Female Nobel Prize winners are incomparably less than their male counterparts. However, their input in science, literature, peace and other fields are absolutely no less than men’s.
Nobel Prize ceremony was first held in 1901. However, at that time seeing a woman among men Nobel Prize laureates was something not ordinary. The stereotyped thinking of people couldn’t let them picture women receiving a prize for her contribution to science for instance.
Famous female Nobel prize winners, however, came to prove that women can be successful in science and literature as much as in housekeeping or cooking. Nobel Prize is awarded annually to those people who have their outstanding input for science, literature or peace.
Though the number of female Nobel prize laureates is increasing every year, that number is still incomparably less than men Nobel Prize winners. Since 2017, 844 men and 48 women won Nobel Prize. The majority of female laureates were honored with Nobel Peace Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature.
So, let’s go over some part of female Nobel prize winners and also discover who was the first woman to win.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #1 | Marie Curie
Marie Sklodowska Curies was a Polish-French physicist and chemist who has a huge contribution in research on radioactivity. Marie Curie was the first woman to win Nobel Prize in 1903.
This was something revolutionary in Nobel Prize history, as no woman has had received Nobel Prize before. In early 1900-s it was even difficult for people to imagine a woman in science. Marie Curie received Nobel Prize twice. In 1903, Marie Curie together with her husband received Nobel Prize in Physics for their joint researches on the radiation phenomena.
At first, the committee intended to give Nobel prize only to Pierre which was beyond any logic. However, thanks to one of the committee members which was also the advocate of women scientists, her question was raised. After the buzz, the committee included Marie Curie’s name in the list as well.
The second Nobel Prize Marie Curie won in 1911 this time for her contribution to chemistry. The award was “in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element.“
Female Nobel Prize Winners #2 |Aung San Suu Kyi
The leader of National League of Democracy was awarded Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for democracy and great humanity. Aung San is a Burmese politician, diplomat, and author who was actively fighting against the inequality of her country.
For her opposing political views, Aung Sun was even sentenced to house arrest for several years. Later Aung San gained wide international recognition and was honored with a number of awards. Today Aung Sain is considered one of the most influential women in the world. She received Nobel Peace prize in 2014.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #3 | Bertha von Suttner
Bertha von Suttner was the second women Nobel Prize laureate after Marie Curie. She was an Austrian-Bohemian bohemians pacifist, and novelist. The great part of her time Sutter dedicated to peace and conflict studies.
In fact, she was an outstanding figure in the peace movement. She is especially known for her popular novel “Die Waffen Nieder” ( Lay Down your Arms” Sutter was the chairman and the founder of German Peace Society.
During her lifetime Sutter took part in a number of conferences dedicated to peace and humanity issues. Very often Bertha Shutter with her views and ideas is considered the leader in women’s liberation movement.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #4 | Rita Levi-Montalcino
This Nobel peace laureate received Nobel Prize for her huge input in neurobiology. Having a Jewish background and being a woman Rita constantly faced barriers for her career path. Women did not even have access to that time laboratories. So she had to open the laboratory of her own.
Rita was the first Nobel Prize Laureate to reach the age of 100. Rita Levi- Montalcino was honored with Nobel Prize at 1986.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #5 | Selma Lagerlof
Selma Lagerlof was Swedish writer and teacher. Selma worked as a home teacher in girls’ secondary school. She was engaged in property starting from early childhood.
Becoming the first female Nobel prize laureate in literature was a real success for Selma. Her novels were highly praised and adopted in many versions. Lagerlof received Nobel prize “in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings” in 1909.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #6 | Grazia Deledda
After a long time finally, there was another female Nobel Prize winner. Grazia was honored with Nobel Prize in Literature in 1926. She was the first Italian woman who received Nobel prize.
Grazia was mostly known as an enthusiastic feminist writer. She used to raise women issues in her works constantly such as discrimination pains and suffering.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #7 | Sigrid Undset
Sigrid was a Norwegian writer by. Undest is known for her work Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy
Sigrid received Nobel for literature in 1928. In her historical novel Lavransdatter you can the bright reflection of middle ages all in detail. She was honored with the Nobel prize for “principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages”.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #8 | Jane Addams
Jane Addams is considered the “mother” of social work. We can talk about the achievements of Jane Addams endlessly. For instance, she was an active leader for women’s suffrage and world peace.
Jane was also the co-founder of an early settlement house, Chicago’s Hull House which later became one of the most popular settlement houses in America. Jane was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and became the first American female Nobel Prize winner.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #9 | Irene Joliot-Curie
Irene is the daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie. She, together with her husband Frederic Joliot Curie was awarded Nobel prize in chemistry for discovering artificial radioactivity.
By the way, Curie family is the family which won most Nobel prizes. She received Nobel Prize for science in 1911.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #10 | Pearl S. Buck
Buck is an American writer and novelist who spent most of her time in China. BuckPearl is also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu. She is best known for her book The Good ear which was a best seller in the US for 2 years.
Buck won Nobel prize in literature in 1938 “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”
Female Nobel Prize Winners #11 | Mother Teresa
Who else would be the most deserved laureate for Nobel Peace Prize if not Mother Teresa? Mother Teresa is recognized as a church saint due to her wholehearted dedication to the people who needs help.
Mother Teresa founded Missionaries of charity and religious congregations which take care of those people who have some kind of desires and can not afford medical care, dispensaries and mobile clinics, orphanages, schools etc.
Teresa dedicated her whole life to serving the poor. Indeed, the words “peace”, and “kindness” are mostly associated with this amazing woman. Teresa received Nobel Peace prize in 1979. Already in 1996, Mother Teresa operated about 520 missionaries in over 100 countries of the world.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #12 | Gabriela Mistral
The well known Latin American Writer received Nobel prize in 1945. She is mostly praised for the colorful and exact depiction of that time Latin American world. Gabrielle became the first Latin American woman to receive a Nobel Prize.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #13 | Gerty Cori
Gerty was the first American female winner of Nobel Prize for science and the first women to be awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology and Science in 1947. In general, she is the third woman to win Nobel prize in science after mother and daughter Curies.
Though that time existing gender stereotypes were against Gerty and didn’t let her gain wider recognition. Today Gerty is highly appreciated as a pioneer woman in science.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #14 | Elinor Ostrom
Ostrom is an American political economist. Elinor is the first and the only woman who has received Nobel Peace Prize in Economics so far!
In 2012 Time’s magazine named Elinor Ostrom as one of the “100 Most influential people in the world”. Ostrom donated the money from her award to the workshop which he helped to found.
Female Nobel Prize Winners #15 | Malala Yousafzai
Malala is the youngest female Nobel prize, winner. Malala is known as a passionate human right activist who is engaged in the education of women in her country, Pakistan when girls are banned from getting the proper education. Constantly raising such vulnerable question the movement of Malala grew up to international levels, she has successfully founded Malala Fund.
She also was a co-author of “I am Malala” international bestseller. Being only a 20-year-old girl she has managed to do huge humanitarian work by her touching speeches. Malala received her Nobel Peace prize in 2014.
She is pretty sure the right of education should be given to everyone. In her emotional and motivating speeches, she claims that it’s not the time to pity those children who are deprived of education it’s time to take actions. Malala is one of the most motivating success stories in the world.
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