PINK SHOE CLUB ROLL OF HONOUR
To celebrate International Women's Day the Pink Shoe Club Roll of Honour was announced at the House of Lords by Helene Martin Gee, then celebrated with an afternoon tea in the Attlee Room hosted by Baroness Morris of Bolton.
Warrior Queen of the Iceni, who led uprising against the Romans, and sacked Colchester then London. Tacitus wrote “possessed of greater intelligence than often belongs to women” Tall, with tawny hair below her waist, of harsh voice and piercing glare, habitually wore a large golden necklace, and many-coloured tunic.
A prolific builder in ancient Egypt, commissioning hundreds of projects including beautiful temples. Ruled for 22 years and was responsible for funding 5 ships for expeditions, this establishing many trading routes. Ordered the first ever transplanting of foreign trees.
HATICE TURHAN SULTAN
Captured in Russia aged 12 and sold as concubine to an Ottoman Sultan, rose through the ranks and became very powerful. Unable by custom to be seen in public, instead left her legacy by initiating a series of architectural projects, including a market complex in the city of Istanbul, a large mosque and two fortresses.
As Coventry suffered under her husband's oppressive taxation, Lady Godiva appealed on their behalf. He agreed to her request only if she rode naked through the town. Taking him at his word, after proclaiming that all persons must stay indoors, she rode through clothed only in her long hair. Just one person disobeyed - Peeping Tom.
17th century Caribbean pirate, described as a great beauty who turned to piracy after her father’s death, when she was left alone to care for disabled brother. Active in the 1660s, faked her own death to escape. Lived as a man under an alias for years. Returning to piracy, as ‘Back from the Dead Red’ due to her striking red hair.
Maria Anna, Grand Duchess of Tuscany amongst many titles. A women of great influence who set up a public charity, initiated free medical care, built schools, colleges and hospitals. Established major road construction projects and extensive but controversial city building projects.
LADY HESTER STANHOPE
Acted as first lady to unmarried PM William Pitt the younger, at Walmer Castle. On Pitt’s death took up with a younger man and went to travel in Arabia. Dabbled in mystic cults and lived in a remote abandoned monastery in Lebanon. Crossed the desert dressed as a male Bedouin with 22 camels to carry luggage. Known as ‘Queen Hester’.
1ST MARCHIONESS OF SALISBURY
Rose early to go hunting each day, then tireless activity and socialising. Became Master of the Hunt and known as a fearless rider. In her late seventies despite failing eyesight, still spent all day hunting, insisting grooms tie her to her horse so she couldn’t fall off. Another groom guiding her, yelling ‘jump!’ when they came to a fence.
Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, leading French novelist of her day. Scandalously began sporting men's clothing in public which enabled her to go to places in Paris only men frequented.Had affairs with both men and women and was politically active during a volatile time in France.
Sharpshooter still setting records in her sixties, taught 15,000 women to shoot “I’d like to see every woman know how to handle firearms as naturally as they know how to handle babies.” Performed for Queen Victoria and other heads of state. Had such good aim she knocked the ashes off a cigarette held by German Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Celebrity and femme fatale, her famous eccentricities delighted European society for almost 3 decades. Saying "I want to be a living work of art" paraded with a pair of leashed cheetahs, wearing live snakes as jewellery. Painted by many artists, still influences fashion designers.
Youngest ever Wimbledon singles champion aged 15; won the title 6 times. Caused a stir as first woman to play in a calf length skirt. Also won Olympics silver medal in archery, British Ladies Golf Championship. Played for England women's hockey team, excelled in skating, curling, mountaineering and the cresta run.
Dancer, singer, and actress. First American-born woman to receive Croix de Guerre for assisting French Resistance during World War II. Often on stage with pet cheetah, who frequently escaped into the orchestra pit. Had 12 adopted children and many husbands and lovers, including Gordon Selfridge.
First American woman to make a substantial impact on Wall Street. Known for frugality, the ‘Witch of Wall Street’ wore one old black dress and conducted business in a bank to avoid paying office rent. Dealing mainly in real estate, the City of New York often came to Hetty in need of loans to keep the city afloat.
American silent film comedienne and actress noted as one of the first female screenwriters, producers and directors. Co-starred with Chaplin and wrote and directed his films. Normand had her own movie studio and production company. She was involved in several notorious scandals.
