10 Women Figures I Learnt About in my Travels


To make my trip fulfilling, I make it a point to learn something or the other when I visit particular destinations. And this time, my trips included learning about the most inspiring women that lived in those places and did so much for their people but their names aren’t found in our history books. It is extremely important to learn about these women and what they have done, to what ends they have gone to for people, but still haven’t been recognized the way they deserve to be. Learning about them gives little girls an idea of how much they can endure and how amazing they can become, instead of choosing a life where they aren’t given any options but to bow down to patriarchy. Listed below are those underrated women who did extraordinary things in societies that only expected such things from men.

  1. Ada Lovelace – England

Known as the first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace wrote the world’s first machine algorithm for an early computing machine that existed only on paper in the 1840s. Her accomplishments in mathematics made her a pioneers of not only computing, but of women in science.

  1. Wu Zetian – China

Wu Zetian, referred to in English as Empress Wu, was the first and only female ruler of China. She ruled successfully, the years being the most glorious ones of the Tang dynasty. She invited the most gifted scholars to China to build Buddhist temples and cave sculptures, this is when Chinese Buddhism achieved its high development.

  1. Hypatia – Alexandria, Egypt

Hypatia, who lived in very turbulent era in Alexandria, was the first female mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher whose detailed knowledge still exists. She was a famed lecturer on philosophical topics, attracting a large and loyal audience. A powerful symbol of feminism and intellect, Hypatia later became a victim of a brutal murder in the hands of Christian zealots.

  1. Edmonia Lewis – Greenbush, New York

Edmonia Lewis was the first professional African-American and Native-American sculptor. She saved the money from her first success to sail to Rome, where she mastered in Marble. She earned praise for her works that explored religious and classical themes.

  1. Julia de Burgos – Puerto Rico

Being the first of thirteen children, Julia de Burgos was given a chance to go to school, and learned to love literature from a very young age. She is widely admired as the greatest woman poet of the island, her poems inspiring many a girls, who find in her a precursor for their own identity struggles.

  1. George Sand – Paris

Amantine Lucin Aurore Dupin, best known by her pseudonym George Sand, was an amazing author. Extremely temperamental, creative, feary, and opinionated, she pushed the limits in all ways. Her reputation came into question when she began sporting men’s clothing in public, saying that they were much more comfortable and granted her access to venues from which women were barred, and even went as far as to smoking cigarettes in public, which was claimed to be scandalous for a woman of the upper class.

  1. Zabel Yesayan – Turkey

Zabel Yesayan, a famed novelist, dealt in her novels with the social inequalities between the sexes and inspected the disparity between individual freedom and society’s traditional expectancies. She mentions in her autobiography that her and her friends often got inspired by Düsap’s novels to look for solutions for their own problems in the feminist writer’s works.

  1. Razia Sultan – Delhi, India

Razia Begum was the Sultan of Delhi from 1236 to 1240. She was the only female to ever rule the Delhi Sultanate. Devoted to her empire and her subjects, she established schools, academies, research centres, and public libraries including the works of Hindu philosophers as well as the Qur’an and the Traditions of Prophet Mohammad.

  1. Cecilia Payne – Massachusetts

She was a British-American astronomer and astrophysicist, who, in 1925, proposed the thesis in her Ph.D and explained that there was a relative abundance of Hydrogen and Helium in the composition of stars. She was an inspiration to many as she blazed a trail into a largely male-dominated scientific community.

  1. Edith Cavell – Britain

A British nurse, Edith Cavell is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers in the war from both sides without any discrimination. She was later accused of treason and arrested for helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was executed. Her strong beliefs pushed her forward to help all those in need, one of her well known statements being “patriotism is not enough, I must have no hate in my heart.”

Emmeline Brown is a passionate travel blogger. She shares an uncanny love for food and travel and has been dreaming of exploring the world ever since she took a trip to the Grand Canyon with her parents when she was 13. You can read more of her work in her blogs written for a Dubai travel agency Travelex Travels & Tours