A celebration of inspiring women

9-11 March

This is a celebration of phenomenal women, compiled for Phenomenal People, part of Women of the World 2012.

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A brain scientist, who suffered a stroke, and spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk.

Watch her TED Talk to find out more about her experience.

The first English woman to qualify as a doctor, she was a pioneering physician and political activist.

Read more about this historic figure in this BBC profile.

Italian neurologist who received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Read her autobiographical entry on the Nobel Prize website from 1986.

Diagnosed with diabetes at 13, she is now a keen athlete.

Listen to Melanie talk openly about her experience.

This illustration has been created by Baduade, commissioned for Phenomenal People. 

Jamaican nurse who applied to be part of Florence Nightingale’s nursing sisters, but was rebuffed due of racial prejudices.

View a painting of Seacole which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

In 1899 she became the first female member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

Read about Ayrton’s life on the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Overcoming the frustration of losing her sight and hearing she campaigned on behalf of deaf and blind people.

Read more about her inspirational life on the RNIB website.

Founder of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. At the age of 85, Helen continues to work with asylum-seekers, refugees, Holocaust survivors, former hostages, trafficked women and young people, survivors of genocide, torture, and rape.

Watch Bamber’s TED Talk video here.