Women in History
By Bella Leonard '21
Hatshepsut is the third female pharaoh of ancient Egypt, and the first one to hold full power of the empire. After the death of her husband, and due to the fact that his son was just a baby, she ascended the throne and ruled for 15 years. Her greatest achievement is the building of the temple at Deir el-Bahri, which is still recognized as one of the architectural wonders of ancient Egypt. She is hailed as one of the greatest pharaohs in ancient Egypt, yet her stepson eradicated her from history once he gained leadership. Scholars did not know the depths of Hatshepsut's legacy until 1822 due to decoding the hieroglyphics on the walls of Deir el-Bahri. Her mummy was discovered in 2007, resting in the Valley of the Kings, and is now in the Egyptian museum in Cairo.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) is the second female justice of the United States Supreme Court, and the first Jewish female justice. She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell and graduated top of her class from Columbia Law School. She is also Columbia's first female tenured professor. RBG believed and fought for the concept that law was gender-blind and that all groups are entitled to equality. After 27 years serving as a justice on the Supreme Court, she died due to complications from metastatic pancreas cancer.
Catherine the Great
Catherine II was the Empress of Russia for 34 years and is the country's longest-ruling female leader. She gained power by overthrowing her husband in a coup d'état. During her time as empress, she abolished serfdom in Russia and popularized the early concept of vaccination. She strived to improve Russia's education system, published numerous books, composed operas, and expanded Russia's borders.
Frances Perkins is the first woman to serve on the New York State Industrial Commission, and the first to hold a United States cabinet position. While she was secretary of the New York Consumers' League, she investigated labor conditions and successfully lobbied for state legislature that restricted the hours for women workers to 54 hours a week. She was appointed secretary of labor by FDR in 1933. Her policies shaped the New Deal, and established Social Security and Fair Labor Standards Acts. Without her, we would not have the Social Security benefits we do today.
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