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Timeline

1.Emmeline Pankhurst
An obvious choice, this Century would not have been the same without her.

2. Indira Gandhi
Who did so much for women in India.

3. Barbara Castle
A personal heroine and a remarkable woman.

4. Elizabeth I
Although I don't know much about her life, her reputed courage, intellect and diplomatic skills are an impressive combination.

5. Maya Angelou
An inspirational writer and someone whose words I have shamelessly lifted on many occasions.

6. Jane Austen
A wry and sharp observer of her society and time.

7. George Eliot
A powerful and principled social commentator.

8. Billie Holiday
A beautiful woman with a beautiful voice who battled against abuse for her colour and her sex.

9. Marie Stopes
A woman who has made such a difference to so many other women's lives.

10. Catherine the Great
A much maligned, great moderniser who transformed the Russia of her day.


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Mo Mowlam
Marjorie Mowlam is one of the most popular politicians in Prime Minister Tony Blair's government, winning wide praise for her work in the Northern Ireland peace process and for her optimism and humour in a difficult job.

MP for Redcar since 1987 she is renowned for her down-to-earth approach to life, receiving much public sympathy when she was treated for a brain tumour that turned out to be benign.

She shadowed the Northern Ireland job in opposition and was appointed to the Northern Ireland Office following Labour's victory in 1997. Though she was widely credited with helping to set up the Good Friday Agreement, in October 1999 she was moved to a new position at the Cabinet Office, in the hope that a change would revive the flagging peace process.