I am sure we have all seen the magazines at the end of each year that read “100 Most Beautiful Women of 2011”. As you can image that magazine issue is filled with pages and pages of beautiful women. Glamorous, sexy, beautiful women. I can’t say I don’t find myself thumbing through the pages just before I buy my groceries, I do, but I still have to wonder: When did we start putting more of a focus on physical appearance over actual contribution to society and humanity? It’s time we change that. Let’s take a moment to look back over the years at some very influential women of history. There are lists and lists of influential women throughout time, and we can’t go through all of them so this post covers 5 influential women that seem to be on most of the lists others have put together.

1.       Amelia Earhart: Amelia Earhart is not just a well known pilot in US history, but she is a well known throughout the world. She was born in Kansas. She became interested in aviation when she went to her first air show. A year later she had her pilot’s license. Amelia was the second pilot to fly the Atlantic and also set records by flying over the Pacific Ocean. Amelia used her fame in the world of aviation to pilot the woman’s movement. Amelia Earhart was two thirds of the way around the world (trying to set a record for circumventing the globe) when her and her plane when missing. She was never seen after that.

2.       Florence Nightingale : Florence Nightingale was most well known for her perseverance in the fight for better sanitary conditions and health administration reform.  Her fight for better hospital standards started when she was a nurse (one of first women serving in a wartime hospital) during the Crimean War. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross and was the first female recipient of the Order of Merit. Florence Nightingale spent the majority of her life improving public health reform.

3.       Margaret Thatcher: Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain. She started as a lawyer and worked her through parliament until she was elected as Prime Minister.  While in the seat she led GB in their victory of the Falklands War.

4.       Rosa parks: Rosa Parks is most well known for the time she refused to move to the back of the bus for a white passenger. She was supposed to give up her seat and she would not move. She was taken off the bus and arrested. This was a brave move on her part, but it carried a larger impact than she ever anticipated. After she made her stance on the bus it sparked Martin Luther King Jr to lead the bus boycott in Montgomery AL.  Rosa Parks didn’t stop there; she continued to work with groups like NAACP and fight for equal rights.

5.       Joan of Arc: Joan of Arc was also called the “Maid of Orleans”. Joan of Arc led French armies in their fight against the English in the Hundred Year War. She was said to have visions leading her to fight these battles against the English and lead these men. After a lost battle she was captured and sold to the English. The English tried her for witchcraft. She was burned at the stake, and later canonized and is now France’s second Parton.  

Click on this link if you would you like to read about more important women of history?

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