Dangerous Women Throughout History

And by dangerous, we mean autonomous and self-propelled. What could possibly be more terrifying than a woman with her own mind and agenda, determined to achieve it? Here are some favorites we found to give you a boost when you need it:

Queen Kubaba
The first female monarch in history

Queen Kubaba is credited with a 100 year reign, and is the first recorded woman to rule in history — and the only Sumerian queen to rule without a man at her side. In fact, she was referred to as “lugal” (king), and ruled one of the largest regions in ancient Mesopotamia. Before that, however, she made beer in a town called Kish, and history knows her as “the woman tavern-keeper, who made firm the foundations of Kish.” Not a bad trajectory for a brewer.  

More details: https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/queen-kubaba-the-tavern-keeper-who-became-the-first-female-ruler-in-history 

Winifred C. Stanley & Katherine St. George
Drivers of Equal Pay Act

It’s well-known that U.S. President John F. Kennedy passed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, but who was the driving force behind it? What about the women who fought so hard for this to even be considered in Congress?

In fact, the first federal legislation prohibiting payment discrimination on the basis of sex was introduced 19 years before in 1944, by Congresswoman Winifred Stanley from New York. She proposed an amendment to the National Fair Labor Standards Act, but was unsuccessful in getting it passed. 

In 1962, Congresswoman Katherine St. George (who also coined the term “equal pay equal work”), then took up the mantle and proposed this bill twice. The first attempt failed, but the second in 1962 was a success, and signed into law by Kennedy in 1963.

See the full statute here: https://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/equal-pay-act-1963

Angela Cuevas
Creator of Female Eco-Village Nashira

Nashira, an eco-village that is an alternative social model for Colombia, was created by Angela Cuevas in 2003 to empower women to take back their autonomy and control. For Cuevas, the quality of life for the women in her village is the most important factor. Nashira is located in the most fertile valley of Colombia where the farming is organic, and quality of life is the primary goal. With an initial goal to provide free housing for vulnerable women, Nashira now comprises women who are now marrying for love, and where teenage pregnancy has almost been eradicated.

To learn more about Nashira: http://www.nashira-ecoaldea.org/

Dr. Ann Chapman
First woman to lead a scientific expedition to Antarctica

As a limnologist (one who studies inland aquatic ecosystems), Dr. Ann Chapman had the incredible distinction of being the first woman to lead an expedition in Antarctica. In 1971, she led a 3-week biological survey of the frozen lakes in Taylor Valley, which led to Lake Chapman in Antarctica’s Ross Dependency being named after her. 

As one might expect, this New Zealander was quite cheeky, with a hearty disdain for silly rules and a delight in breaking them. This must have delighted her students at the University of Waikato.

We loved this research journal article about Dr. Chapman:

These leading lights of history are wonderful fuel on the days when you feel like you just can’t. When you have no gas left in the tank, we invite you to let their stories fill you up and help you get through this moment. 


Global Round-Up is our Friday collection of interesting tidbits and tools from around the globe, curated to support women founders as they scale their ideas.

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