10 Most Influential Women. Biography

A list of the 10 most influential women in the world today.

It is hard to select a top 10, but these women have all had a significant influence on different aspects of life and people today. Some as writers, some as role models, some for their achievements.

1. Mother Teresa (1910-1997) – Mother Teresa devoted her life to serving the poor and disadvantaged. She is an example of selfless charity and has inspired many to be more charitable and selfless themselves. Her philosophy was to act with love, and even smallest acts could have a big influence.

2. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) – Eleanor Roosevelt was the wife of American president F.D.Roosevelt. She also campaigned for universal human rights. She was head of the UN human rights commission which drafted the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights. This is a framework for the greater importance of human rights issues in the post-war period.

3. Marie Curie (1867-1934) – Marie Curie was the first women to receive the Nobel Prize, and she went on to be awarded a Nobel Prize for both Chemistry (1911) and Physics (1903). Her achievement was more remarkable given the limited number of women admitted into science in that era. Marie Curie’s discoveries played an important role in the development of radioactivity and the X-Ray.

4. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) – Susan Anthony was an active campaigner against slavery and for the promotion of women’s and workers rights. She played a key role in changing attitudes during the Nineteenth Century. Supported by many other supporters, she helped lay the groundwork for later laws which gave women the vote and greater rights.

5. Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was an American women’s rights advocate. Her book Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845) was influential in changing perceptions about men and women and was one of the most important early feminist works. She argued for equality and women being more self-dependent and less dependent on men. Although she was not a political activist, her works and writings were influential in shaping later activists.

6. Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) – Princess Diana combined the appeal of a Royal princess with her humanitarian charity work. Although her marriage to Prince Charles was overshadowed by affairs on both sides, her popularity remained undimmed as many were inspired by her natural sympathy with the poor and mistreated.

Oprah_winfrey 7. Oprah Winfrey (1954 – ) Influential talk show host, Oprah Winfrey has had a profound influence on American culture in the past few decades. Through her books and talk show, she has a raised a whole range of issues, such as spirituality and self-improvement.

8. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) – Mary Wollstonecraft wrote a very significant book in the early feminist movement. “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” was one of the earliest examples of a book which laid a very clear framework for extending political and human rights to women. Her ideas were radical at the time but would become increasingly accepted in later centuries.

9. Rosa Parks (1913-2005) – Rosa Parks played a key role in the American civil rights movement. Her refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus led to a nationwide campaign against apartheid in southern states. She became a leading figurehead and spokesperson for equality and the promotion of civil rights.

10. J.K.Rowling (1965 – ) J.K.Rowling is the author of the phenomenal best selling Harry Potter series. The volume of sales was so high, it has been credited with leading a revival of reading by children. She wrote the first book as a single mother, struggling to make ends meet, but is now one of the most successful self-made women.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan “10 Most Influential women”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net. Published 11 June 2013. Last updated 6 February 2018.

100 Women Who Made History

    • 100 Women Who Made History – at Amazon

Related pages

Mariecurie Women who changed the world – Famous women who changed the world. Features female Prime Ministers, scientists, cultural figures, authors and royalty. Includes; Cleopatra, Princess Diana, Marie Curie, Queen Victoria, and Joan of Arc.

Mary_Wollstonecraft_cph.3b11901 Women’s Rights Activists – Women who championed the cause of women’s rights. Including Mary Wollstonecraft, Emily Pankhurst, Susan B.Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

women Female biographies – A list of 100 famous women from Sappho and Cleopatra to Marilyn Monroe and Angela Merkel.