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9 Influential Women in History (page 2)

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Updated on Mar 21, 2013

Sacajawea, interpreter, guide

A significant chunk of American history would be out of the books if not for one Native American woman's role as guide and interpreter to U.S. Army volunteers exploring then-uncharted territory in the early 19th century. Sacajawea led Meriwether Lewis and William Clark across the continental United States, across the Mississippi, through the Louisiana territory up to what is now Washington state. And what's more, she did it with a baby strapped to her back, and was probably only in her teens or early 20s. Her skills and bravery can give your little explorer the inspiration she needs to discover more of the world than just her backyard.

Louisa May Alcott, writer, feminist, abolitionist

For the budding writer in your household, Louisa May Alcott's beloved novel Little Women is a timeless tale of American home life that follows the beloved “March sisters”: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Alcott herself began writing from an early age and helped support her family through the success of her novels. A feminist and an abolitionist, she wrote during the height of the Civil War and the rise of modern feminism.

Hillary Clinton, political figure

A model of excellence for your aspiring female politician, Hillary Clinton proved to the world that she's more than the First Lady to former President Bill Clinton. She has served and represented the United States in a variety of positions, including senator of New York and secretary of state; she ended her four-year post as the latter in February 2013. As one of the most highly respected and admired female politicians in the United States, she has used her influence and career to advocate for women's rights at home and worldwide, combat global hunger and support equal rights and democracy around the world.

Venus and Serena Williams, world-ranked tennis players

Women's tennis has long been ruled over by the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus. Between the two, they have won 22 Grand Slam titles and four Olympic gold medals. While they do have a professional rivalry going and have met more than once in a Grand Slam final, they are also very supportive of each other, often staying to watch each other's matches. Serena and Venus not only dominate the women's athletic world, but demonstrate true sisterhood for your little girls. If they aren't in the history books yet, they will be soon!

According to a 1992 study by the American Association of University Women that searched 13 history books published as far back as 1972, women figures made up only 1 percent of all the contents. But the numbers are going up every year, and women are creating history day after day. Today, women make up a historic 20 percent of the United States Senate. They are world leaders in many countries, including Germany, South Korea and Australia. The successes of today are a result of the struggles and efforts of countless women who came before. Encouraging your little lady to find her favorite role models from history is just what she needs to someday become a history-making heroine herself.

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