Women leaders in history and female leadership
Great female leaders and Great Women Rulers

Women leaders in history and female leadership

Great female leaders and Great Women Rulers

Women of influence and Female political activist

Important women through history and women of achievement

Heroines of Women’s History and Women who changed the world

List of famous women from history

Aside from their gender, female leaders don't have much else in common. Some have brought peace to troubled lands, while others have strewn discontent. Some have been competent or brilliant, others inept or corrupt. They come from political positions ranging from arch-conservative to ultra-leftist and represent all the world's religions. Women’s History is more than just a celebration in the month of March.

Women’s History  is more than the sum of its outstanding players.These women enjoy a firm place in society’s collective consciousness. As cultural icons, they represent firsts or standouts.In those headlines we do find extraordinary people who just happen to be women, and these models of the extraordinary serve as inspiration for current and future generations for both women and men.These woman and others like them did not just prevail, they excelled when personal, economic, political, and racial obstacles threatened.Their stories are full of adventure, romance, loss, and triumph.The UK, Canada, US and Australia celebrate Women’s History every March. The month is used to reflect on the many different roles women have taken throughout history. It began under Jimmy Carter as Women’s History Week and later expanded to the entire month,

A list of famous influential women. Including women’s rights activists, female poets, musicians, politicians, humanitarians and scientists


Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi is an opposition leader in her home country of Myanmar and the winner of the  1991 Nobel Prize for Peace.She spoke out against the brutal dictatorship of U Ne Win and initiated a nonviolent movement toward achieving democracy and human rights. In 1989, the government placed Suu Kyi under house arrest, and she spent 15 of the next 21 years in custody. In 1991, her ongoing efforts won her the Nobel Prize for Peace, and she was finally released from house arrest in November 2010.

Awards and Recognition

In 1991, Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. She has also received the Rafto prize (1990), the International Simón Bolívar Prize (1992) and the Jawaharlal Nehru Award (1993), among other accolades.
In December 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 400–0 to award Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal, and in May 2008, U.S. President George Bush signed the vote into law, making Suu Kyi the first person in American history to receive the prize while imprisoned.











Michelle Obama


Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer and writer. She is married to the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, she is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and spent the early part of her legal career working at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met Barack. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Throughout 2007 and 2008, michelle helped campaign for her husband's presidential bid. She delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She and her husband have two daughters together. She has become a fashion icon and role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating.










Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the world's first elected black female president and Africa's first elected female head of state. Born in Liberia in 1938, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was schooled in the United States before serving in the government of her native Liberia. A military coup in 1980 sent her into exile, but she returned in 1985 to speak out against the military regime. She was forced to briefly leave the country again. When she won the 2005 election, Johnson Sirleaf became the first female elected head of state in Africa. In 2011, she was one of a trio of women to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

President of Liberia

After supporting Charles Taylor's bloody rebellion against President Samuel Doe in 1990, Johnson Sirleaf ran unsuccessfully against Taylor in the 1997 presidential election. Taylor subsequently charged Johnson Sirleaf with treason. In 2005, after campaigning for the removal of President Taylor, Johnson Sirleaf took over as leader of the Unity Party. That year, promising economic development and an end to corruption and civil war, she was elected to the Liberian presidency. When she was inaugurated in 2006, Johnson Sirleaf, or the "Iron Lady," as she was also known, became the world's first elected black female president and Africa's first elected female head of state.









Angela Merkel

First Female Chancellor

Angela Merkel is a German politician best known as the first female chancellor of Germany and one of the architects of the European Union. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Merkel joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party and soon after was appointed to Helmut Kohl's cabinet as minister for women and youth and later served as minister for the environment and nuclear safety. Following Kohl's defeat in the 1998 general election, she was named secretary-general of the CDU. In 2000, she was chosen party leader, but lost the CDU candidacy for chancellor to Edmund Stoiber in 2002.

