The Nobel Prize was founded by Alfred Nobel, a famous chemist, engineer, and innovator with strong interest in literature, drama, and peace work. He bestowed the majority of his wealth to future winners of the Nobel awards in his final will. This honor is often considered the most reputable award in the world.
The first person to win the Nobel Prize was Marie Curie, a physicist and chemist, who was a recipient in 1903. She shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel for their research efforts on radioactivity. At first, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was only going to nominate the men on the research team. However, one of the committee members was an advocate for women scientists and notified Pierre, who went on to protest the lack of recognition of Marie. The committee added her name to the nomination, and the team postponed their acceptance speech until 1905. Marie Curie went on to become the first female professor at the University of Paris in 1906.
Saint Mother Teresa: Nobel Peace Prize Winner of 1979
Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in present-day Macedonia where she became a nun and was later assigned as a teacher in India. She spent the most of her life in carrying out humanitarian efforts in India where she passed away in 1997. The Catholic Church canonized her in September of 2016. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 after founding the organization: Missionaries for Charity. The organization was dedicated to building homes for orphans and lepers as well as providing end of life care for the terminally ill. Saint Mother Teresa expanded the organization internationally throughout the years and by 1997, over 4,000 nuns were dedicated to managing the homes, hospices, and charity centers.
The Young Lady Who Conquered Death
Malala Yousafzai, one of the most famous among the female Nobel Prize winners, was born in Pakistan in 1997 and wrote a blog for the BBC, documenting her life under the influence of the Taliban and offering her opinion on the importance of education for girls. Her work became popular and led to her becoming the subject of a documentary and participating in several interviews, both in person and on television. In 2012, she survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban as she was on her way home after school. One of the bullets did, however, travel through her head and into her shoulder. She spent days in a state of unconsciousness, and when she improved, the medical staff transferred her to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in England for rehabilitation. The Taliban reiterated the threat against her life and that of her father. The situation gained international attention. Her work led to a petition for children to have the right to education and resulted in an amendment to the Right to Education Bill in Pakistan. She has since spoken at the UN, calling for increased access to education and received several awards and recognitions, including honorary Canadian citizenship. In 2014, her name entered the list of female Nobel Prize winners when she became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in history, recognized for her opposition to the suppression of children and youth and her fight for the educational rights of all children.
Female Nobel Prize Winners: Inspiration to Women Around the World
In a world where women suffer oppression and continue to fight for equal rights and opportunities, seeing a woman honored with a Nobel Prize is a source of inspiration. Women are often underrepresented in various social and academic fields. Female Nobel Prize winners give women hope for the future and provide young girls a role model with whom they can identify.
Who Was The First Female Nobel Prize Winner?
Marie Skłodowska Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize. In 1903, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel.
Female Nobel Prize Winners: 1901 to 2015
|1903||Marie Skłodowska Curie (shared with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel)||Poland and France||Physics|
|1905||Bertha von Suttner||Austria–Hungary||Peace|
|1911||Marie Skłodowska Curie||Poland and France||Chemistry|
|1931||Jane Addams (shared with Nicholas Murray Butler)||United States||Peace|
|1935||Irène Joliot-Curie (shared with Frédéric Joliot-Curie)||France||Chemistry|
|1938||Pearl S. Buck||United States||Literature|
|1946||Emily Greene Balch (shared with John Raleigh Mott)||United States||Peace|
|1947||Gerty Theresa Cori (shared with Carl Ferdinand Cori and Bernardo Houssay)||United States||Physiology or Medicine|
|1963||Maria Goeppert-Mayer (shared with J. Hans D. Jensen and Eugene Wigner)||United States||Physics|
|1964||Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin||United Kingdom||Chemistry|
|1966||Nelly Sachs (shared with Samuel Agnon)||Sweden and Germany||Literature|
|1976||Betty Williams||United Kingdom||Peace|
|1976||Mairead Corrigan||United Kingdom||Peace|
|1977||Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (shared with Roger Guillemin and Andrew Schally)||United States||Physiology or Medicine|
|1979||Mother Teresa||India and Yugoslavia||Peace|
|1982||Alva Myrdal (shared with Alfonso García Robles)||Sweden||Peace|
|1983||Barbara McClintock||United States||Physiology or Medicine|
|1986||Rita Levi-Montalcini (shared with Stanley Cohen)||Italy and United States||Physiology or Medicine|
|1988||Gertrude B. Elion (shared with James W. Black and George H. Hitchings)||United States||Physiology or Medicine|
|1991||Nadine Gordimer||South Africa||Literature|
|1991||Aung San Suu Kyi||Burma||Peace|
|1993||Toni Morrison||United States||Literature|
|1995||Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (shared with Edward B. Lewis and Eric F. Wieschaus)||Germany||Physiology or Medicine|
|1997||Jody Williams (shared with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines)||United States||Peace|
|2004||Linda B. Buck (shared with Richard Axel)||United States||Physiology or Medicine|
|2007||Doris Lessing||United Kingdom||Literature|
|2008||Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (shared with Harald zur Hausen and Luc Montagnier)||France||Physiology or Medicine|
|2009||Elizabeth Blackburn (shared with Jack W. Szostak)||Australia and United States||Physiology or Medicine|
|2009||Carol W. Greider (shared with Jack W. Szostak)||United States|
|2009||Ada E. Yonath (shared with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz)||Israel||Chemistry|
|2009||Herta Müller||Germany and Romania||Literature|
|2009||Elinor Ostrom (shared with Oliver E. Williamson)||United States||Economics|
|2011||Ellen Johnson Sirleaf||Liberia||Peace|
|2014||May-Britt Moser (shared with Edvard Moser and John O'Keefe)||Norway||Physiology or Medicine|
|2014||Malala Yousafzai (shared with Kailash Satyarthi)||Pakistan||Peace|
|2015||Tu Youyou (shared with William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura)||China||Physiology or Medicine|
About the Author
Amber is a freelance writer, English as a foreign language teacher, and Spanish-English translator. She lives with her husband and 3 cats.
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