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Margaret Thatcher has been named as the most influential woman of the past 200 years

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Margaret Thatcher has been named as the most influential woman of the last 200 years.

The former Conservative prime minister was named the most influential in the history of the world by 28 per cent of people, ahead of Marie Curie (who won the Nobel Peace Prize twice), Emmeline Pankhurst (who helped women get the vote), Florence Nightingale (who founded modern nursing), Rosa Parks (the 'first lady' of civil rights) and Mother Teresa (who also won the Nobel Peace Prize and was later beatified).

Thatcher influential

Thatcher meanwhile tried to introduce a poll tax, went to war with Argentina, closed the mines, deregulated the financial sector, cut the power of the trade unions and stopped free milk for schoolchildren.

In the poll by Opinium for Scottish Widows, respondents were asked to select the women they thought have been the most influential over the past 200 years within nine different categories.

41 per cent selected Thatcher as the most influential within Politics and World affairs, whereas 28 per cent picked her as the most influential woman overall, as one of their three choices for this accolade (hence total percentages over 100).

Amelia Earhart was named the most influential sportsperson, while Jane Austen topped creative arts and Judi Dench was voted the most influential performing artist.

Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, was named the most influential person in the business world while Simone de Beauvoir presided over the public intellectual category. Kate Adie was voted the most influential journalist.

Historian Suzannah Lipscomb said:

Each was or has been responsible for or overseen real change.

Thatcher, Pankhurst and Curie are women who can be referred to by one name. They have been chosen because they were and are game changers. This is the definition of ‘influential’.


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