In the 2005 election, Merkel narrowly defeated Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, winning by just three seats, and after the CDU agreed a coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD), she was declared Germany's first female chancellor. Merkel is also the first former citizen of the German Democratic Republic to lead the reunited Germany and the first woman to lead Germany since it became a modern nation-state in 1871. She was elected to a second term in 2009.

Merkel made headlines in October 2013 when she accused the U.S. National Security Agency of tapping her cell phone. At a summit of European leaders she chided the United States for this privacy breech, saying that "Spying among friends is never acceptable." Later reports revealed that the NSA may have been surveilling Merkel since 2002. Merkel was sworn in for a third term in December 2013.








Catherine II

Catherine II, known as Catherine the Great, was empress of Russia, and led her country into the political and cultural life of Europe, carrying on the work begun by Peter the Great.

Catherine II, often called Catherine the Great, was born on May 2, 1729, in Stettin, Prussia (now Szczecin, Poland), and became the Russian empress in 1762. Under her reign, Russia expanded its territories and modernized, following the lead of Western Europe. She died on November 17, 1796 in Tsarskoye Selo, or what is now Pushkin.

Catherine the Great (1729 – 1796) One of the greatest political leaders of the Eighteenth Century. Catherine the great was said to have played an important role in improving the lot of the Russian serfs. She placed great emphasis on the arts and helped to cement Russia as one of the dominant countries in Europe. Catherine the Great was the Empress of Russia, and during her reign, she expanded Russian boundaries considerably and promoted education and Enlightenment, while continuing to promote nobility and reduce the rights of serfs.









Hillary Clinton

Government Official, U.S. First Lady, Women's Rights Activist 1947-present

When Hillary Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2001, she became the only American first lady to hold national office. She became the 67th U.S. secretary of state in 2009, serving until 2013.Hillary Rodham Clinton: Hillary Clinton is the 67th US Secretary of State. She is married to Bill Clinton, former US President and is very notable for her manner in handling scandal occurring during her husband’s presidency.

Hillary Clinton was born on October 26, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. She married Bill Clinton in 1975. She served as first lady from 1993 to 2001, and then as a U.S. senator from 2001 to 2009. In early 2007, Clinton announced her plans to run for the presidency. During the 2008 Democratic primaries, she conceded her nomination when it became apparent that Barack Obamaheld a majority of the delegate vote. After winning the national election, Obama appointed Clinton as secretary of state. She was sworn in January 2009 and served in that position until 2013. In the spring of 2015, she announced her plans to run again for the U.S. presidency.


benazir bhutto









Who is Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto is political activist, Prime Minister (1953–2007),Benazir Bhutto became the first female prime minister of Pakistan in 1988. She was killed by a suicide bomber in 2007.
Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953, in Karachi, Pakistan, the child of former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. She inherited leadership of the PPP after a military coup overthrew her father's government and won election in 1988, becoming the first female prime minister of a Muslim nation. In 2007, she returned to Pakistan after an extended exile, but, tragically, was killed in a suicide attack.

Leader of the PPP

Bhutto returned to Pakistan in 1977, and was placed under house arrest after the military coup led by General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq overthrew her father's government. One year after Zia ul-Haq became president in 1978, the elder Bhutto was hanged after his conviction on charges of authorizing the murder of an opponent. She inherited her father's leadership of the PPP.

There was more family tragedy in 1980 when Bhutto's brother Shahnawaz was killed in his apartment on the Riviera in 1980. The family insisted he was poisoned, but no charges were brought. Another brother, Murtaza, died in 1996 (while his sister was in power) in a gun battle with police in Karachi.
She moved to England in 1984, becoming the joint leader in exile of the PPP, then returned to Pakistan on April 10, 1986, to launch a nationwide campaign for open elections. She married a wealthy landowner, Asif Ali Zardari, in Karachi on December 18, 1987. The couple had three children: son Bilawal and two daughters, Bakhtawar and Aseefa.


biography of Dambisa Moyo Felicia

Dambisa Moyo Felicia, an economist born in Zambia February 2 19691 macroeconomics analysis, the influence of foreign aid and international relations 2. She has published Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way For Africa (2009) 3, How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly - and the Stark Choices That Lie Ahead (2011) 4 and Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World (2012).

