16 of History's Most Rebellious Women

Women Revolutionaries
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Phoolan Devi, India
Phoolan Devi, the "Bandit Queen," is remembered as both a champion of India's poor and one of the modern nation's most infamous outlaws. Following an early, nonconsensual marriage and several sexual abductions, Devi began a streak of violent robberies across northern and central India, targeting upper castes. In 1981 she led her gang of bandits to massacre more than 20 men in the high-caste village where her former lover was killed. Devi negotiated her sentence with the Indian government to 11 years in jail. Within two years of her release, she was elected to Parliament. While some say she did little to improve the lower castes' plight during her two terms in office, her opposition to the caste system made Devi a symbol for the rights of the poor and the oppressed. —Zoe Fox

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