Why We Need Women's History Month, In One Brilliant Comic

Nailed it.

In celebration of Women's History Month, cartoonist and Tumblr user Rebecca Cohen posted an illustration that remembers some of the most inspiring female trailblazers -- who you may never have heard of.

The comic features tidbits about the lives of six historical women, all of whom influenced the cultures they lived in. But it's really the last line of the comic that stands out.

While true pioneers, many of these women are unfortunately not household names. So in the spirit of Women's History Month, we took a bit of a deeper look at their lives:

1. Fatima Al-Fihri (800 AD-880 AD)

Fatima Al-Fihri founded the oldest operating university in the world, according to Scientific American. Al Qarawiyyin, the name of the university, was founded in 859 C.E. in Fes, Morroco and has become a leading educational center in the Muslim world.

DEA / 2 P via Getty Images

2. Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973)

A suffragist, pacifist and congresswoman, Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She served two terms in the House of Representatives, and helped pass the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote.

FPG via Getty Images

3. Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000)

Once hailed as "the most beautiful woman in the world," Hedy Lamarr was a Hollywood star and inventor of what we now know as wi-fi. Interested in combatting the Nazis in the 1940s, she and co-inventor George Antheil developed a frequency-hopping system that prevented classified messages from being intercepted.

Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

4. Bessie Coleman (1892-1926)

Meet Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to earn a pilot's license. In the early 20th century, many flying schools in the United States admitted neither women nor blacks. Eager to be a pilot, Coleman moved to France to earn her license and became a pro in stunt flying. She performed her first public air show in 1922.

Fotosearch via Getty Images

5. Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)

Rosalind Franklin was a British chemist whose X-ray diffraction studies led to the understanding of DNA structure. Her X-ray crystallography images of DNA led scientists Francis Crick and James Watson to develop their famous model of DNA, which they received a Nobel Prize for in 1962.

Universal History Archive via Getty Images

6. Ching Shih (1775-1844)

Ching Shih was a well-known Chinese prostitute who became a successful pirate lord in the early 19th century. She controlled the Red Flag Fleet, one of the most powerful pirate coalitions in China.

Go To Homepage

Before You Go

Books By Women For A Feminist Bookshelf