"...Besides, if women are educated for dependence; that is, to act according to the will of another fallible being, and submit, right or wrong, to power, where are we to stop?"

The above sentiment, to today's eyes and ears, might sound quaint, or even obvious. But when Mary Wollstonecraft published it in her 1792 work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, her views were largely unexplored openly, and widely unpopular. She received a fair amount of critical acclaim for the work, but was unsurprisingly also subjected to a healthy amount of outrage and scorn (from both men, and women). Nevertheless, she continued to argue the importance of women as key members of society, and champion the necessity of women having access to higher education. She persisted.

Here we are 225 years later, and while we may have come a long way (baby) since Wollstonecraft's early feminist text, people all over the world continue to fight hard for the rights and equality of women. And what better medium than a book? Books are accessible, affordable, shareable and translatable. One can do much within its covers. Today we are celebrating 15 literary heroines - whether fictional character or real life fighter - who bettered the world for women, through books.

 

Our Heroines

 

Curated Collections for Girls and Women

 

What literary heroine(s) would you add to our list?

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