When I think of women I admire, there are two coming in my mind right now, (maybe there are more) and these are Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel (German chancellor).
Hillary had been first Lady, with her own personality and never stayed in the shadow of her president husband. She has a very strong character, is open minded and very intelligent. Now she wants to become President of the USA and really I wish that she will succeed. All American women should vote for her because she is a woman and maybe after all these male Presidents a woman would be good.
Angela Merkel is the first female Chancellor of Germany, the first former citizen of the German Democratic Republic to lead the reunited Germany and the first woman to lead Germany since it became a modern nation-state in 1871. She is also, as of 2006, the youngest person to be chancellor since the Second World War. Angela is considered by the Forbes Magazine as the most powerful woman in the world. She is only the third woman to serve on the G8 and is now the second woman to chair a G8 summit after Margaret Thatcher. Quite nice "for a woman" a man would say.
A women always had to work twice as much as a man, just to proof that women can also be intelligent. In the 19th century, women were not allowed to go to university or do other studies, a woman had to marry get children and stay home. The once who didn't find a husband ended up in a convent. She had no rights whatsoever and this lasted until the 20th century.
Can you imagine that until 1918 just after the first world war a woman was not allowed to vote ! It only started beginning 1900 with the suffragettes in the UK. These were women who started to fight for their rights.
Finally in 1918 in the UK the right to vote were granted to: women over the age of 30 (!) who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property, and graduates of Universities.
The right to vote of American women was codified in the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920.
The other western countries followed slowly slowly.
This was the legal side, but the pratical one was completely different. Men still were the boss. A married women had to vote the same as her husband and only very few women were allowed to do studies.
But then came the second world war, and there suddenly women became very useful, they had to replace the men who were in the war. Suddenly female doctors, lawyers, buisness leaders etc were needed. But when the war was over, the whole thing turned back. But this time women didn't put up with it and continued.
I remember that my father told me I had to learn a profession, because you never know, but made me understand that it was not really important, because I would marry anyway and if possible a rich man and stay home and raise children. This was the norm at that time.
So I admire these women, they really had to fight against all these male (and even female) prejudices and now they are on the top ! I think it is a victory for all women.