Daphne Odjig (1919-2016) was a First Nations artist from Canada. Her efforts were
crucial in bringing native Canadian art to the forefront of the country’s
She started drawing when she was a child, but
first gained recognition for her work in the 1960s, particularly for her illustrations
of traditional Cree communities and people. She opened the first gallery in
Canada to exclusively feature the art of Native Canadians, and co-founded the
Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation in 1973.
Benita Galeana (1903-1995) was a Mexican feminist activist. She was an active campaigner for social justice, women’s rights and
worker’s rights in twentieth-century Mexico.
She was a member of the Unified Socialist
Party of Mexico, and was part of the efforts to regulate the standard
eight-hour working day, and to offer social security to workers. She was also
active in the United Pro-Women’s Rights Front, and fought for female suffrage,
as well as for abortion and maternity leave rights.
Wanjiru Kihoro (1953-2006) was
an economist and feminist activist from Kenya. She was a founder of the
Pan-African women’s organisation Akina Mama wa Africa, which focuses on sexual
and reproductive rights, peace and domestic violence issues.
She studied in
the US and the UK, and founded her organisation in 1985 in London. Among her
other projects are ABANTU for Development, which provides training for African
women, and the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners in Kenya.
Pink (b. 1979) is one of the best-selling music
artists of all time. She has had numerous number-one hits during a career of
more than three decades, and has won three Grammys and seven VMAs for her work.
Her debut single, “There You Go”, was released in 2000 and
immediately made the top-ten of the Billboard Hot 100. Critics and fans have called her ‘the most
trailblazing artist of the pop generation’. She is a vocal animal rights
activist, as well as a campaigner for human rights and LGBT rights.
Tomoko Ohta (b. 1933) is a Japanses scientist,
working in the field of evolutionary biology genetics. She is known as a pioneer
of genetic polymorphism, and the proponent of the nearly neutral theory of
She studied agriculture in Tokyo, after which she moved to
the United States and obtained her PhD from North Carolina State University in
1966. She worked for the Japanese National Institute of Genetics and was later
accepted into the United States National Academy of Sciences as a foreign
associate in evolutionary biology.
Jane Addams (1860-1935) is seen as the founder of
social work and sociology in the United States. She co-founded the American
Civil Liberties Union, and in 1931 was the first American woman to win the
Nobel Peace Prize.
Her activism started in 1889, when she co-founded Hull
House, a settlement house aiming at bringing people of different social classes
together, in Chicago. The house provided services such as a public kitchen, a
social club, or educational opportunities for children. She served as the
president of the International Committee of Women for a Permanent Peace.
Helen Creighton (1899-1989) was a Canadian
folklorist. Over a career that lasted several decades, she collected over 4000
stories, songs and other cultural traditions from all over the country.
She studied in Halifax, and later became the dean of women
at the University of King’s College in the city. She received three Rockefeller
Foundation fellowships to help her collect traditional songs of Canada,
including the popular “Farewell to Nova Scotia”. She was made a Member of the
Order of Canada in 1976.
Marilena de Souza Chaui (b. 1941) is a philosopher
and a founding member of the Workers’ Party in Brazil. She is also a Professor
of Modern Philosophy at the University of Sao Paulo.
She has served as the Municipal Secretary of Culture of Sao
Paulo, and is known for her severe criticism of capitalist models. Her book, What
is Ideology?, is today a mandatory textbook in Brazilian public schools.
Olive Edis (1876-1955)
was a professional photographer who owned a number of studios throughout London
and England. In 1919 she became the first official female war photographer in
She obtained her first camera in 1900, and
opened the first studio in 1905 in North Norfolk. She was one of the first
adopters of the new autochrome technique, an early style of colour photography.
Her subjects included many prominent figures in British history, such as
Emmeline Pankhurst or Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.
Anne Whitney (1821-1915) was a prominent American sculptor. Her works often featured
important historical figures, or depicted her liberal views on abolition or
women’s rights, among others.
Among the subjects of her sculptures were
Harriet Martineau, Lucy Stone and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her works can now be
admired in places such as the United States Capitol, at Harvard, or around
Left: Anne Whitney with her partner, Abby