Our history is full of examples of bold women, who defied their time , and sometimes even the established order. Strong women who did not want to lower their heads to the abuses of a society that was not yet ready to recognize its true value. Who have struggled to deliver a better future than their contemporaneity to those who would come later.

To date, fortunately, the situation can be said to have slightly improved compared to the past, but we have not yet taken all the necessary steps. Recognizing the value of these women is a good way to celebrate their greatness, so that they can also be an example for those who do not know them.

In fact, we all know very well the names, surnames and virtues of historical figures of the caliber of Napoleon, Charlemagne or Julius Caesar. And yet, when we talk about women who have made history, we risk forgetting or ignoring most of them, segregating them into figures in the background. An example is that of Rosalind Franklin, whose name is almost unknown.

In short, there are many reasons to celebrate the women who changed history .

Let’s discover together 10 women who changed history!

1) Rosalind Franklin

Her name could probably be unknown to most, but Rosalind Franklin is to all intents and purposes a woman who changed history . She was a well-known chemist in her time, who was able to take, thanks to her ability of her with x-rays, the first true photo of DNA . From this I assume that it was composed of a double helix. The photo was stolen without her knowledge and fell into the hands of James Dewey Watson . The latter, thanks to that photo, reached the same conclusions as Franklin, publishing them with his colleague Francis Crick in the journal Nature. In short, Watson and Crick won the Nobel thanks to the photo of her, while she died a few years later of cancer due to x-rays.

2) Marie Curie

In this roundup of women who have changed history we remain for a moment in the realm of natural sciences. Marie Curie was a chemistry and physics scholar who quickly became very well known for her engagement with radioactive substances. She was responsible for the discovery of polonium, so called because of her Polish origins, and of radium which earned her a professorship at the Sorbonne. Thanks to her academic commitment, she too became the only woman in the world (at that time) to have won 2 Nobel Prizes , one for physics and one for chemistry.


3) Margaret Thatcher

Speaking of women who have changed history, one cannot fail to mention Margaret Thatcher . In 1979 she became the first woman in office as UK Prime Minister . She was nicknamed the iron lady because of her firm and determined positions on foreign policy. She managed, during her time in office, to revive the English economy, which was badly in crisis at the time. She remained in office until 1990, when a whole crisis in her party caused her to leave office. She actually marked all the 80s, which were later renamed the Thatcherian era in her honor.


4) Anna Bolena

For the fourth position on this list of women who have changed history, let’s stay a little longer in England. Anna Bolena was certainly one of the most important women in English history , I even challenge the then sovereign Henry VIII. He was married to Caterina d’Aragogna when he met and fell in love with Anna . He proposed to her to become his lover, but she refused, taking leave of the King’s presence without her consent. Henry VIII went so far as to found the Church of England due to the Pope’s refusal to acknowledge his separation from Catherine . Historically this very important passage took the name of Anglican schism. She died beheaded by order of Enrico himselfsince a male heir does not guarantee him.


5) Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks was neither a chemical nor a physical queen, but her story opened the long period of civil strife for African Americans in America. Slavery in America was practiced until 1865, but it leaves very evident aftermath for at least another century. People of different complexions could not sit together on public transport , which in the long run exasperated Rosa. In 1955 she sat in the central seats of a bus, usually “mixed” but with priority for white people. She at the request to move her to give her place to a white refusal . She was denounced and imprisoned, but immediately released, and from that first challenge to power all the peaceful revolts of the following years were born. In short,Rosa Parks is certainly one of the women who changed history.

6) Joan of Arc

A real heroine, a symbol of freedom and justice, Giovanna D’Arco deserves to be mentioned among the women who changed history . We are in France in the 1400s, during the English occupation. A very young Joan of Arc appears in the presence of King Charles VII, saying she had a vision in which God instructed her to lead the French against the invaders. He believed her, set her as a guide to the liberation of Orleans. Her charge, her impetus and determination revived the French troops, starting the Hundred Years War. She was then captured by the British and sentenced to the stake for heresy. After the war, Charles VII rehabilitated her as a French heroine, while her church recognized her as her saint.  


7) Rita Levi-Montalcini

We have seen several international figures, but it is right to focus on our nation as well. In this list of women who have changed history, Rita Levi-Montalcini could not fail to appear . She, challenging the opinion of her father, enrolled in the faculty of medicine, graduating with honors. Today she is one of the most important scientists of the century, awarded with two Nobel Prizes , one in Medicine and one in Physiology. She is responsible for numerous scientific and medical discoveries , the main one of which is the nerve growth factor. She was also the first woman to be admitted to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences .


8) Margherita Hack

Another Italian luminary, contemporary brilliant mind, Margherita Hack was fundamental for the evolution of the astrophysical sciences. She enrolled in the Faculty of Physics in Florence , moving away from the fascist indoctrination of her parents and graduating in 1945. She had a brilliant career in the academic field, reaching the chair of astronomy in Trieste and earning the direction of the astronomical observatory. She became the de facto first woman to direct it. Her career she has hundreds of scientific publications, she engages in politics and had a prominent position as a popularizer . She was a real example of courage and tenacity, reaching heights unthinkable for a woman in the 50s and 60s.


9) Malala Yousafzai

To date, there are numerous countries where rights are still very different between men and women , one of them being Pakistan. Here, for example, women are denied the right to education, due to a Taliban edict. Malala Yousafzai has decided not to lower her head to abuse, becoming an example of a woman who will change history . At the age of 11, she began her battle to obtain the rights denied to Muslim women here. In a text, published by the BBC , you document the fires of girls’ schools by the Taliban . Her battles earned her the hatred of the latter, who even shot her in the head in the middle of the street. And survivedand took refuge in England. She spoke before the United Nations and became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize at 17.  


10) Grace O’Malley

Grace O’Malley’s story is almost unknown to us , but her contribution has been fundamental to contemporary history. We are in the Ireland of 1500, a historical period in which women had a socially recognized and imposed role . This didn’t suit her at all well, she decided to sail the seas as a pirate, founding her own personal clan of hers. She held the British monarchy in her hands, plundering and destroying the ships of their fleet. She was able to gain respect from the men she chose her to be her subordinates , perfectly demonstrating the tenacity that a woman who changes history must have. In the presence of Queen Elizabeth I she does not bow to her, I speak of her in English , demonstrating her open challenge to the English crown.