Asta Kihlbom

Asta Kihlbom was a university lecturer at Uppsala University, Lund University, University College London and London University, and professor at the University of Oslo and University of Bergen. She is gratefully remembered as the driving force behind Lunds Studentskegård, a women-only student accommodation in Lund, Sweden. Continue reading Asta Kihlbom

Marie Curie

Madame Marie Slodowska Curie, most commonly known as an inspirational scientist or a ‘genius’, but less famously known for being a deep lover, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a patriot, and once a servant.

The whole world knows that she was the first and only woman to receive two Nobel prizes, but much less is known about the nights Marie had to sleep on a cold floor and skip meals to pay her tuition fees; the nights she filled her empty stomach with enthusiasm for science and the days when her words were shushed before they left her mouth because according to society, her words were only meant to sing lullabies to her children, not to describe the wonders of our universe. This woman was not an ordinary woman meant to become an idealistic housewife or live within the social norms of society or bake pies for her husband; she was born to be struck as a lightning bolt that would revolutionise the world of radioactivity and create scientific history. Continue reading Marie Curie

Jeanne Baret

Jeanne Baret (or Barré or Baré) was the first woman to circumnavigate the world, but she was also a talented botanist with a passion for plants.

Jeanne Baret was born to a humble farming family in France in 1740. Not too much is known about her childhood, but at some point young Jeanne developed a keen interest in plants. As she grew older she learnt all she could about the healing properties of different plants and soon became a ‘herb woman’, treating people’s ailments with nature’s medicine. Continue reading Jeanne Baret

Lady Jane Wilde

Long before Oscar Wilde became a household name, his mother, Jane, was a celebrity in her native Dublin and far beyond. A poet, an essayist, an accomplished linguist, a wit, a beauty, a very loving wife and mother, and a campaigner for liberty and women’s rights, she earned a reputation as a fiery revolutionary in Ireland and as a very accomplished translator of key literary works throughout Europe. Continue reading Lady Jane Wilde

Maya Angelou

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, Maya Angelou was an American author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several other books.

I discovered Maya Angelou’s work in a charity shop in Cornwall, I bought the book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and it was a true gift for me. Throughout my life I have read most of her books and poetry and seen her on TV, and in films. It is her universal voice, that connects with so many of her readers. She details the struggles we all encounter, growing up, sexuality, self esteem, being a strong woman, role models, how to survive mistakes that break your heart, living a creative life, motherhood, and finding love. Continue reading Maya Angelou

Margaret Hamilton – One Giant Leap for Womankind

Nearly fifty years ago, Neil Armstrong took his famous first small step on the surface of the moon. Though people all over the US celebrated the monumental historical moment, arguably none were more excited or relieved than Margaret Hamilton, who led the MIT team responsible for the software that made a moon landing possible. Hamilton’s innovation and accomplishments helped pave the way for women in computer science disciplines during a Mad Men like era where women were a huge minority in the field. Continue reading Margaret Hamilton – One Giant Leap for Womankind

Enheduanna

Enheduanna was an ancient high priestess; the very first identified author and one of the earliest named women in history!

Enheduanna lived around  between 2285 – 2250 BCE. She was a princess, the daughter of King Sargon of Akkad. The name we know her by means ‘High Priestess, ornament of the sky/god’, and was given to her when her father appointed her the En-Priestess (high priestess) of the central temple in the Sumerian city of Ur (in modern day Iraq). We don’t know what her real name was. Continue reading Enheduanna

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