16 of History's Most Rebellious Women

Women Revolutionaries
Bettmann / CORBIS

Golda Meir, Israel
David Ben-Gurion famously described Golda Meir as "the only man" in his Cabinet. Although best known as Israel's Prime Minister during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Meir made her mark on the revolutionary Zionist movement during the pre-state period. After several influential Zionist leaders were arrested in 1946 in Palestine, Meir became the primary negotiator between the Jews and the British Mandate. Simultaneously, she stayed in close contact with the armed Jewish resistance movements. When the Arabs rejected the U.N.'s 1947 recommended partition of Palestine, Meir ensured that the young Jewish settlement would not be defeated in the imminent war. During a January 1948 trip to the U.S., she raised $50 million from the Jewish diaspora community. Ben-Gurion said Meir would be remembered as "the woman who got the money to make the state possible." That spring, she was one of the 25 signers of Israel's Declaration of Independence. —Zoe Fox

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