Aasta Hansteen (1824-1908) was a
writer, painter and feminist from Norway. She was famous for her work even
during her lifetime, and at one point was the only portrait artist in Oslo.
In addition to painting, she wrote for newspapers
and contributed to the women’s rights movement in her country, as an active
member of the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights.
Begum Rokeya (1880-1932) was an
author and social activist in British India, today Bangladesh. She is
considered a pioneer of women’s rights and female education on the Indian subcontinent.
She has written extensively, both fiction and
nonfiction, advocating for equal treatment of the genders and better
educational opportunities for women. In 1909 she founded the first school for
Bengali Muslim girls in Kolkata, and in 1916, the Muslim Women’s Association,
an organisation which fought for equal education and employment rights.
Amanda Vickery (b. 1962) is an English
historian and professor. She teaches early modern history at Queen Mary,
University of London.
She holds a PhD in modern history from the
University of London and has won several prizes for her work, including the
Whitfield Prize or the Wolfson History Prize. She is also well known for hosting
a series of BBC history programmes, such as Story
of Women and Art, which was shortlisted for a Scottish Bafta.
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (b. 1958) is the
current president of Malta, the youngest person and the second woman to hold
this position. She has been in office since 2014.
She has a degree in Legal and Humanistic Studies
and a public notary diploma. In 2014, after taking over the presidency of the
country, she established The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of
Society, a non-profit organisation aimed at promoting social inclusion and
higher living standards.
Badmann (b. 1966)
is a Swiss triathlete. She was the first European woman to win the Ironman Triathlon
World Championship, which she achieved for the first time in 1998.
Aside from being a professional athlete, she
is also a social worker in Switzerland. She won the Ironman Championship on six
occasions between 1998 and 2005.
Cabot Agassiz (1822-1907)
was a pioneer of female education and academic endeavours. Among other
accomplishments, she was the co-founder and first president of Radcliffe
In 1869 she became one of the first female
members of the American Philosophical Society. From 1879 onwards, the so-called
“Harvard Annex” for female education grew under her care to become Radcliffe College
and offer women the same academic possibilities as men.
an LGBT rights activist. Although not queer herself, she supported her gay son
in a tumultuous time for the LGBT community, and helped numerous others obtain
acceptance and rights.
She participated in the 1972 Pride March in
New York supporting her son, and the sign she was carrying inspired the
creation of PFLAG – Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She was
posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for her activism.