Each year on March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day, an important campaign that acknowledges the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

This day also serves as a call to action for accelerating gender parity and reminds us of the considerable obstacles women have overcome throughout history. From the suffragette movements that fought valiantly for women’s right to vote to the ongoing battles against gender-based discrimination and violence, women have faced and continue to face substantial hardships in their quest for equality.

Despite these challenges, women have made extraordinary contributions to our society, breaking barriers in every field from science and politics to arts and humanitarian efforts.

Let’s take a look at ten remarkable and influential women from the UK and the USA who have left indelible marks on our world.

  1. Marie Curie – A physicist renowned for her groundbreaking work in radioactivity, Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and remains the only person to have won Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields​​.
    Find out more about Marie Curie here.
  2. Rosa Parks – An activist whose refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus became a pivotal moment in the American Civil Rights Movement, Parks’ courage sparked a city-wide boycott and helped end racial segregation​​.
    Find out more about Rosa Parks here.
  3. Emmeline Pankhurst – A leading British suffragette, Pankhurst’s dedication to the women’s suffrage movement in the UK was instrumental in women gaining the right to vote​​​​.
    Find out more about Emmeline Pankhurst here.
  4. Ada Lovelace – Known as the world’s first computer programmer, Lovelace’s work with Charles Babbage on the Analytical Engine laid the foundation for modern computing​​​​.
    Find out more about Ada Lovelace here.
  5. Florence Nightingale – A pioneer in nursing, Nightingale’s efforts during the Crimean War revolutionised the healthcare system and established nursing as a profession​​​​.
    Find out more about Florence Nightingale here.
  6. Amelia Earhart – The first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Earhart’s daring feats and mysterious disappearance have made her a symbol of courage and adventure​​​​.
    Find out more about Amelia Earhart here.
  7. Queen Victoria – Her reign marked a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and her era ushered in the expansion of the British Empire​​​​.
    Find out more about Queen Victoria here.
  8. Margaret Thatcher – Britain’s first female prime minister, Thatcher’s leadership and policies had a significant impact on both the UK and the global stage, making her one of the most notable political figures of the 20th century​​.Find out more about Margaret Thatcher here.
  9. Clara Barton – Founder of the American Red Cross, Barton’s humanitarian work and leadership in providing medical care during the Civil War established a legacy of compassion and service​​.
    Find out more about Clara Barton here.
  10. Harriet Jacobs – An escaped slave who became an author, Jacobs’ autobiography, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” sheds light on the struggles of enslaved women and advocates for their freedom and rights​​.
    Find out more about Harriet Jacobs here.

Family History Zone celebrates these remarkable women and the countless others who have shaped our world. Happy International Women’s Day!

Image Source:

  • Photo by LSE Library: instant images