We are the 51

Mary Slessor

Mary Slessor was a Scottish missionary to Nigeria, spreading Christianity, protecting native children and promoting women’s rights. A year after 219 girls were abducted by the Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram we celebrate Mary for her work with women and children in Nigeria over [...]

Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll was born in Mayfair, the fifth of seven children. Her father was a Captain in the Grenadier Guards. Her younger brother was a friend of Robert Louis Stevenson, who borrowed the family name for his book Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Her on circle of friends was wide and influential and [...]

Dorothy Lawrence

There are a number of women who have disguised themselves as men in order to serve as soldiers. It would be easy to think that this was a feature of early yeras and one which would be unheard of in a modern army however Dorothy Lawrence was an English reporter who secretly posed as a man to become [...]

Sally Ride

In 1983, astronaut and astrophysicist Sally Ride became the first American woman in space, and still remains the youngest American astronaut to travel to space, when she took her place aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Sally Ride grew up in Los Angeles and went to Stanford University, where she [...]

Mary Beale

Mary Beale was a prolific, successful portrait painter but her name is little known outside experts in 17th Century English painting. As such, Mary is perfect for celebration in the We Are The 51 campaign to celebrate the achievements of women. Mary Beale was born in Suffolk, daughter of the rector [...]

Jane Digby

Jane Digby was an English aristocrat who lived a wild and scandalous life with four husbands, many lovers and died as the wife of an Arab Sheikh. Jane was born in Dorset, daughter of Admiral Henry Digby who founded the family fortune when he seized a Spanish treasure ship. Admiral Nelson’s [...]
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