Career  of Dambisa Moyo Felicia

Dambisa Moyo holds a doctorate (PhD) in Economics from St Antony's College, Oxford University; The 2002 memory is titled Essays on the determinants of savings in countries in development.8. In 1997, she received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University 9. She also obtained a Master in business administration (MBA) in Finance and a BA (BS) in Chemistry from the American University in Washington DC Dambisa Moyo has served as a consultant to the World Bank and worked in the debt markets at Goldman Sachs, in international macroeconomics team.












Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, born June 13, 1954, is a Nigerian politician. In 2007 she was appointed Director General of the World Bank1. In 2012, she is a candidate to become the présidente2. The April 14, 2012, she received the support of his former rival José Antonio Ocampo3, but the American Jim Yong Kim is appointed to this position at his expense 16 April 20124. It's finance minister between 2011 and 2015.


professional career

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Ph.D. has been Senior Advisor of Lazard Ltd. since September 21, 2015. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance of Nigeria. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is also a Member of the Governing Council of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority in which capacity she provides advice and counsel to the Board of Directors. She is also an Adviser to World Bank on the Stolen Assets Recovery initiative. She served as a Managing Director at The World Bank Group from December 1, 2007 to August 2011. She founded NOI-Gallup polls. She served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria from 2003 to 2006. Before taking up her Ministerial appointment, she served in a number of important positions at the World Bank including Vice President and Corporate Secretary, Director of Operations in the Middle East and North Africa region, and Country Director for the South East Asia and Mongolia Country unit.


She joined the World Bank in 1982. She serves as a Member of the Board of Governors at African Development Bank and International Monetary Fund. She serves as a Governor of Islamic Development Bank. She serves as a Director of World Resource Institute. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is active in numerous boards and advisory groups in the public, private and non-governmental sectors including the Rockefeller Foundation, the ONE Foundation, the Center for Global Development, the Nelson Mandela Institution, and the African Risk Capacity. She is a member or Chair of numerous boards and advisory groups in the public, private and non-governmental sectors including DATA, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Nelson Mandela Institution and the African Institutes of Science and Technology, and Friends of the Global Fund Africa.


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, finance minister of Nigeria. "As both finance minister and as a former World Bank managing director, Okonjo-Iweala has shaped fiscal and monetary policies to be more just and fair, especially for women and girls in developing countries. Christine Lagarde, the current managing director of the International Monetary Fund (she was named the fifth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes Magazine) perhaps could be considered more influential in terms global economic power, but Okonjo-Iweala's influence makes more of an impact on the lives of the most economically vulnerable globally."








Clara Barton

Clara Barton got involved with tending the needy when she treated injured Union soldiers on the battlefield during the Civil War. She later was the founder and first president of the American Red Cross.








69–30 B.C.
Queen of Egypt and the last pharaoh. She was 17 or 18 when she became queen. Cleopatra was a shrewd politician who spoke nine languages. During her reign, Egypt became closely aligned with the Roman Empire. The last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra sought to defend Egypt from the expanding Roman Empire. In doing so she formed relationships with two of Rome’s most powerful leaders Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar.












Marie Curie

This physicist was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize — she actually won it twice — and the first woman to earn a doctorate in Europe. Her investigations led to the discovery of radioactivity as well as the element radium. Marie Curie: Marie Curie was a famous chemist and physicist who held many achievements for women. She won the Nobel Prize twice and as influential in the world of chemistry.












Elizabeth I

Queen of England when England became a major European power in politics, commerce, and the arts. Smart, brave, and determined to link herself to her country’s fortunes, she cultivated the loyalty of her people and united the country against enemies. During her reign the "Elizabethan Age" England changed from being poor and isolated to being among the most important nations in Europe, with a powerful navy.












