Today is 100 years since (some) women gained the right to vote and just two days until Fantastically Great Women Who Made History is published – a perfect opportunity to share with you some further sneaky peeks at five more inspiring women featured in Fantastically Great Women Who Made History who, like the suffragettes, faced danger with bravery and spoke out for change …
1. One of the most successful and brave undercover radio operator working in Nazi occupied Paris during WWII was a young woman called Noor Inayat Khan (a peace loving children’s author turned spy. She evaded capture for over five months, astounding when you consider the average time a radio operator spent sending secret messages before being captured was just six weeks. She was a very unlikely heroine and surprised everyone with her bravery, determination and dedication. I can’t believe a film about her hasn’t been made, it needs to happen!
2. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to be awarded a degree in medicine in 1849, was only admitted to medical school as a joke (none of the male students thought a woman would have the audacity to actually show up). Before being accepted Elizabeth was rejected by over 29 medical schools, just for being a girl. (Because obviously being a girl means you would be completely incapable of being a doctor. Obviously.)
3. The Native Americans didn’t really stand much of a chance against the mechanised weapons being used against them by the incoming colonists from Europe. Pocahontas, a young girl Native American at the time of colonisation had a pretty awful time, being kidnapped and probably forced into marriage but she was able to go some way to show the colonists that her people were, well, just people too. She did this by offering her friendship and kindness in times of great adversity for her and her people.
4. In 1963 Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space, she spent months preparing physically and mentally, not to mention learning how to operate a spacecraft. Those in charge of her mission thought they had every detail covered but one small but very important detail was overlooked … Valentina blasted off into space without her toothbrush! (I’m sure that having slightly fuzzy teeth didn’t take away from the wonder of being the first woman to see Earth from space.)
5. Ada Lovelace predicted that we would one day live in a world where machines would be able to carry out complicated tasks previously only possible with the power of the human mind. It’s remarkable she could imagine a computer when it would be a WHOLE CENTURY before the first one was ever built.