Margaret Sanger was an American writer and sex educator. She is credited with popularizing the term birth control. A birth control activist, Sanger established the first birth control clinic in America. She also set up organizations that later became the well-known non-profit organization Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She also played a key role in legalizing contraception in the US.
Civil rights activist and educator Betty Shabazz, or Betty X, was the wife of Black nationalist leader Malcolm X. Raised by her adoptive parents in Detroit, she met Malcolm X at a Nation of Islam event in Harlem. She died when her apartment was set on fire set by her grandson.
Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, businesswoman, and healer. She played a major role during the Crimean War, providing aid for wounded servicemen and nursing them back to health. In 1991, Seacole was posthumously honored with the Jamaican Order of Merit. In 2004, she was named the greatest black Briton for her contribution during the war.
12 Nancy Wake
Initially a journalist, Nancy Wake earned the nickname The White Mouse for her skilful spying on Germans. Working under the alias Helene for the SOE, the stiletto-wearing socialite earned respect for her 500 km bicycle ride to report a situation to London, while being chased by the Nazis.
15 Anita Cobby
20 Evelyn Mase
Elizabeth Kenny was an Australian bush nurse. A self-trained nurse, Kenny pioneered a new and then-controversial method to treat the victims of poliomyelitis. Her method, which she advocated enthusiastically, became the foundation of physiotherapy. Her life and career inspired the 1946 American biographical film Sister Kenny, in which she was played by Rosalind Russell.
23 Sue Johanson
25 Mimi Smith
An unwed mother in her late teens, Philomena Lee was forced to hand over her son to Irish nuns, who then sold her off to be adopted by an American Catholic family. Author Martin Sixsmith’s book on Philomena’s journey, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, was later made into an Oscar-nominated film.
28 Rena Owen
31 John of God
John of God was a Portuguese soldier who spent most of his time in Spain as a health-care worker. He is remembered for inspiring the creation of a Catholic religious institute called the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God, which was established by his followers. The institute aims at helping the sick, poor, and those suffering from mental illness.
32 Suze Randall
Suze Randall is an English photographer, model, and pornographer. Randall worked as a staff photographer for Hustler and Playboy, becoming the first woman staff photographer for both the publications. In 1980, she directed a pornographic film titled Kiss and Tell, becoming one of the earliest woman porn film directors. Suze Randall has also modeled for magazines like Hustler and Playboy.
35 Nella Larsen
39 Lillian Wald
41 Li Shuxian
46 Sahra Noor
English ethnographer and traveler Mary Kingsley was the daughter of renowned physician and traveler George Kingsley and the niece of Charles Kingsley. Unlike girls of her era, she was well-educated and later ventured on an exploratory trip to West Africa, becoming the first European to enter remote areas such as Gabon.