Reading Comprehension - Seven women who changed the world

Develop your reading skills. Read the following text.

Who are some of the women who changed the world?

Who can regret the importance of women in our every day life? Women help not only with the housework but also in the progress of countries. They have reached a high place comparable to that of men in all fields: politics, business, sport, art, literature etc.

Here is a list of seven women who made history.

1. Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto was a Pakistani-born politician, with Pakistani and Kurdish origin, who chaired the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a centre-left political party in Pakistan. Bhutto was the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state, having twice been Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988–1990; 1993–1996). She was Pakistan's first and to date only female prime minister. she was assassinated on 27 December 2007, after departing a PPP rally in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 in which she was a leading opposition candidate

2. Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi was born Indira Nehru to Jawaharlal Nehru. She was the third Prime Minister of the Republic of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, a total of fifteen years. India's only female prime minister to date, she remains the world's longest serving female Prime Minister as of 2011. She was also the only Indian Prime Minister to have declared an emergency in order to 'rule by decree' and the only Indian Prime Minister to have been imprisoned.

3. Khadija bint Khuwaylid

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid was the first wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Khadijah successfully managed her father's business interests and preserved the family's fortune. It is said that when the Quraysh's trade caravans gathered to embark upon their lengthy and arduous journey either to Syria during the summer or to Yemen during the winter, Khadijah's caravan equalled the caravans of all other traders of the Quraish put together. She is important in Islam as Muhammad's first wife, and one of the "mothers of the believers" .

4. Margaret Thatcher

In 1975 Margaret Thatcher became Leader of the Conservative Party and became the first woman to head a major UK political party. Following the 1979 general election she became Britain's first female Prime Minister. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, particularly of the financial sector, flexible labour markets, and the sale or closure of state-owned companies and withdrawal of subsidies to others. She survived an assassination attempt in 1984. She took a hard line against trade unions, and her tough rhetoric in opposition to the Soviet Union earned her the nickname of the "Iron Lady".

5. Mother Theresa

Mother Theresa was a Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India in 1950. For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries. She was internationally renowned as a humanitarian and advocate for the poor and helpless, due in part to a documentary and book Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1980 for her humanitarian work.

6. Rosa Parks 1913-200

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called "the first lady of civil rights", and "the mother of the freedom movement". On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Parks' act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including boycott leader Martin Luther King, Jr., helping to launch him to national prominence in the civil rights movement.

7. Simone de Beauvoir 1908-1986

Simone de Beauvoir was a French existentialist philosopher, public intellectual, and social theorist. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography in several volumes, and monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues. She is now best known for her metaphysical novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, and for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism. She is also noted for her lifelong polyamorous relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre.

Source: Wikipedia


  1. Who was the first female leader in Pakistan?
    a. Khadija Bint Khuwaylid
    b. Benazir Bhutto
    c. Indira Gandhi
  2. Why was Rosa Parks called "the first lady of civil rights"?
    a. because she refused to give her seat to a white passenger.
    b. because she got into a bus for white passengers.
  3. Who was called the Iron Lady?
    a. Margaret Thatcher
    b. Simone de Bauvoir
    c. Khadija Bint Khuwaylid
  4. Who was one of the "mothers of the believers"?
    a. Mother Theresa,
    b. Khadija Bint Khuwaylid
    c. Rosa Parks

Related material