(J. Lee. Grady) March is Women’s History Month, so for the next few weeks we will be hearing a lot about women inventors, humanitarians, entertainers and entrepreneurs who are changing today’s world. We will probably also hear a lot about Hillary Clinton and her chances of shattering the glass ceiling in American politics—but I’m not convinced that all the great women heroes of the past would be cheering for her political views.

When I think about the empowered women of my generation I’m reminded that they stand on the shoulders of brave women pioneers who didn’t have today’s advantages. We should especially be grateful for the Christian women who defied religious and cultural traditions—and sometimes paid with their lives—to free African slaves, protect children from abuse, denounce injustice, preach the gospel in foreign nations, heal the sick and win women the right to vote. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but here are 12 women I’m celebrating this month: READ MORE