Hannah Crocker (1752-1829) was one of the first women’s rights advocates in the
United States. Her 1818 book, Observations on the Real Rights of Women,
was the first book on this topic written by an American.
She was educated at home, in a variety of
subjects, which was uncommon for women at the time. She founded organisations
such as St Anne’s Lodge and the School of Industry, both aiming to provide
education and vocational skills to women.
Mary Styles Harris (b. 1949) is a biologist and geneticist. She has dedicated her career
to researching the health needs of minority communities and providing them with
information and care.
She was one of the first female students at
Lincoln University, where she studied advanced algebra and chemistry, before
moving on to Cornell to study molecular genetics. She has worked as a professor
at several institutions and was the Executive Director of the Sickle Cell
Foundation of Georgia, as well as the President of BioTechnical Communications.
Bayer-Fluckiger (b. 1951)
is a Hungarian-born Swiss mathematician. Her research focuses on algebra and
She obtained her
PhD from the University of Geneva in 1978, after which she was a scholar at the
Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey. She is an executive committee
member of the European Mathematical Society and a recipient of the Maria
Sybilla Merian Award, which she won in 2001.
Carolyn Shoemaker (b. 1929) is a teacher and astronomer. Even though her career in
astronomy began at the age of 51, she discovered over 800 asteroids and 32
comets, once holding the record for most comets discovered by an individual.
She first started working in astronomy at
the California Institute of Technology in 1980, where she made her important
discoveries, including 377 minor planets. She received the Exceptional
Scientific Achievement Medal from the US National Aeronautics and Space
Administration in 1996.
Jeanne M. Holm (1921-2010) was a general in the United States Air Force. She was an
important driving force in expanding the roles of women within the Air Force.
She enlisted in the Army in 1942 and served
in Georgia during World War II. In 1965, she was appointed the director of Women
in the Air Force, and later received its Distinguished Service Medal. She achieved
a number of first for women in the Air Force, becoming the first female
brigadier general and later the first major general.
Cicely Saunders (1918-2005) was an English physician and social worker. She is
remembered for her important role in developing the hospice movement in the
She studied at Oxford, and later at the
Nightingale School of Nursing. In 1967, after years of research into palliative
care, she established the first purpose-built hospice in the world, St Christopher’s
Hospice, in London. She received numerous accolades for her work, including the
1981 Templeton Prize, the world’s highest-value annual prize.
Patricia Lindop (1930-2018) was a professor of radiation biology at the University
of London. She was the organiser of at least 100 meetings where scientist
discussed their nuclear disarmament campaign.
She studied medicine at St Bartholomew’s
Hospital Medical College as one of the first ever female students allowed. For
a period, she worked as a general practitioner, before starting to conduct
research on the effects of radiation on the body and publishing more than 40
papers on the subject. She was an important member and organiser of the Pugwash
movement, which brought together scientists who opposed nuclear weapons.
Begum Sufia Kamal (1911-1999) was a poet and political activist from Bangladesh. She
was a civil society leader in her country and part of the Bengali nationalist
Her literary career started in 1937 and
offered her national visibility. She promoted peace between Hindus and Muslims
in Bangladesh, and later focused on women’s rights, founding the Women’s Struggle
Group in 1969. She received numerous international awards for her activism,
and was the first woman to have a state funeral in Bangladesh.
Erna Hoover (b.
1926) is considered a pioneer of computer technology and telecommunication. Her
most notable achievement is inventing a computerized telephone switching method
which prevented system overload during peak calling times in telephone exchanges.
She studied at Wellesley College, and in 1951 she
obtained a PhD in philosophy and foundations of mathematics from Yale. She
later worked as a professor at Swarthmore College and a senior technical
associate at Bell Labs. Her invention revolutionised modern communication by
facilitating a more robust service for call centers, and she was awarded one of
the earliest software patents for it.
Anna Lindh (1957-2003)
was a Swedish politician, a member of the Social Democratic Party. She served
as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for the Environment.
She served as chairman of the Council of
the European Union in 2001, averting a civil war between Kosovo and Macedonia.
She was a vocal supporter of Sweden joining the Eurozone, and was campaigning
for it at the time of her murder in 2003. A year later, the Anna Lindh Prize
was established to honour a person or an institution fighting for human rights.