Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher voted the most influential woman of the past 200 years

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher voted most influential woman

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher voted most influential woman

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Brits consider Margaret Thatcher to be the most influential woman of the past 200 years, a new poll has revealed.

To mark its 200-year anniversary, Scottish Widows has joined forces with historian and author Suzannah Lipscomb to identify the women viewed by the British public as those who have shaped society throughout the past two centuries.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

The survey of 2000 respondents across all ages, genders and regions considers the women who have had the greatest influence across various categories including politics and world affairs, journalism and broadcasting, and science and technology.

The women voted most influential overall were: 1. Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher (28 per cent); 2. scientist Marie Curie (24 per cent); 3. Queen Elizabeth II (18 per cent); 4. Diana, Princess of Wales (17 per cent); 5. Leader of the British suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst (16 per cent); 6. Mother Theresa (13 per cent); 7. Florence Nightingale (12 per cent); 8. Queen Victoria (8 per cent); 9. African-American civil rights activist Rosa Parks (seven per cent) and 10. Oprah Winfrey (6 per cent).

Meanwhile, many of the same women also appeared in the Scottish list for the most influential women. In the Scottish poll, Margaret Thatcher came in at number two with 24 per cent and she was pipped to the top post by Marie Curie with 29 per cent of the vote.

In at number three was Emmeline Pankhurst (17 per cent); number four was Queen Elizabeth II (16 per cent); 5. Mother Theresa (14 per cent); 6. Florence Nightingale (11 per cent); 7. Diana Princess of Wales (11 per cent); 8. Rosa Parks (11 per cent); 9. Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (8 per cent) and 10. Queen Victoria (7 per cent).

Suzannah Lipscomb, historian and author, said: “The top 10 are an impressive list of women – each of them was or has been responsible for or overseen real change, but in addition nearly every one of them has some symbolic importance beyond their own person.

“What’s evident overall is that the women chosen as the top of each category – and in our list of top 10 – are not flashes in the pan. Thatcher, Pankhurst, Curie, Earhart, Austen, Dench, Beauvoir and Adie 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’ that emerges.”