Indira Gandhi

As the leader of India, the world’s most populous democracy, Indira Gandhi became an influential figure for Indian women as well as for others around the world.









Grace Hopper

A computing trailblazer, Grace Hopper invented one of the first easy-to-use computer languages, which was a big advance in the field of computer programming.







Mother Theresa

Founder of a religious group of nuns in Calcutta, India, Mother Theresa devoted her life to aiding sick and poor people throughout the world.











Sandra Day O’Connor

As the first woman appointed to the position of U.S. Supreme Court justice, she carved a place for women at all levels of the legal profession.










Rosa Parks


When she refused to give up her seat to a white person on a crowded bus, Rosa Parks set in motion the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a cornerstone of the civil rights movement. She has since been a strong advocate for human rights issues. Rosa Parks 1913–2005, American civil rights activist. Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, indirectly led to some of the most significant civil rights legislation of American history. She sought to play down her role in the civil rights struggle but for her peaceful and dignified campaigning she became one of the most well respected figures in the civil rights movements. (1913 -2005) Rosa Parks was an American civil rights leader. Known as “The First Lady of Civil Rights” she is best known for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery.












Eleanor Roosevelt

As a champion of human rights, she strove to further women’s causes as well as the causes of black people, poor people, and the unemployed. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962) Wife of President Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor was a prominent figure during WWII, a skilled writer, politician, and activist. She served as the Chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Commission.










Margaret Thatcher

This politician was the first woman in European history to be elected prime minister. Known for her conservative views, Margaret Thatcher was also the first British prime minister to win three consecutive terms in the 20th century.

Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013) The first female Prime minister of Great Britain, she governed for over 10 years, putting emphasis on individual responsibility and a belief in free markets. Margaret Thatcher was the first woman Prime Minister of Britain. Leading the conservative party, she is known as "The Iron Lady."










Harriet Tubman

This abolitionist was born a slave. She eventually became a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad — a system developed by a secret group of free blacks and sympathetic whites to help runaway slaves get to free northern states. Harriet Tubman led more than 300 slaves to freedom. Harriet Tubman (1820 – 1913) Born a slave, Tubman was the most famous member of the underground railroad.











Oprah Winfrey

An actress and the host of a highly successful talk show, Oprah Winfrey has won several Emmy Awards. She has started her own TV production company and invested in media projects. She has also been a spokesperson for women's health and family issues and for the prevention of child abuse. Oprah Winfrey 1954 –, American chat show host. Oprah Winfrey was the first women to own her own talk show host. Her show and book club are very influential,  focusing on issues facing American women. Oprah Winfrey: Oprah Winfrey is an American Celebrity and icon. She started with a career in journalism, created her own talk show that has won numerous awards and currently has her own syndicated network.











Malala Yousafzai


Malala Yousafzai (1997 – ) Pakistani schoolgirl who defied threats of the Taliban to campaign for the right to education. She survived being shot in the head by the Taliban and has become a global advocate for women’s rights, especially the right to education.










Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene (4 BC – 40AD) Accounts from the Gospels and other sources suggest Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ most devoted followers. Mary Magdalene stood near Jesus at his crucifixion and was the first to see his resurrection.











Jane Austen

Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) – One of the most popular female authors Jane Austen wrote several novels, which remain highly popular today. These include “Pride and Prejudice” “Emma” and “Northanger Abbey”. Jane Austen wrote at a time when female writers were not so high profile, helping pave the way for future writers.











Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910) British nurse. By serving in the Crimean war, Florence Nightingale was instrumental in changing the role and perception of the nursing profession. Her dedicated service won widespread admiration and led to a significant improvement in the treatment of wounded soldiers. An English nurse, considered a pioneering in modern nursing.












