20 Mother Teresa
1910–97 Humanitarian nun who spent most of her life working with the poor in Kolkata, India.
19 Mary Seacole
1805–81 Pioneering nurse who cared for injured soldiers during the Crimean War.
18 Josephine Butler
1828–1906 Feminist and social reformer who campaigned for women’s suffrage.
17 Queen Victoria
1819–1901 British queen for 63 years, who oversaw the expansion of the British empire.
16 Amelia Earhart
1897–c1937 American aviation pioneer and the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
15 Diana, Princess of Wales
1961–97 British royal celebrated for her charity work, and helping to raise awareness of issues around HIV/Aids, land mines and cancer.
14 Boudicca c30–61
Queen of the Iceni people of East Anglia who led an uprising against Roman rule in Britain.
13 Jane Austen
1775–1817 British novelist whose books offer observation and insights into the lives of women in the Georgian era.
12 Virgin Mary
1st-century BC–1st-century AD The mother of Jesus, and a figure venerated by both Christians and Muslims. Details of her life are veiled as much as they are elucidated by the New Testament.
11 Eleanor of Aquitaine
1122–1204 One of the most powerful consorts of the Middle Ages, Eleanor married Louis VII of France and, later, the future Henry II of England.
10 Marie Stopes 1880–1958
An advocate of birth control and sex education, Stopes was an often controversial figure, especially for her views on eugenics. She was a key figure in publicising the causes she advocated and in bringing women the opportunity of planned pregnancies.
9 Florence Nightingale 1820–1910
Nightingale led the first official team of British military nurses to Turkey during the Crimean War, (1853– 56). She was instrumental in establishing a permanent military nursing service and implementing improvements to the army medical services.
8 Mary Wollstonecraft 1759–97
A writer and philosopher, Wollstonecraft championed education and liberation for women. Her book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, was published in 1792 and is seen as one of the foundational texts of modern feminism.
7 Angela Burdett-Coutts 1814–1906
The first woman to have been made a peer, Burdett- Coutts was made a baroness for her work on behalf of the poor. She was a pioneer in social housing and financed numerous projects, including the redevelopment of east London.
6 Margaret Thatcher 1925–2013
Britain’s first female prime minister came to power at an unsettled time in the country’s history, as it faced political disharmony and economic recession. Further trials, including the 1982 Falklands War and the conflict in Northern Ireland, helped to define her influential career.
Amelia Earhart pictured in the cockpit of her autogiro in 1931, after setting a new altitude record for women
Mary Wollstonecraft is remembered by many as Britain’s first feminist