22 Influential Women You Probably Didn't Learn About in School

Victoria Woodhull, Althea Gibson, Hypatia
Victoria Woodhull, Althea Gibson, Hypatia / Victoria Woodhull, Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images // Althea Gibson, AFP/AFP via Getty Images // Hypatia, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
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4. Sophia Duleep Singh

As the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh and the goddaughter of Queen Victoria, it would have been easy for Princess Sophia Duleep Singh to settle into a life of comfort and leave the moral crusades to everyone else. But Singh was a fighter, dedicating her life to gender equality in the United Kingdom and becoming known as a staunch advocate for women’s suffrage.

Singh was known to drum up publicity for her causes by selling copies of The Suffragette newspaper outside of the Hampton Court Palace, and as a member of the Women’s Tax Reform League, she openly defied taxation for women until they were granted the right to vote. When she didn’t pay her share to the government, Singh was brought to court and fined.

During one such visit to court, Singh said, “When the women of England are enfranchised and the State acknowledges me as a citizen I shall, of course, pay my share willingly towards its upkeep." Thanks to crusaders like Singh, many women over the age of 30 in the UK were granted the right to vote in 1918, and by 1928, that was extended to all women over 21.