7 women who changed the world

All of these women left a mark on
the world that would change people's
thinking for decades -- in some cases
centuries -- to come.
They wrote books that revolutionized
people's view of society; made scientific
discoveries that transformed medicine as we
know it; and brought about laws that shook
up the establishment.
In celebration of International Women's Day
on March 8, Leading Women takes a look at
just seven of the many females throughout
history who changed the world for the
betterment of all.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, author and
anti-slavery campaigner
Harriet Beecher Stowe's best-selling
novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" popularized
the anti-slavery campaign.
The American author's best-selling 1852
novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" helped popularize
the anti-slavery movement.
Legend has it Abraham Lincoln greeted
Beecher Stowe at the White House by
saying: "So you're the little woman who
wrote the book that started this great war,"
in reference to the civil war.
Her novel followed the life of black slave
Uncle Tom, and was the second best-selling
book of the 19th century after the Bible.
Emmeline Pankhurst, led women's
right to vote movement
English suffragettes Emmeline
Pankhurst (center) and her daughter
Christabel Harriette (third from left)
are cheered by supporters after their
release from prison in 1908.
British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst
founded the Women's Social and Political
Union (WSPU), a group known for extreme
forms of protest such as chaining themselves
to railings and going on hunger strikes.
"We are here, not because we are law-
breakers; we are here in our efforts to
become law-makers," she said during a court
trail in 1908.
Sadly Pankhurst never lived to see her dream
become reality, dying three weeks before a
law was passed giving women equal voting
rights with men.
Anne Frank, writer of Holocaust
A portrait of Anne Frank stands in
front of the memorial of Central
Europe's first Holocaust museum in
"What is done cannot be undone, but one
can prevent it happening again" -- Anne
Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl."
The wisdom and wit of 13-year-old Jewish
schoolgirl Anne Frank, written while hiding in
Amsterdam during the Second World War, is
one of the most widely-read books in the
world with over 30 million copies sold.
Her story of life under German occupation is
a powerful record that has been translated
into 67 languages and adapted for both film
and theater, with her home itself turned into
a museum.
Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen
concentration camp in 1945, just weeks
before it was liberated.
Simone de Beauvoir, philosopher
and writer of "The Second Sex"
Simone de Beauvoir's best-selling book
"The Second Sex" is often seen as a
pivotal text in feminist philosophy.
French existentialist philosopher Simone de
Beauvoir's 1949 book "The Second Sex"
became a landmark feminist work.
It analyzed the treatment and perception of
women throughout history, and was deemed
so controversial that the Vatican put in on
the Index of Prohibited books.
"All oppression creates a state of war; this is
no exception," said De Beauvoir, who along
with partner Jean Paul Sartre was one of the
most influential thinkers of the 20th century.
Rosalind Franklin, scientist helped
understanding of DNA
Rosalind Franklin at work in a London
laboratory. Her contribution to the
understanding of the DNA structure
has now been acknowledged, but at the
time did not receive full recognition.
British chemist and x-ray crystallographer
Rosalind Franklin's research was key in
revealing the structure of DNA.
Her x-ray photographs of the double helix
were used by scientists Francis Crick, James
Watson, and Maurice Wilkins, who in 1962
were jointly awarded a Nobel Prize in
Physiology or Medicine for their work on the
DNA model.
However Franklin missed out on a Nobel
Prize herself, dying from ovarian cancer in
1958 at 37.
Billie Jean King, tennis legend won
39 Grand Slam titles
American tennis legend Billie Jean
King during the 1967 Wimbledon
American Billie Jean King was one of the
greatest competitors Wimbledon had ever
seen, taking home a whopping 20 titles.
But she is perhaps best known for a one-off
match dubbed "The Battle of Sexes" against
Bobby Riggs in 1973.
The bespectacled 29-year-old King beat 55-
year-old Riggs in front of a worldwide
television audience of 50 million. She later
went on to form the Women's Tennis
Association and has campaigned for equal
prize money for female players.
Wangari Maathai, founded the
Green Belt Movement
Political activist Dr. Wangari Maathai
founded the Green Belt Movement in
the 1970s.
"When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of
peace and hope," said 2004 Nobel Peace
Prize winning environmentalist Wangari
The Kenyan political activist founded the
Green Belt Movement in 1977 in an effort to
empower rural women who had started
reporting their streams were drying up, their
food supply was less secure, and they had to
walk further than ever before for firewood.
The movement has since spread across the
world, campaigning on climate change and
teaming up with the United Nations
Environment Programme.