Just a few days ago, on August 26th, we celebrated Women’s Equality Day. The date is significant because it marks the day the 19th Amendment was added to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The amendment was passed by congress in 1919, and ratified in 1920, but it took many years to make it this far, over 40 to be exact. The amendment was first introduced in 1878.
In the last 100 years the everyday life of your average American woman has changed more radically than likely anything else. Less than 100-years-ago woman couldn’t vote, and today they are heading some of the biggest institutions around the globe.
We still have a long way to go to reach true gender equality, for instance men still make more per hour than their equally educated female coworkers, but the progress we have made is promising and a sign of true equality sometime in the not-so-distant future.
As these 22 inspirational women prove, women are capable of anything and everything.
1. Holocaust Survivor hits a Neo-Nazi with her handbag in Vaxjo, Sweden, April 13, 1985.
Photo Credit: Hans Runesson
2. Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education. Taliban shot her in the head at the age of 14, after which she made a miraculous recovery. She is now a symbol of hope and resilience, as well as the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize Laureate.
Photo Credit: An Fam
3. Marie Curie was a polish physicist and chemist. She became famous for her work on radioactivity, winning a Nobel Prize on two occasions.
Photo Credit: mariecurie-usa.org
4. Komako Kimura was a prominent Japanese suffragist; she marched on New York’s Fifth Avenue On October 27, 1917, demanding the right to vote.
Photo Credit: Corbis-Bettmann
5. Mary Winsor protests the imprisonment of suffrage protestors in Washington D.C., 1917.
Photo Credit: Harris & Ewing
6. In 1907 Maud Stevens Wagner was the first and only known female tattoo artist in the United States.
Photo Credit: Library of Congress
7. Female firefighters at Pearl Harbor, 1941.
Photo Credit: Hawaii War Records Depository
8. Bertha Von Suttner was the first woman awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. She was also the first female peace activist.
Photo Credit: Klaus Schaupp
9. In 1967, Katherine Switzer was the first woman to ever run in The Boston Marathon. When the race organizer, Jock Semple, saw her running he tried tackling her in protest.
Photo Credit: Harry Trask
10. Nobel Prize winner Suu Kyi was put on house arrest for a shocking 15-years all because of her pre-democracy campaign.
Photo Credit: Laura Peters
11. Eliza Leonida Zamfirescu was the first woman engineer in the world.
Photo Credit: Anca Haiduc
12. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times photographic archive
13. In 1936, Sarla Thakral was the first Indian woman to fly. At only 21-years-old she earned her pilot license and flew a Gypsy Moth solo.
Photo Credit: Unknown
14. In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova, from Russia, became the first woman ever in space. She rode aboard The Vostok 6.
Photo Credit: Sovfoto
15. Civil Rights Activist Rosa Louise Mccauley Parks, “The Mother Of The Freedom Movement”
Photo Credit: Ioannis Mar
16. In 1907, Annette Kellerman was arrested for indecency for wearing a fitted one-piece bathing suit to promote women’s rights.
Photo Credit: Viktorija G.
17. Ana Aslan from Romania is considered the pioneer of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
Photo Credit: Ivascu Mc
18. This is the most famous photo of Marina Ginesta, a French veteran of the Spanish Civil War. She is standing on top of the Hotel Colon in Barcelona, July 21, 1936.
Photo Credit: Juan Guzmán
19. Muslim woman uses her veil as a shield to cover her Jewish neighbor’s yellow star, 1941.
Photo Credit: Unknown
20. Taramon Bibi is one of two Female Freedom Fighters in Bangladesh.
Photo Credit: যোবায়ের রহমান
21. Voting activist Annie Lumpkins at the Little Rock City Jail on July 10, 1961.
Photo Credit: APictureFromThisDay