Test Your Knowledge of History's Fiercest Women!

By: Bri O.
Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

From the time of humanity's birth, women have been creating, destroying, inventing, leading, and accomplishing great feats. We know very little about the full history of women's achievements, but there's still plenty of information out there on the women who have managed to make it into the history books. How much do you know about them? Take our quiz to find out!

Who was China's first, and thus far only, female emperor?

After working tirelessly to improve women's rights and social standing, Wu Zetian finally became Emperor in 690 AD, after her son stepped down so she could rule. She is considered one of China's most peaceful and loved emperors.

What speech is Sojourner Truth known for giving at the 1851 Ohio Women's Convention?

Sojourner Truth gave this speech extemporaneously, which means she did it without prior preparation. She is also known for her work as an activist for feminist, anti-slavery, anti-racism, and prison reform causes.

Whose actions set the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott in motion?

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks decided enough was enough, and refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. This led to her arrest and the bus boycott.

Angela Merkel is known for being the first female chancellor of what country?

Merkel was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2015. She's made headlines in recent news over her firm stance when dealing with President Donald Trump.

Who was the first woman to start her own record label?

Mary Lou Williams is considered to be one of the 20th century's most influential jazz musicians. She advanced different styles of music, and worked with other great musicians like Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to do what?

Earhart is presumed to have died when she and her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during her 1937 attempt to be the first person to fly around the world.

Marsha P. Johnson is known for doing what at the Stone Wall riots?

Marsh P Johnson is known for her work as an LGBTQ rights activist and for establishing the first shelter for trans youth and women in NYC. She was murdered in 1992, and her case remains unsolved.

Who worked with Jane Adams to stop the enforcement of segregated schools in Chicago?

She was also cofounder of the NAACP. Ida B. Wells is remembered for her invaluable contributions to suffragist and anti-lynching causes.

Artemisia Gentileschi is known for her work in what profession?

One of her most well-known pieces depicts a woman, presumably Artemisia (herself), hacking off the head of a partially naked man. It is believed this is her response to her rapist being convicted, but still walking free.

Who was the first female self-made millionaire in the U.S.A.?

Madam CJ Walker saw the economic potential of a neglected and untapped market - haircare products specifically for Black women - and she made a fortune filling that gap. Madam CJ Walker user her money and influence to advance philanthropic and activist causes.

Who wrote the renowned feminist work, "The Second Sex" (1949)?

Simone's work has greatly influenced the development of contemporary feminism and is largely considered a major factor in sparking 2nd wave feminism. She had an intimate relationship with the French philosopher, Jean Paul Sarte.

Who was responsible for bringing Egypt and the Roman Empire closer together between 51 and 31 BC?

Cleopatra was the last pharaoh of Egypt. She bore a child with Emperor Julius Caesar. She also spoke nine languages.

For what is Khutulun, the great-great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan, best known?

Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which grew to be the largest empire in history after his death. Many years later, in 1260, Khutulun was born. Her father raised her to be a warrior princess, knowledgeable in politics and military strategy. In order to find a worthy husband, Khutulun decided potential partners would have to wrestle her for the chance at her hand. She beat 10,000 men and won 10,000 horses.

Who is credited with founding the field of atomic physics?

She was also the first woman to ever win a Nobel prize, winning a total or two in her lifetime. Her work with radium and research into radioactivity eventually caused her death.

Who was the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Islands?

Lili 'uokalani is remembered for her dedication and tireless attempts at fighting off American annexation. In 1898, she was removed from power, but continued to work to preserve native culture any way she could.

Nemazir Bhutto was elected as the first female prime minister of what country in 1988?

Bhutto was re-elected in 1993 and served until 1996. Her time in office was considered turbulent, and she survived an attempted coup in 1995. A suicide bomber assassinated Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Whose armada of 1,800 ships and 80,000 men dominated the South China Sea from 1807 to 1811?

