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I am writing a motivational book focusing on the achievements of women, and would appreciate your advice and assistance. The book will essentially consist of a collection of two page profiles honouring specific women and their achievements. (Each two-page profile will consist of a pencil drawing on one page and a documentary comment or prose on the other.)

Fundamental objectives of the book are; to inspire people and especially women, to follow their dreams, to realize their ambitions and to comfort those going through tough times. Another objective of the book is to serve as a potential catalyst towards rectifying the gender bias in recorded history. Analysis of the ratio of references of the achievements of women in biographical dictionaries, encyclopedias and even popular media; clearly highlight the fact that the achievements of women do not receive appropriate recognition. This is especially sad in view of the exemplary integrity and humane qualities that are frequently associated with the achievements of great women. (Many famous men's deeds are linked to war, abuse of power, inequitable accumulation of wealth, and destruction of the environment. In contrast, many famous women's achievements are associated with challenging and addressing the consequences of these deeds.)

Any advice or suggestions will be appreciated. Which women do you think should be included in the book? A very provisional list include the following women :

Jane Addams, Susan Anthony, Elizabeth Arden, Hannah Arendt, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Brigette Bardot, Ingrid Bergman, Sarah Bernhardt, Mary Bethune, Elizabeth Blackwell, Judy Blume, Anne Boleyn, Laura Bridgman, Anne, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Margaret Burbridge, Sarah Caldwell, Maria Callas, Julia Cameron, Rachel Carson, Maria Chapman, Cher, Lydia Child, Madonna Ciccione, Cleopatra, Maureen Connolly, Charlotte Corday, Evonne Goolagong Craley, Marie Curie, Pauline Cushman, Betty Davis,Paulina Davis, Doris Day, Emily Dickenson, Marlene Dietrich, Jacqueline Du Pre, Isadora Duncan, Amelia Earhart, Gertrude Ederie, Abigail Foster, Anne Frank, Elizabeth Fry, Gretha Garbo, Judy Garland, Lady Godiva, Germaine Greer, Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Hepworth, Catherine Howard, Joan of Arc, Angela Kauffmann, Helen Keller, Selma Lagerlof, Dorothy Lange, Mary Lease, Gypsy Lee, Vivien Leigh,Sophia Loren, Clare Luce, Vera Lynn, Mata Hari, Barbara Mcclintock, Margaret Mead, Golda Meir, Lise Meitner, Liza Minelli, Maria Mitchell, Marilyn Monroe, Maria Montessori, Grandma Moses, Lucetia Mott, Florence Nightingale, Annie Oakley, Georgia O'Keeffe, Dorothy Parker, Anna Pavlova, Pocahontas, Mary Quant, Ayan Rand, Jeannette Rankin, Vanessa Redgrave, Nelly Sachs, Lucy Stone, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Mother Teresa, Marie Vigee-lebrun, Marilyn Waring, Betty Williams, Mary Wollstonecraft.

Thank you, Alf Aldum B.Sc.

Thanks for your note to Feminist.com and for sharing your project with us. As you hope, I'm sure that it will inspire, intrigue and educate others. Hopefully, it will also give us ideas about where to fill in some of the gaps.

There are a few books that already exist, which cover a similar topic. Particularly, there is Herstory edited by Ruth Ashby and Deborah Gore Ohrn, which are profiles of "women who changed the world." There is also Scholastic's Encyclopedia of Women in the U.S. by Sheila Keenan (available through the Feminist.com Bookstore).

Also, at a glance, your list appears to include mostly--almost entirely--white women. To broaden this list to include ALL women, you should check out a few more pre-existing sources. There is an Encyclopedia of Black Women in America. There is also a book that profiles 100 Puerto Rican Women. Bread and Roses has also done a wonderful series...the first focused on "African American Women of Hope", the others are "Latina Women of Hope" and "Native American Women of Hope". I hope that a search on the web will be able to direct you to these sources. If not, please let me know and I can make more specific suggestions. Good luck in the meantime.


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