Category: amazing women

Camilla Williams (1919-2012) was a soprano who…

Camilla Williams (1919-2012) was a soprano
who paved the way for African-American musicians in opera. She was the first
African American to receive a contract from a major opera company in the United
States, and the first to sing a major role with the Vienna State Opera.

She was born
in a poor family, but went to study music education at Virginia State
University. She received numerous awards for her performances, and made her debut
with the New York City Opera in 1946. She was appointed Professor of Voice at
Indiana University in 1977, the first African American in the position.

Geneviève Thiroux (1720-1805) was an 18th-cent…

Geneviève Thiroux (1720-1805) was an 18th-century
chemist, novelist and translator from France. She was the author of an
important study on the chemical process of putrefaction.

She was
highly educated in both humanities and sciences, and published numerous French
translations of novels and scientific treaties alike. She published her Essay on the History of Putrefaction in
1766 as the result of over 300 experiments she conducted herself.

Sarah Winnemucca (1844-1891) was a writer and …

Sarah Winnemucca (1844-1891) was a writer and activist for Native American rights. She was a Northern Paiute born in an indigenous community in Nevada.

She went to school in California, and later went on tour throughout the United States to talk about the plight of Native Americans and advocate for their rights. She served in the US forces as a guide, interpreter, and teacher for imprisoned Native Americans. Her 1883 book, Life Among the Paiutes, is considered the first autobiography written by a Native American woman.

Isabella Bird (1831-1904) was an English explo…

Isabella Bird (1831-1904) was an English explorer and naturalist. She was the first woman elected as Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Her first trip was to the United States, after which she travelled to Australia and throughout Asia, travels which inspired a number of informative books. By the end of her life, she had become famous worldwide and was being received by foreign diplomats.

Jennell Jaquays (b. 1956) is an artist and des…

Jennell Jaquays (b. 1956) is an artist and designer of video games and table-top RPGs. She has worked on immensely popular games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Age of Empires and Quake.

She contributed artwork for many beloved games, and designed arcade conversions for others, such as Pac-Man or Donkey Kong. She is a trans woman and the creative director of the Transgender Human Rights in Seattle. Her activism efforts led to the banning of conversion therapy for minors in the United States.

Betty Campbell (1934-2017) was the first black…

Betty Campbell (1934-2017) was the first black head teacher in
Wales. She held this position at the Mount Stuart Primary School in Cardiff.

Born in a
low-income, working-class family, she nevertheless won a scholarship at the Lady
Margaret High School for Girls, which paved her way towards a teaching career.
She was a member of the Commission for Racial Equality and was awarded an MBE
for her services to education.

Domna Samiou (1928-2012) was a Greek folk musi…

Domna Samiou (1928-2012) was a Greek folk musician and
researcher. She not only performed traditional Greek music, but collected and
recorded it for over 50 years.

She worked
in the folk section of the National Radio Foundation and started her musical
career in the early 1970s. A foundation was established in her name in 1981,
aiming to preserve and promote the traditional music of Greece.

Emily Davison (1871-1913) was an English sufra…

Emily Davison (1871-1913) was an English sufragette and member
of the Women’s Social and Political Union. She was famously and tragically
killed when she tried to pin a “Votes for Women” banner on the king’s horse during the 1913 Derby and
was trampled as a result.

Even though
she studied at Oxford, she was not awarded a degree on account of her gender.
She was known in the WSPU for her militant tactics, which led to arrests and
time spent in prison.

Carol Kidu (b. 1948) is a politician from Papu…

Carol Kidu (b. 1948) is a politician from Papua New Guinea.
She was the only female Member of Parliament for two mandates, between 2002 and

She held
the position of Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to do so. Among her
recognitions and awards were the Order of the British Empire, the French Légion
d’honneur (the first citizen of Papua New Guinea to receive this honour) and
the PNG International Woman of Courage Award.

Naziha al-Dulaimi (1923-2007) was a pioneering…

Naziha al-Dulaimi (1923-2007) was a pioneering Iraqi feminist. She was
the first female minister in the modern history of Iraq, and the first female
cabinet minister in the Arab world.

She studied
at the Royal College of Medicine in Baghdad as one of very few female students.
She founded the Iraqi Women’s League and became its first president in 1952,
fighting not only for the rights of women in the country, but for national
liberation and world peace.