Marie Curie

Marie Curie 1867 – 1934, Polish French scientist. Curie was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize and the first person to win the Nobel Prize for two separate categories. Her first award was for research into radioactivity (Physics 1903). Her second Nobel prize was for Chemistry in 1911. A Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)  Wife and political aide of American president F.D.Roosevelt. In her own right Eleanor made a significant contribution to the field of human rights, a topic she campaigned upon throughout her life. As head of UN human rights commission she helped to draft the 1948 UN declaration of human rights. few years later she also helped develop the first X ray machines.







Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir (1908 – 1986) – French existentialist philosopher. Simone de Beauvoir developed a close personal and intellectual relationship with Jean Paul Satre. Her book “The Second Sex” depicted the traditions of sexism that dominated society and history. It was a defining book for the feminist movement.
Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997) – Albanian nun/ charity work. Devoting her life to the service of the poor and dispossessed Mother Teresa became a global icon for selfless service to others. Through her Missionary of Charities organisation she personally cared for thousands of sick and dying people in Calcutta. She was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1979. Mother Teresa is a world iconic woman who performed many charitable acts. Her marks on international charity and helping starving children and children that were victims of conflict are well-known.








Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) Queen Victoria was Britain’s longest ruling monarch and reigned over what is now known as the Victorian era.









Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II 1926 Since ascending to the British throne in 1952, Elizabeth has become the longest serving British monarch. She has witnessed rapid social and economic change and has been a unifying influence for Britain and the Commonwealth.











Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi 1917– 1984, First female prime minister of India. She was in power from between 1966-77 and 1980-84. Accused of authoritarian tendencies she only narrowly avoided a military coup by agreeing to hold an election at the end of the “emergency period” of 1977. She was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards, in response to her storming of the Golden Temple.


marilyn monroe






Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe 1926 – 1962, American actress who became one of the most iconic film legends. Her films were moderately successful, but her lasting fame came through her photogenic good looks and aura of glamour and sophistication.











Madonna 1958, American pop star. Madonna is the most successful female musician of all time. She has sold in excess of 250 million records. She has also starred in films, such as Evita.
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) – British Royal princess who was noted for her humanitarian charity work. Despite troubled marriage to Prince Charles, she was popular for her natural sympathy with the poor and marginalised from society.








Empress of China, 1835-1908, Although only a low-ranking concubine of the Emperor Hs'en Feng, Tzu-hsi rose in status when she bore his only son. At his death, and her son's succession, every decree had to be approved by her. Called the Dowager Empress, she exerted herself into state affairs and refused to give up her regency even when her son came of age. In effect she had the power of a ruler. Tzu-hsi's rule was imperious. She used state funds to build herself a palace and sold posts and promotions. Such acts were resented by some, particularly after the Chinese were defeated by the Japanese in the 1890s.


Under Tzu-hsi's reign, the Western powers forcefully increased their presence in China. After the suppression of the anti-West Boxer Rebellion, Tzu-hsi began a policy of appeasement, allowing reforms and the modernization of the government.







Amina of Zaria,Nigerian Queen, 1560-1610

Queen Amina headed the northern Nigerian Hausa city-state of Zaria. It is thought that perhaps the Hausa were matrilineal people at that time since having a woman as queen was not all that rare. A great military leader, Amina brought most of the other Hausaland city-states into her orbit, and is credited with encouraging them to surround themselves with huge defensive mud walls. She also opened up trade routes to the south, enriching Zaria's economy with gold, slaves and cola nuts.

Legacy of Amina zaria

The introduction of kola nuts into cultivation in the area is attributed to Amina. The Queen Amina Statue at the National Arts Theatre in Lagos State honors her, and multiple educational institutions bear her name. She is widely credited with building the earthen walls that surround Hausa cities. The warrior princess Amina Zarinde character who appears in "Elf Saga: Doomsday" (2014) by Joseph Robert Lewis is partly inspired by the Hausa queen.








Queen of Egypt, 14th Century B.C.

Nefertiti was the powerful wife of Akhenaton, who worshiped a new religion honoring only one God, Aten. She later rejected this religion, backing her half-brother who re-established the old worship of the sun-god Amon. Her beauty was immortalized in exquisite sculptures made at the time.