65 Famous Women in History Who Changed the World

Girl power.

gloria Steinem
(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

Over the years, history has seen countless incredible women. We're talking about the kind of inspirational, powerful heroes who shook up the world as we know it. From women's rights activists and pioneers of racial equality to inventors, scientists, and world leaders, there are plenty of women throughout history who did the damn thing. So even though we're still often faced with blatant discrimination on the basis of sex, real progress has been made. For inspiration that'll drive you to make your own mark on the world, find inspiration in just some of the many women who shifted our culture in meaningful ways.

(If you're searching for more inspiration from badass women, we've gathered a list of female Black History heroes that have gone unsung, and for movie lovers, a list of the best feminist movies of all time.)

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.