55 Photos of Women Who Shaped Female Empowerment



Women in today’s society are considered equal to men in all aspects. But there came a time when the ladies were treated beneath the norms of  male-dominated society. Through the empowerment of some, they slowly rose up to power and compete with the opposite sex.

These women proved that they are capable of men’s job, and can even rival their skills and aptitude in every field.

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Photo of a female samurai. (c. late 1800s)

Berlin mason in staggering heights. (c. 1900)

Smith College first women’s basketball team. (1902)


Maud Wagner, United States’ first well-known female tattoo artist. (1907)

Annette Kellerman posing in a swimsuit. (c. 1907)

She got arrested for indecency.

A woman suffrage activist protesting after ‘The Night of Terror’ incident.  (1917)

Komako Kimura, a Japanese suffragist at a march held in New York City. (October 23, 1917)

Thirty-three suffrage activists had been arrested and badly beaten by prison guards for allegedly causing traffic.

A Red Cross nurse jotting down the departing words of a dying British soldier. (c. 1917)

First women who took oath in the US Marine Corps. (August, 1918)

Girls delivering heavy ice blocks after conscription of men. (1918)

Leola N. King, America’s first female traffic enforcer in Washington D.C. (1918)

Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim across the English Channel. (1926)

Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean. (1928)

Women roof boxing in LA. (1933)

Photographer Margaret Bourke-White on top of Chrysler Building. (1934)

Sarla Thakral, the first Indian woman to earn a pilot license at the age of 21. (1936)

Marina Ginesta, a 17-year-old communist militant during the Spanish Civil War. (1936)

Dust Bowl’s iconic photo of a pea-picker and mother of seven children. (1936)

Two women strolling in Toronto with their legs exposed in public for the first time. (1937)

Sabiha Gökçen, the first Turkish female fighter pilot. (1937)

A woman enjoying a cup of tea in the German bombing aftermath of the London Blitz. (1940)

The ‘Mum’s Army’ of Women’s Home Defense Corps during the Battle of Britain. (1940)

A Muslim woman uses her veil to cover the yellow star of her Jewish neighbor for protection from prosecution in Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia. (1941)

Ukrainian woman giving water to a captured soldier. (1941)

Female pilots, a.k.a the “Pistol Packin’ Mama”,  leaving their B-17,  (c. 1941 – 1945)

Fire fighting volunteers at Pearl Harbor (c. 1941 – 1945)

Winnie the Welder. (1943)

Winnie, along with 2,000 other women worked in US shipyards during World War II.

Women railroad workers at lunch. (1943)

Wives and daughters of men who were sent to war took the job of operating the railroad stations.

A Dutch woman followed her husband, a German soldier, into captivity of the Allied soldiers. (1944)

Simone Segouin, an 18-year-old French Résistance fighter, during the liberation of Paris. (August 19, 1944)

Parisian mothers shield their children from German snipers. (1944)

Filipino guerrilla Captain Nieves Fernandez demonstrating to a US soldier how she killed Japanese soldiers during the occupation. (1944)

American nurses in Normandy. [1944]

Soviet 3rd Shock Army’s female snipers. (May 4, 1945)

A mother showing a picture of her son to returning prisoners of war in hopes of finding him. (Vienna, 1947)

Afghan women at a public library prior to Taliban’s takeover. (c. 1950s)

Women’s league roller derby skaters held in New York. (March 10, 1950)

A mother playing with her child on the beach. (c. 1950s)

Erika, a 15-year-old Hungarian fighter who fought against the Soviet Union. (October 1956)

Annie Lumpkins, a voting activist, at the Little Rock city jail. (1961)

Afghan women studying medicine. (1962)

Kathrine Switzer the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. (1967)

Despite the efforts of the marathon organizers to stop her, she succeeded in completing the marathon.Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer of the Apollo Project, standing next to the her own handwritten code that was used to take humanity to the moon. (1969)

Women’s Liberation Coalition March, Detroit, Michigan. (1970)

A Los Angeles Police Officer looking after an abandoned baby in the drawer of her desk. (1971)

Jeanne Manford marching with her gay son during a Pride Parade. (1972)

She also founded the rights group “Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays”.

Hell’s Angels gang. (1973)

Ellen O’Neal, a professional female skater. (1976)

Elspeth Beard, the first Englishwoman to circumnavigate the world via motorcycle. [1980s]

The feat took her three years and she covered 48,000 miles in the process.

American astronaut Anna Fisher, the first mother in space. (1984)

A Swedish woman hitting a neo-Nazi protester with her handbag. (1985)

The woman was an alleged concentration camp survivor.

An 106-year-old Armenian woman armed with an AK-47 to protect her home. (1990)

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