History is filled with women who have fought hard for equal rights, shattered social norms, and achieved amazing things for humankind. Take a look at these photos of a few of history’s bravest women who did all of these things and more. The world is a better place thanks to them.
Women’s suffrage march in Helsinki, 1905. In 1907, Finland elected the first female MPs in the world.
Jock Semple attempts to remove Kathrine Switzer from the 1967 Boston Marathon, shouting “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!” Women were forbidden from participating, but other runners blocked Semple, and Switzer finished the race.
Staged photo of two women wearing “scandalous” shorts in Toronto, 1937.
Photographer Margaret Bourke-White taking photographs from the Chrysler Building, 1934.
Suffragette march by the National Federation of Women Workers in London, May 1911.
Women of the Black Panther movement, 1969.
Sarla Thakral, 21 years old, the first Indian woman to earn a pilot license.
Russian Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space (1963)
Guerrillas of the FMLN in El Salvador.
Mothers shield their children from German sniper fire in France, 1944.
Maud Wagner, the first well-known female tattoo artist in the United States, 1907.
An actor portraying a Japanese onna-bugeisha, a type of female warrior who fought alongside male samurais (1870s).
Ellen O’Neal, one of the first professional female skaters, 1976.
Freedom Rider and voting activist Annie Lumpkins at the Little Rock city jail, 1961.
A woman hitting a neo-Nazi with her handbag, Sweden, 1985.
French Résistance fighter Simone Segouin, who fought to liberate Paris. August 19, 1944.
Think these women are awesome? It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Tell us about your top female role models and historic figures in the comments below!