Women’s History Month: The power of women

Illustration by Ariel Walter | The Signal

Politics and Activism

Hatshepsut was the first female pharaoh of Egypt.

With her husband’s death and her son too young to take the throne, Hatshepsut was the first female ruler of ancient Egypt to reign as a male. With any pharaoh’s full authority before her, artists portrayed her as male in all her statues and artwork. She legitimized her claim to the throne by calling herself the king and adopting all of the kingship attributes. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest-ever elected congresswoman.

At the age of 28, AOC is the youngest woman to be elected into the House of Representatives, representing the 14th district of New York.

Rashida Tlaib is the first Palestinian American woman to be elected to Congress. 

Talib made history in 2008 by being the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature and became one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, representing Michigan’s 13th congressional District. 

Greta Thunberg started the world’s most significant global revolution for climate change.

At only 17 years old, Thunberg led the largest climate strike in history. Her efforts gained popularity around the globe, and millions began protesting on government property. Thunberg was Time Magazine’s person of the year in 2019.


In Japan, Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world’s first novel

In the 11th century, Shikibu wrote “The Tale of Genji.” The book revolves around a young man’s life and displays the Japanese aristocratic culture, including descriptions of dress, daily life and society. 

Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. 

At only 23 years old, Gorman is an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University. She has read her poetry at President Joseph Biden’s inauguration, written for the New York Times and has three novels in the making. 

Frida Khalo re-defined femininity.

Despite the harsh gender inequality of the 1900s, Frida Khalo broke all social conventions by refusing to alter her features labeled as “masculine” and became, even today, one of the forefronts of the feminist movement. 

Lizzo is an inspirational role model for body positivity.

With her nude album covers, bathing suit posts on social media, and songs revolving around loving one’s skin, Lizzo challenges female beauty standards no matter size, shape or color.  

Selena Quintanilla inspired a generation of Mexican women.

Selena was the first female Tejano artist and the youngest singer ever to win the Grammy Award for  “Best Mexican American Album.” showing America could support and love a woman with brown skin. 

Michelle Obama won a Grammy.

Along with inspiring young women worldwide with her work involving health and women’s education, the Grammys awarded Michelle Obama for “Best Spoken Word Album” for the audio version of her autobiography, “Becoming.” 

Serena Williams won the Australian Open while pregnant

According to an article by Insider, Williams took the pregnancy test while preparing for a marketing event. Noticing something was off with her body, she took the test, finished her makeup, and did not see her test results until hours later.


On average, working women In the U.S. earn 82 cents for every dollar men make. 

America’s wage gap has been hypothesized to result from sexism and white supremacy. Specifically, the devaluing of women and their efforts in the workforce.

Over 2.7 billion women don’t have the same work opportunities as men.

Though women and girls make up more than half of the global population, women worldwide earn 24% less than men. 

According to Forbes, the number of women leaders in the world has doubled since 2005. In their most recent and most influential list, the women elected hailed from 30 countries and were born over four generations.

In the U.S., 62% of all accountants and auditors are women.

Worldwide, the percentage of women studying accounting is 49%, nearly equal to the number of men.

Businesses owned by women of color have more than doubled since 2007.

Over the past nine years, the number of women-owned businesses grew at a rate five times faster than the national average, increasing by a rate of 126%.


One of the highest IQ scores in the world belongs to a woman.

With a recorded score of 228, American author, columnist and playwright Marilyn vos Savant showed the intelligence of a 22-year-old at age ten. 

Women earn the majority of advanced degrees in the United States.

According to a report done by the Council of Graduate Schools, women earned more than half of the doctoral degrees awarded in the United States and made up most advanced degree students at all levels.

Malala Yousafzai opened an all-girls school for Syrian refugees.

Malala was shot three times by the Taliban while seated on her bus ride back from school. When she turned 18, she opened a school for girls in Pakistan, calling on leaders worldwide to provide “books, not bullets.” 

According to Unicef, an extra year of education can help a girl earn 15 to 25% more as an adult. 

Girls who receive access to education improve their own lives and are allowed to improve the lives of their families, children, their economies, and societies. 

Gender inequality is a significant cause and effect of hunger and poverty. 

Estimates show that 60%  of chronically hungry people are women and girls due to the risks of poverty, exploitation and armed conflict. 

Women’s Biology

Every 90 seconds, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth.

These complications are preventable more often than not, but due to gender discrimination, women do not receive the proper treatment.

Women have a better sense of smell than men.

Research shows that women possess a higher cell count than men in their olfactory bulb, the part of the brain responsible for receiving signals of smell from the nostrils. 

Women have more vivid memories than men. 

Psychologists have found that women almost consistently outperform men when it comes to tasks with little to no verbal processing, including recalling certain odors and images. 

Women can see a larger spectrum of colors than men.  

When breaking down color hues, neuroscientists discovered that women could distinguish subtle color gradations more than men. 

Women have more robust immune systems than men. 

Research has repeatedly shown that women possess enhanced capabilities of producing virus-fighting antibodies. 

A clitoris grows throughout one’s lifetime.

The clitoris is the pleasure center of the vulva, with its sole purpose being sexual arousal and stimulation. Those in their forties and fifties have stronger orgasms than they did during their teens and twenties.

The anterior cingulate cortex is more prominent in women than in men.

The ACC is the section of the brain that is responsible for impulse control and decision-making. Since this area is larger in women, they are more likely to consider the consequences of their decisions and perform logic-based decisions. 

The vagina averages a 4.5 on the pH scale, similar to the acidity of a tomato.

According to Healthline, a typical vaginal pH level averages between 3.8 and 4.5.

Women fall in love slower than men.

More than 25% of men fall in love between the first and fourth date. Only 15% of women had the same result. These results are because women are biologically predisposed to be selective when choosing a partner to ensure they reproduce with a suitable mate. 

The word “vagina” is first seen on film in Walt Disney’s production “The Story of Menstruation.

In 1946, Walt Disney Productions produced the ten-minute film with hopes of creating a detailed video to inform young girls about the menstrual cycle, including menstrual flow and feminine health products. Millions of American students watch the film in health education classes around the country.