5 Great Women Of History – Do You Know Them All?
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. … It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Woman; a female human being. The percentage of women that is female, varies across the world. According to calculations in 2017, the percentage of of the world composed of women is roughly 49.6%.
Do you want History to remember you for a life well lived? Then look to any one of these 5 women and take your cue!
1. Fatima Jinnah (1893-1967)
Fatima Jinnah, popularly known to us by the name of Madar-e-Millat was the younger sister of the founder of our country Quaid e Azam. She was a degree holder in Dental Surgery but she was also one of the leading founders of Pakistan.
Moreover in the 1960s, Fatima Jinnah returned to politics and ran for the Presidency of Pakistan as a candidate for the Combined Opposition Party of Pakistan (COPP). It is said that her vision for Pakistan’s future was similar to the one promoted by her brother, Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
2. Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)
Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and an author. In 1928, she became the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Earhart was also a change-maker at heart and known for encouraging women to reject constrictive social norms and to pursue various opportunities. In 1929 she helped found an organization of female pilots that later became known as the Ninety-Nines. Earhart served as its first president. In addition, she was quite the entrepreneur in times where women did not venture into their own enterprise, and debuted a functional clothing line in 1933, which was designed “for the woman who lives actively.”
An annual event since 1996 is held in her memory every year in Atchison, Kansas. Also there is a bridge named after her called the “Amelia Earhart bridge” located in Atchison, Kansas.
3. Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)
Indira Gandhi was the first female prime minister of India. She was an Indian politician and a vital figure of the Indian National Congress. She was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, first prime minister of India. Indira Gandhi was the second longest serving Indian prime minister, after her father. She also went to University of Oxford for higher studies.
Despite losing the elections in 1977, she was victorious once again in 1980 and returned as Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi was assassinated in October 1984. In 1999, Indira Gandhi was named “Woman of the Millennium.”
4. Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan (1905-1990)
Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali was the First Lady of Pakistan from 1947 to 1951 as the wife of Liaquat Ali Khan who was the 1st Prime Minister of Pakistan. She was appointed as the Governor of Sindh Province, and took oath on 15 February 1973. Ra’ana was the first woman Governor of Sindh as well as first Chancellor of University of Karachi.
She participated actively in all the major movements of her time—the freedom struggle, the Pakistan Movement and the fight for women’s empowerment. She was one of the supreme woman politicians and she was also one of the leading woman figures in the Pakistan Movement. Unlike many first ladies, she did not remain a ceremonial figure. She joined the government as the minister for minorities and women’s affairs in her husband’s cabinet.
She founded Pakistan Women National Guards (PWNG), and also helped establish the Pakistan Woman Naval Reserves in the Navy. After her husband’s death she was appointed as the ambassador of Pakistan in Netherlands. She received many awards one of them is Nishan-e-Imtiaz and she was also known by the name of “Mader-e-Pakistan.”
5. Katherine G. Johnson (1918-2020)
Our last but not the least of 5 great women of History is Creola Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician. If 1960s was a time of Space innovation, women can take inspiration from Katherine Johnson’s mathematical genius. She was one of part of a team behind the complex calculations that helped us fly into space for the first time.
These women led their lives and forged ahead, following their passion, paving they way for many more women at a time when Feminism was hardly a ‘Thing’ to be discussed – their struggle marked many firsts in an era when women were not brought to the table as decision makers – yet they made decisions and changed the game for many more women to come – Know them, learn from them, and be them!
I had no idea that Pakistan had a female governor of one of their provinces! My daughter is turning 10 and I want to help inspire her by showing her some stories from women of the past. I think it’s so important to teach little girls about the powerful women who came before them!