Mary Edwards Walker

220px-Mary_Edwards_WalkerMary Edwards Walker
(November 26, 1832 – February 21, 1919)

As of 2015, she is the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. Prior to the American Civil War, she earned her medical degree and later volunteered with the Union Army serving as a surgeon. Captured by Confederate forces after crossing enemy lines to treat wounded civilians, Walker was arrested as a spy. She served as a prisoner until released in a prisoner exchange.

Dolores Price

Dolores Dolours-Price-youngPrice
A former member of a secret I.R.A. unit called the Unknowns, that conducted clandestine paramilitary work, including disappearances. Price became the first woman admitted to full membership in the I.R.A. in 1971 when she was twenty. She went to prison for a 1973 London bombing that injured 200 people.

Tabassum Adnan


Tabassum Adnan
(b. 1977)

Tabassum Adnan, from Swat Valley, founded the first-ever women-only Jirga in Pakistan. She was awarded the 2015 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award in recognition of her services of women’s rights.

Nazik al-Abid

al-AbidNazik al-Abid

Nazik al-Abid resisted the French Occupation of Syria by joining the Syrian Army as a captain. She fought in the infamous battle of Maysalun and as a result her colonizers sentenced her into exile in Istanbul for two years. She continued to resist the French and was later exiled to Jordan. Al-Abid also championed women’s rights printing her own women’s magazine, “Nour Al Faiha’a” and establishing the Damascene Women Club.

Alice (Auma) Lakwena

alice_lakwenaAlice (Auma) Lakwena
(1956 (?) – 2007)

Lakwena was a warrior priestess and rebel leader in Uganda who’s Holy Spirit Movement (HSN) was the precursor to Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The mission of the HSN was to rebel against Ugandan Government forces and in doing so purify Uganda and restore Acholi glory. When HSN forces were defeated in 1987, Lakwena fled to Kenya. Many of her followers joined the insurgent Lord’s Resistance Army under Joseph Kony, who claimed to be her cousin. Lakwena died in Kenya in 2007 after a long illness.

Rebiya Kadeer

220px-Rebiya_Kadeer_(2)Rebiya Kadeer
(b. 1946)

Rebiya Kadeer is an ethnic Uyghur, businesswoman, former Chinese parliamentarian and an activist advocating for Uyghur autonomy. Charged with and found guilty of leaking state secrets, she was imprisoned for six years in China. Kadeer is now based in Washington, DC and runs the World Uyghar Congress.

Flora Sandes

Flora SandesFlora Sandes

Born in Britian, Sandes was the only woman to officially serve as a soldier in the First World War. Trained as a nurse, she traveled to Serbia to perform surgery and run a military hospital. She then enlisted as a private in the Serbian army, served on the front lines, and quickly rose to the rank of captain, commanding the Serbian “Iron Regiment.” Sandes received Serbia’s highest military honor for her actions in Macedonia.

Asha Haji Elmi

Asha_Haji_ElmiAsha Haji Elmi
(b. 1962)

Asha Haji Elmi is a Somali politician and peace activist. Elmi formed the Sixth Clan women’s movement to advance female participation in Somalian politics. The name stems from the fact that traditionally Somalia’s society is said to consist of five major clans. The “sixth clan” is the pan-Somali women’s movement. In 2002, she led a group of women to the Somali Peace and Reconciliation conference in Eldoret, Kenya. There, the “sixth clan” was officially recognized, and women representatives were allowed to officially participate in the discussions. This political activism led the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to adopt in the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) a quota of 12% of the 275 seats in the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) to be reserved for women.

Elda Neyis Mosquera García

whoswho KarinaElda Neyis Mosquera García
(b. 1963)

Elda Neyis Mosquera García (nom de guerre Karina) is the former commander of the 47th Front of FARC-EP, a communist rebel group in Colombia. She surrendered to the Colombian Military on May 18, 2008, was subsequently tried in court and found guilty of massacres, kidnapping, murder, among others, and sentenced to 33 years in jail. She was released in 2009 to promote peace and serve as an example to other rebels to entice them to surrender.