The Impact of Women in History

A female colleague of mine was telling me the other day that she was not that interested in history because women did not seem to play that big of a role. I informed her that the impact of women in history was actually profound, and that she might want to take a closer look.

When I think of women in history, the first one that comes to mind is Nefertiti. She, of course, was the wife of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten. She and her husband were famous for starting a religious revolution of sorts in ancient Egypt, by worshiping only one god, Aten. There is also the fact that her bust has become one of the most famous and most replicated in world history.

Keeping with the Egyptian theme, we have Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt. Cleopatra was a direct descendant of Alexander the Great’s general, Ptolemy I. She had notable relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. She led Egypt for three years and was one of the earliest examples of a woman ruling an empire.

Probably the most famous female historical figure would be Joan of Arc. This was a teenage girl who claimed to receive divine guidance and led the French to victory in a number of battles during the Hundred Years War. She was eventually captured and burned at the stake. She has been beatified by the Catholic Church, is regarded as a national hero in France and is widely regarded as the most famous of all of the women in history.

One of my personal favorites is Madam Curie. A chemist, Curie won the Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry and did important work in the area of radioactivity. She is one of the women that I always remember learning about in school, and someone that had a tremendous impact in the world of chemistry.

There have been so many women in history who have served as queens, princesses and other heads of state, it is hard to remember them all. There have also been infamous women, such as Lizzie Borden and Bonnie Parker, and great women writers and musicians, such as Jane Austin, Emily Dickinson and Fanny Mendelssohn.

Women in history have had an important impact on the world’s development, and I think that is something that needs to be acknowledged. While they may not be quite as visible as their male counterparts, all one has to do is look into books on famous women in history and it is easy to see what women have contributed to the world’s history.

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