Ching Shih's armada easily triumphed over the Portugese Navy, the British Navy, and the Chinese Imperial Navy. She took over control of the armada after her husband died.

Cory Aquino, the first female President of the Philippines, became interested in politics after what major event?

Aquino had not interested in pursuing a political career until her husband, Senator Benigno Aquino, was assassinated in 1983. She ran against the autocratic President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1986 election but was not recognized as the winner until she recieved backing by the Church.

Who was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

She was inducted into the Hall in 1987. Franklin is considered a prodigy, having taught herself to play the piano and then recording her first album at 14 years old.

Who is considered to be the world's longest-serving female Prime Minister?

Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984, after a tenure of 15 years as Prime Minister. She is also credited for the creation of a new state, Bangladesh, as a result of her success in the Pakistan war.

Who was the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court?

She served on the Supreme Court for 24 years and ruled on landmark cases. She was often the swing vote on important issues like abortion, sexual harassment, affirmative action, the death penalty, and election law.

In what Eastern European country did a monarch decide to crown their princess as king in 1184?

Princess Tamar of Georgia was named king after her father died in 1184, and she reigned until 1213. Despite the period's rigid Christian culture, Tamar was somehow able to divorce two husbands, and the Eastern Orthodox church even went so far as to canonize her. It's believed that part of the reason she took the title "King" was because the word for queen in their language implied something like "the less-worthy companion of the king."

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) is known for authoring what best-selling Civil War era novel?

Uncle Tom's Cabin was a revolutionary work for the time period, and Abraham Lincoln credited the novel for helping to spark the Civil War.

Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, was from what country?

In 1963, Valentina orbited the earth 48 times as the first woman in space. Before becoming an astronaut, she was a textile worker.

Which Queen of England is remembered for her triumph over the Spanish Armada in 1588?

Her victory is considered one of England's greatest military achievements. Queen Elizabeth I is also known as the "virgin" Queen because she refused to take a husband. She reigned for 44 years.

Which Russian Empress is infamous for executing a coup against her husband and declaring herself the sole ruler of the country?

Catherine I reigned from 1762 to 1796, making her the longest ruling female in Russia's history. Under her rule, Russia entered into a golden age.

Aung San Suu Kyi spent how many years under house arrest for her efforts to bring democracy to Myanmar?

Her commitment to the cause earned her a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Aung San Suu Kyi has held the position of State Chancellor since 2005.

The writer Betty Friedan is best known for authoring what book in 1963?

Friedan, like Simone de Beauior and "The Second Sex," is responsible for helping to spark the 2nd wave of feminism with her revolutionary writing. She also organized the 1970 Women's Strike for Equality.

Who was the first woman to appear on a news show as a co-host?

Barbara Walters has been trailblazing a path for female journalists since the 1970s.

Who coined the term "womanism," a term referring to Black feminism

Walker coined the term in 1983. She's also known for authoring "The Color Purple" (1982).

Who was the first, and thus far only, U.S. First Lady to run for presidential office?

She was also the first female to serve as Senator for New York. She lost the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, despite overwhelmingly winning the popular vote.

Kimberlé Crenshaw is credited with coining what term in 1994?

Intersectionality refers to the interconnectedness of social categories like class, race, gender, ability, and so on, especially as they relate to power dynamics. Crenshaw is a UCLA Law School professor.

Who was the first woman to earn a medical degree from a U.S. college?

She was rejected by all medical schools in the UK, so she pursued her dreams overseas in the US. This would later inspire her to found a women's medical school.

Who is known for her tireless work as an abolitionist and "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, leading more than 300 slaves north to freedom?

Over the course of 10 years, Harriet Tubman made 19 trips south to escort fleeing slaves on the Underground Railroad. Tubman also contributed to Northern Civil War efforts as a spy and armed scout.

Who was the first woman to be nominated and campaign for the US Presidency?

She, alongside her sister, was one of the first two women to work as stockbrokers on Wall Street. In 1872, The Women's National Equal Rights Party nominated Victoria as their candidate for president.

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