A Celebration of Women's Achievements

How many of these historically important women did you learn about when you were growing up?

  • The world's first novelist, author of The Tale of Genji, and through that work, arguably the most influential cultural figure in the long history of Japan, Lady Shikibu Murasaki (987-1016)
  • A person that The Washington Post compared to Beethoven and Bach and that The New York Times called "a Renaissance figure before the Renaissance," the composer, physician, dramatist, theologian, Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
  • The person for whom the Pentagon named its computer language "Ada," the world's first computer programmer, who worked, incredibly enough, in the first half of the 19th century, the largely self-taught mathematician, Ada Byron Lovelace (1815-1852)
  • Director of over 700 films and of the world's first synchronized sound film in 1907 (21 years before the usually officially given advent of sound in 1928), and arguably the world's first maker of fiction films, Alice Guy Blaché (1873-1965)
  • Author of the first draft document that became the League of Nations, forerunner of the United Nations, the novelist, feminist, and anti-Fascist activist, Virginia Woolf (1882- 1941)
  • One of the co-authors of works attributed to the German playwright Bertolt Brecht, the Danish novelist, actress, theatrical photographer, the anti-Fascist fighter, Ruth Berlau (1906-1973)
  • Women in the Philippines who, in the face of machine guns and tanks, led the overthrow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
  • The creator of an alternate measure of economic activity -- most women's work around the globe is not now reported if it is not exchanged for cash -- the economist, Marilyn Waring