10 Women That Ruled The World And Were Forgotten By History

martes, 18 de abril de 2017 11:40

|Carolina Romero

Nowadays, it is hard f0r the most powerful women to go unnoticed. Year after year, plenty of newspapers and magazines like Forbes, Newsweek, Entrepreneur, Time, and The Telegraph feature tops of the most powerful women in the world. These women excel in several spheres that men used to dominate in the past: politics, entertainment, finance, and technology, among others. They make important decisions about the world's policies, and the world, in turn, admires their achievements and contributions. 

Although powerful women go a long way back in history, only few of them are remembered. In many parts of the world, women's achievements are still overshadowed by those of their male counterparts. Although many things have changed regarding gender equality, there's still much to be done. A good way to increase awareness is to pay respect and remember the following 10 women who were ignored or erased from history, although they were once powerful rulers:


Kösem Sultan

women rulers kosem

Her true name was Anastasia. She was born in Bosnia and had Greek blood. She arrived to Istanbul as a slave and was sold to the imperial harem. Soon she became the favorite wife of Sultan Ahmed I, who named her Kösem. The sons she procreated with the Sultan eventually inherited the imperial power, so she was called "Queen-Mother" for about 30 years. She was in charge of most of the political decisions, not her sons. She became Regent of the Empire twice and became the wealthiest woman in the Ottoman empire. She was a highly complex woman who would show no mercy to her political enemies and at the same time offer a helping hand to impoverished people.



women rulers

Turhan was Kösem's daughter-in-law and main enemy. Both had powerful sons and desired to become Regent. However, Turhan proved to be more merciless and cunning, she set up a plan to have Kösem and her guards killed in her own apartments. She finally took the regency and ruled over the Ottoman empire.


women rulers marozia

During the Middle Ages the Catholic Church was the only thing able to hold Europe together, and it was led by a woman: Senator Marozia. She was the daughter of count Teophylact, the most influential man in Rome. After his death, she inherited his power base. Although the Pope continued to be the Church's main ruling figure, Marozia was the real power behind the throne of Saint Peter and the one who decided who would be the next Pope to succeed. Her marriage to Hugh of Arles, king of Italy, led to her downfall. Marozia's son Alberic was behind the riots against her husband, and as a result Arles fled the country and Marozia was imprisoned. In this coup Alberic was crowned Emperor of Rome. 

Toregene Khatun

women rulers toregene

Toregene Khatun was the wife of Genghis Khan's third son: Ogedei, who was the second great Khan of the Mongol Empire. He was an alcoholic man who was chosen because his brothers hated each other and would probably have started a war, so Ogedei left most of his work to his wife. After his death, Toregen officially took power until her son became Great Khan.

Sorghaghtani Beki

women rulers beki

Sorghaghtani was the wife of Tolui, the youngest son of Genghis Khan. When her husband died,  she was appointed regent, even though her son was already 23 years old. She was a strong power player in Mongol politics and formed important alliances to place her son on the throne after Toregene's son died. She carried out a massive bribery campaign to have her son elected as Great Khan, and finally succeeded thanks to her cunning and many years of planning. Sorghaghtani was one of the most remarkable women of the thirteenth century. The Persian chronicler Rashid al-Din wrote that “great emirs and troops” of the Mongols “never swerved a hair’s breadth from her command.”



women rulers ahotep

After the death of her husband, Pharaoh Seqenenre Tao, the ruler of the seventeenth dynasty, Ahhotep became regent instead of her young son Ahmose I. As ruler of Egypt, she moved her husband's forces to fight off the Hyksos invaders and the Egyptian rebels. After her victory, she began wearing a decoration known as “Golden Flies of Valor,” which was also awarded to Egyptian generals.




women rulers arsinoe
Arsinoe was the daughter of Ptolemy I, the Macedonian general who seized Egypt after the death of Alexander the Great. She first married Lysismachus, ruler of Thrace, but when her brother Ptolemy II inherited the throne of Egypt around 279 BC, she fled back, had her brother's wife exiled on false charges, and married him, causing a great scandal among the Greek society. Arsinoe soon overshadowed her brother with her ruling abilities and established herself as the effective ruler of Egypt. She was referred to as a Pharaoh in official documents and issued coins in her name.



women rulers zoe

She was the daughter of  Constantine VIII. Although she married several times, she remained the ruler of the Byzantine Empire. Her only rival was her sister Theodora, who eventually claimed the title of co-empress and ruled by her side until she married Constantine IX Monomachus, who became co-emperor.


women rulers wei

Wei was the second wife of Emperor Zhongzong, who ruled the Tang Dynasty in China during the early eighth century. Her husband was a successor of Wu Zetian, the only woman who had become ruler of China in her own right. Her admiration towards Zetian's power and ruthlessness drove her to build a powerful court with many of Wu's former ministers as members.
Given his weak character, the emperor left the majority of the power to Wei and in her reign she showed no mercy to anyone who dared oppose her.  


Nur Jahan

mujeres que dominan el mundo jaan-h600

Nur Jahan was the wife of Jahangir, the ruler of the mighty Mughal empire. Although Jahangir was the oficial ruler, he was an alcoholic and opium addict. The whole empire was aware that Nur Jahan was their true ruler; she issued all proclamations in her own name and coins that bore her image. She also held the royal seal, which was used to stamp all official orders.

These strong women held the future of their kingdoms and empires in their hands. It is time they were brought back from oblivion and her strength be recognized by all. 



Ancient Origins

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Translated by Andrea Valle Gracia



Carolina Romero

Carolina Romero