MILAN – March is the month that celebrates women in all its nuances, recalling in particular the female figures who have made history (Women’s History Month) over the centuries; all those women who through their ideas, their struggles and their strength have left an indelible mark on the world. We have decided to present the biographies of 10 phenomenal women, profoundly different from each other, by profession, time and ideologies, whose lives are today a source of inspiration and education.
. 1) “Life and dreams of a 4th century scientist” by Adriano Petta and Antonio Colavito
The life of Hypatia represents the still current conflict between faith and reason. The murder of her – wanted by the bishop of Alexandria Cyril – coincides with the definitive exclusion of women, by Western culture, from the sphere of knowledge.
.. 2) “The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot
The work of Henrietta Lacks, although gone unnoticed, was a fundamental contribution to the scientific and medical research of the time such as the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization and the mapping of the human genome. She remained in history for her “immortal cells” taken during a biopsy – also known as HeLa – which were able to reproduce an entire generation in just 24 hours; she was an important testimony to shed light on the issue of medical experimentation on black Americans.
. 3) “Life of Frida Kahlo” by Hayden Herrera
The Mexican artist was one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, he is remembered in particular for his deep and sincere female depictions and at the same time for the numerous friendships with other important political and cultural personalities and above all for the tumultuous relationship with the artist Diego Rivera.
. 4) “Marie Curie. One Life ”by Susan Quinn
Marie Curie’s contribution to science changed the field of medicine forever. The award of two Nobel prizes has redeemed her figure as a scientist initially removed from academic life precisely as a woman.
. 5) “Zelda” by Nancy Milford
Mostly remembered as the wife of the author of The Great Gatsby, writer of short stories and the autobiography Leave me the last waltz; she was an important icon of the so-called roaring twenties. Considered a proto-feminist, she was famous for her unconventional and unscrupulous attitudes, such as being one of the first Flappers.
. 6) “Indira Gandhi” by Capriolo Paola The
first – and only – woman to hold the office of Prime Minister of India, she was a highly unconventional figure in world politics of the twentieth century. her murder in 1984 at the hands of two Sikhs belonging to her bodyguard marks the deepest moment of the socio-political crisis that arose in that year due to the separatist claims of the Sikhs themselves.
.7) “Simone de Beauvoir. The biography of a life and a thought ”by Michele Le Doeuff
The French writer and philosopher and still today an emblem of the aggressive feminism of the twentieth century. The life partner of the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre encountered several obstacles during her career – the best known perhaps is the episode of the dismissal in 1943, which banned her for life, after being accused of having had a homosexual relationship with one of his seventeen year old student – that is, I do not stop her from fighting for the rights and emancipation of women in the following years.
. 8) “Rita Levi Montalcini: adding days to life” by Raffaella Ranise
One of the greatest Italian scientists and minds, neurologist and senator for life won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1986 together with biochemist Stanley Cohen for their research and discoveries regarding the ‘NGF (Nerve Growth Factor). After her scientific career, she devoted herself to campaigns of social interest, the most important of her was that against anti-personnel mines.
. 9) “Viriginia Woolf” by Winifred Holtby
Great innovator from the literary point of view for the powerful lyricism of her prose, Virginia Woolf besides being one of the most important contemporary English writers, fights tenaciously for equal rights between the sexes. She is the victim of depression that leads her to attempt suicide several times until she, suffocated by pain, drowns herself on March 28, 1941
..10) “Joan of Arc” by Franco Cardini
French national heroine and sanctified by the Catholic Church, she was one of the very first women to make history by fighting against the prejudices and canons of the time. In fact, you lead the French armies against the English army by regaining part of your country which has fallen into the hands of the enemies. She was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English who, on May 30, 1431, sentenced her to the stake for heresy.
. Alice Turiani

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