First woman to be commissioned as an officer in Serbian army; the only British woman to officially enlist as a soldier in World War I. Enjoyed riding and shooting and drove an old French racing car. After injury from a grenade during hand to hand combat was made Sergeant Major.
Prominent modernist writer of short fiction, born and brought up in colonial New Zealand. Had a bohemian lifestyle and after travelling in Europe became part of the Bloomsbury Group. Widely considered one of the best short story writers of her period.
American author and psychotherapist who received countless awards and created the ‘Change Process Model’ defining how change impacts upon organisations. Decided upon her future work as a young child and went on to create the field of family therapy.
GERTRUDE MARGARET LOWTHIAN BELL CBE
Writer, traveller, archaeologist. Highly influential to policy-making in Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia, Arabia. A major role in establishing Iraq. Highly esteemed with immense power, described as ‘one of the few representatives of HM Government remembered by he Arabs with anything resembling affection’.
DORA BLACK, LADY RUSSELL
Author, feminist and socialist campaigner. Strong believer in polygamy, campaigned for free access to birth control. In 1927 co-founded and ran Beacon Hill School pioneering progressive education, free from religion. After the war was one of the founders of CND and still spoke at rallies in her 80s.
Eunice Kathleen Waymon. Singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. She had a reputation for volatility, but her music was highly influential in the fight for equal rights in the US, songs like ‘Young, gifted & black’ became anthems for the cause.
Described as the ‘most significant figure’ in TV writing of 50s/60s for women. Created the first daily soap in 1955. Credited with the world’s first inter-racial kiss; Hazel co-devised Crossroads and wrote the first unmarried mother, first black actor, first soap stories to look at mental health, and first actor in a wheelchair.
American civil rights leader and educator.Started a school for Afican Amerian students, now a leading university. Adviser to President Roosevelt and formed many national organisations for black people, yet most of her siblings were born into slavery. Carried a cane for effect because it gave her ‘swank.
Television cook was married four times, twice bigamously. When she eventually married Johnny Craddock at 68, she put her age as 55 despite her 50 year old son! Fannie started the double act with Johnny cooking in theatres, which led to a Telegraph column and TV show. Famously wore chiffon ball gowns while cooking.
The only female student at agricultural college in Shropshire, spent 3 years training horses in Argentina before becoming a dog breeder and trainer. Believed there was no such thing as bad dog. Her 1980 TV series ‘Training Dogs the Woodhouse Way’ made her a household name in the UK with catch-phrases "walkies" and "sit!”
Considered one of the most influential British singers with her band Siouxsie and the Banshees, producing 11 albums and many hit singles. Siouxsie became well known in the London club scene for her glam attire, later notable of punk fashion. In 2011 she was awarded for her Outstanding Contribution to music.
Controversial artist, author and peace activist, known for her work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking as well as her marriage to John Lennon. Brought feminism to the forefront in her music and is known for her philanthropic contributions to the arts, peace, and AIDS outreach programmes.
Fashionista who discovered Alexander McQueen, purchasing his entire graduate collection for ₤5,000, paid in weekly instalments. As fashion director of Tatler, Isabella began wearing Phillip Treacy's hats, making them a signature part of her style. Declared she wore extravagant hats "to keep everyone away from me”.
Fashion designer and businesswoman, Dame Vivienne is largely responsible for bringing punk into the mainstream. She does not watch television nor read newspapers or magazines. In 2006 she advanced from OBE to DBE for services to fashion and has thrice earned the award for British Designer of the Year.
ZANDRA RHODES CBE
Helped put London at the forefront of international fashion. Her lifestyle is as dramatic and glamorous as her designs, with brightly coloured hair, theatrical makeup and jewellery. Passionate about textiles, she designed for Princes Diana and created costumes for Freddy Mercury and for opera houses around the world.
Founder and leader of the ‘Gulabi Gang’ (Pink Saris) women vigilantes in Northern India. Formed in response to widespread domestic abuse and violence against women. Gulabis visit abusive husbands and beat them with laathis (bamboo sticks) unless they stop abusing their wives.
We also re-acknowledged some of the Remarkable Women we celebrated in 2011. Such is their reputation and character we believe they belong in the Marvellous Mavericks Roll of Honour too. In celebration of this they are:
AMY JOHNSON CBE
SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR
MARY WHITEHOUSE CBE
DR MAYA ANGELOU