s history she has had a diverse career. She only became a professional athlete at the age of 29, before this she had worked in shops, as a carer, and an army lorry driver. At the 2004 Olympics, she became the first Briton in 84 years to receive a gold medal for both the 800m and 1500m, from this success she became a Dame. Her grit and determination shows that you should never give up on your dreams, persistence and hard work is key, and it’s never too late to achieve your goals.

Tagged with: , International Women's Day, Women in history