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40 Powerful Photos Of Women Who Changed History Forever

These women have changed history forever by being strong, brave, and human, regardless of society’s expectations for them.

 

1 A Muslim woman covers the yellow star

A Muslim woman covers the yellow star of her Jewish neighbour with her veil to protect her from prosecution. Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia. [1941]

 

2 first well know female tattooist

Maud Wagner, the first well know female tattooist in the United States. [1907]

 

18 year old French Résistance fighter

18 year old French Résistance fighter, Simone Segouin, during the liberation of Paris. [19 August 1944]

 

5 Afghan women at a public library

Afghan women at a public library before the Taliban seized power. [c. 1950s]

 

6 Annette Kellerman posing in a swimsuit

Annette Kellerman posing in a swimsuit that got her arrested for indecency. [c. 1907]

 

first Indian woman to earn a pilot license

Sarla Thakral, 21 years old, the first Indian woman to earn a pilot license. [1936]

 

7 The first women’s basketball team

The first women’s basketball team from Smith College [1902]

 

8 Photograph of a samurai warrior

Photograph of a samurai warrior. [c. late 1800s]

 

9 106-year old Armenian woman protecting her home with an AK-47

106-year old Armenian woman protecting her home with an AK-47. [1990]

 

10  Swedish woman hitting a neo-Nazi protester

A Swedish woman hitting a neo-Nazi protester with her handbag. The woman was reportedly a concentration camp survivor. [1985]

 

11 Voting activist Annie Lumpkins at the Little Rock city jail

Voting activist Annie Lumpkins at the Little Rock city jail. [1961]

 

12 Members of the Hell's Angels gang

Members of the Hell’s Angels gang. [1973]

 

13 Girls deliver heavy blocks of ice

Girls deliver heavy blocks of ice after male workers were conscripted [1918]

 

14 a prominent Japanese suffragist

Komako Kimura, a prominent Japanese suffragist at a march in New York. [October 23, 1917]

 

15 a 17-year-old communist militant

Marina Ginesta, a 17-year-old communist militant, overlooking Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. [1936]

 

16 the first mother in space

Anna Fisher, “the first mother in space” [1980s]

 

17 A woman suffrage activist protesting

A woman suffrage activist protesting after “The Night of Terror.” [1917]

 

19 Two women show uncovered legs in public

Two women show uncovered legs in public for the first time in Toronto. [1937]

 

20 Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White, a photographer, climbing the Chrysler Building. [1934]

 

21  first Englishwoman to circumnavigate the world by motorcycle

Elspeth Beard, during her attempt to become the first Englishwoman to circumnavigate the world by motorcycle. [1980s]

 

22 Winnie the Welder

Winnie the Welder. [1943]

 

23 Jeanne Manford marches with her gay son

Jeanne Manford marches with her gay son during a Pride Parade. [1972]

 

24 first female fighter pilot.

Sabiha Gökçen of Turkey poses with her plane, in 1937 she became the first female fighter pilot.

 

25 A captured Soviet soldier is given water

A captured Soviet soldier is given water by a Ukrainian woman after being captured. [1941]

 

26 A mason high above Berlin

A mason high above Berlin. [c. 1900]

 

27 Railroad workers at lunch

Railroad workers at lunch. Many were the wives and even mothers of the men who left for war. [1943]

 

28 Some of the first women sworn into US Marine Corps

Some of the first women sworn into US Marine Corps. [August, 1918]

 

29 first professional female skaters

Ellen O’Neal, one of the first professional female skaters. [1976]

 

30 Parisian mothers shield their children

Parisian mothers shield their children from German sniper fire. [1944]

 

31 Captain Nieves Fernandez

Filipino guerilla, Captain Nieves Fernandez, shows a US soldier how she killed Japanese soldiers during the occupation. [1944]

 

32  a German soldier

A Dutch woman refuses to leave her husband, a German soldier, after Allied soldiers capture him. She followed him into captivity. [1944]

 

33  first woman to swim across the English Channel

Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel. [1926]

 

34 Aviator Amelia Earhart

Aviator Amelia Earhart after becoming the first woman to fly an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. [1928]

 

35 Afghan women studying medicine

Afghan women studying medicine. [1962]

 

36 pea-picker and mother

The iconic photo of a concerned pea-picker and mother of seven children during the Dust Bowl. [1936]

 

37 Women's Liberation Coalition March

Women’s Liberation Coalition March, Detroit, Michigan. [1970]

 

38 A Los Angeles Police Officer

A Los Angeles Police Officer looks after an abandoned baby in the drawer of her desk. [1971]

 

39 America's first female traffic cop

Leola N. King, America’s first female traffic cop, Washington D.C. [1918]

 

40 Erika

Erika, a 15-year-old Hungarian fighter who fought for freedom against the Soviet Union. [October 1956]

 

41 American nurses land in Normandy

American nurses land in Normandy. [1944]

 

first woman to run the Boston Marathon

Kathrine Switzer becomes the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, despite attempts by the marathon organizer to stop her. [1967]