activists women leaders

Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller was the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. Her administration founded the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department to improve the lives of Native Americans. Mankiller was born in 1945 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Her great-grandfather was one of over 16,000 Native Americans and enslaved Africans who were …

women leaders

Liliuokalani

Liliuokalani was Hawaii’s first queen and final sovereign ruler before the islands were annexed by the United States in 1898. Liliuokalani was born Lydia Kamakaeha in 1838 in Honolulu, Hawaii to the High Chieftess Analea Keohokālole and High Chief Caesar Kaluaiku Kapaʻakea. Her mother served as an adviser to King Kamehameha III. Liliuokalani was educated …

activists feminist human rights politics women leaders

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was a Nigerian teacher, feminist and political leader who was the leading advocate of women’s rights in her country during the first half of the 20th century. Ransome-Kuti was born Frances Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas in 1900 in Abeokuta, Egbaland (now Nigeria). She became the first female student at the Abeokuta Grammar School, …

women leaders

Queen Nzinga Mbande

Queen Nzinga Mbande was a 17th-century African ruler of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people in Angola. She fought fearlessly to resist the Portuguese who were attempting to colonise the area at the time. Nzinga was born in 1583 to Ngola (King) Kiluanji and Kangela. She was named Nzinga because her umbilical …

politics women leaders

Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi was the first female Prime Minister of India and central figure of the Indian National Congress party. She was assassinated in 1984. Gandhi (born Indira Nehru) was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru was one of the chief figures in India’s campaign for independence from Britain along with her grandfather Motilal Nehru. …

politics women leaders

Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto was a Pakistani politician who became the first woman leader of a Muslim nation in modern history. She was assassinated in 2007. Bhutto was born in Karachi, Pakistan former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was from Sindhi Rajput ethnicity and Begum Nusrat Ispahani, of Iranian Kurdish descent. Bhutto’s mother’s Kurdish culture played …

women leaders

Ching Shih

Ching Shih was a prominent pirate in Qing China who terrorised the South China Sea in the early 19th century by controlling the infamous Red Flag Fleet. Ching Shih was working as a prostitute on a floating Canton brothel in 1801 when the Pirate Cheng I either proposed they marry, or he sent pirates to …