Amazing women from the past
Did you know a woman invented computer programming? History’s full of incredible women who made a real difference – and were often punished for it. Even today, we hear little about them. Meet nine world-changing women!
Born into slavery, Tubman escaped her abusive owners to become an abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army. She demonstrated incredible courage throughout her life, building an underground network to liberate slaves. She was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, and an active suffragist. (1822 – 1913)
The mathematician who designed the code for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, Lovelace is now regarded as the inventor of computer programming. (1815-1852)
Trota de Salerno
12th-century Italian medical practitioner and writer. Specialising in women’s medicine, she was so highly regarded that she was referred to as “magistra”, the feminine form of “master” (doesn’t translate as ‘mistress’.) Her fame spread throughout Europe – this at a time when women were suppressed and excluded from the professions.
Founded the world’s oldest university (in Morocco)
Elected to the US Congress four years before American women got the vote
Film star and radar engineer
African-American air pilot (1921)
Discovered the double-helical structure of DNA
Fearsome pirate captain whose vast fleet terrorised the China Sea (1775–1844)