The Virgin Mary has been crowned one of the most significant women in history.

Despite the fact that she is the mother of Jesus Christ, she just got voted the 12th most significant women in history on a reader poll conducted by BBC History Magazine.

In order to compile the list of 100 women, experts in various fields were asked to nominate 10 worthy women. Readers were then asked to rate anyone who they thought had impacted the world most.

Other significant women in history

They ended up choosing Marie Curie as the most significant woman in world history.

Curie is a Polish-born French scientist whose research and discoveries still play a major role in the cures for cancer. Her research led to her coining the term 'radioactivity.' She also helped with the development of X-rays in surgery.

Her great work in medicine made her the first person to win two Nobel prizes, one for physics and one for chemistry.

The second person on the list is Civil Rights campaigner Rosa Parks followed by the leader of the suffragette movement Emmeline Pankhurst.

Margaret Thatcher, Diana, Princess of Wales, and another religious figure, Mother Teresa were also voted into the top 20.

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Reacting to the results, BBC History Magazine deputy editor Charlotte Hodgman said: "The poll has shone a light on some truly extraordinary women from history, many of whose achievements and talents were overlooked in their own lifetimes.

"It is fitting that, in a year that has seen the 100th anniversary of the parliamentary Act that gave the vote to many British women, suffrage campaigners Emmeline Pankhurst and Josephine Butler have been voted into the top 20.

"Whilst it is unsurprising to see queens such as Victoria and Eleanor of Aquitaine place high, it is refreshing to see some more unfamiliar names make the top 20, such as 19th-century philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts. I'm sure the full list will provoke conversation and debate."

Here is the full list of the top 20 significant women in history:

Marie Curie

Rosa Parks

Emmeline Pankhurst

Ada Lovelace

Rosalind Franklin

Margaret Thatcher

Angela Burdett-Coutts

Mary Wollstonecraft

Florence Nightingale

Marie Stopes

Eleanor of Aquitaine

The Virgin Mary

Jane Austen


Diana, Princess of Wales

Amelia Earhart

Queen Victoria

Josephine Butler

Mary Seacole

Mother Teresa