Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

We salute female Nobel Prize winners


It’s an award that puts even the Oscars in the shade. 109 years ago the Nobel Prize, the ultimate accolade, was created. Awarded for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, literature, peace and medicine, women have triumphed their way to a trophy 41 times. Here are ten of the best and brightest

Marie Curie

Years: 1903 and 1911

Category: Physics and Chemistry

The first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize and the only woman to win it twice, Marie Curie was a true pioneer. Working in the field of radioactivity she helped create the X-ray, and drove ambulances with key equipment in the front lines of WW1.

Dorothy Hodgkin

Year: 1964

Category: Chemistry

The first female Brit to be awarded the Nobel Prize, Dorothy Hodgkin was recognised for "her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances", most notably her discovery of the structure of vitamin B12.

Betty Williams

Year: 1976

Category: Peace

Founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later renamed Community of Peace People), Betty Williams became a Nobel laureate in 1976 following her peace work after witnessing three children killed after being hit by a car driven by an IRA fugitive who had been fatally shot by police. Williams, together with fellow Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan, organised a petition and peace march before founding the Peace People.

Mother Teresa

Year: 1979

Category: Peace

Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 following her work founding the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India. After founding the Missionaries in 1950, she spent the rest of her life looking after the poor, sick, orphaned and dying as well as guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion throughout India and other countries.

Toni Morrison

Year: 1993

Category: Literature

The American author of classic tomes such as Beloved and Song of Solomon was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature less than ten years ago for the "visionary force and poetic import" in her novels and her knack of "[giving] life to an essential aspect of American reality".

Elfriede Jelinek

Year: 2004

Category: Literature

Country: Austria

The Austrian playwright and novelist was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2004 for "her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power".

Wangari Maathai

Year: 2004

Category: Peace

Kenya's Wangari Maathai became the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in 2004 for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace". She was an elected member of the Kenyan Parliament and served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources between January 2003 and November 2005.

Doris Lessing

Year: 2007

Category: Literature

The British writer won the Nobel Prize in 2007 for successfully depicting the female experience in works including her novels The Grass is Singing and The Golden Notebook.

Herta Müller

Year: 2009

Category: Literature

The Romanian-born German novelist, poet and essayist, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2009 for her works depicting the effects of violence, cruelty and terror in Communist Romania.

Elinor Ostrom

Year: 2009

Category: Economics

The American economist was awarded the The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences (recognised by the Nobel Prize) last year "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons", making her the first female winner of the prestigious prize. She shared the prize with fellow economist Oliver E Williamson.



Mary McCartney through a lens


Room without a view


A reluctant 'celebrity'



The best A-list Instagrams from the weekend

From Jessica Alba's night in to Cruz Beckham's sibling serenading

by Nicola Colyer
24 Oct 2016

“Frantic, distressed” Taylor Swift describes alleged groping incident

The singer says a DJ assaulted her backstage at one of her concerts.

by Moya Crockett
24 Oct 2016

A cast member has confirmed this Gilmore Girls fan theory

Had you noticed?

by Amy Swales
24 Oct 2016

Emma Stone has some thoughts on Hollywood’s “insane” gender pay gap

“We should all be treated fairly and paid fairly.”

by Moya Crockett
24 Oct 2016

Girl on the Train star forced to lose weight for previous role

“I was emaciated”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Oct 2016

Jennifer Lawrence to play Zelda Fitzgerald in new biopic

The original Daisy Buchanan is getting her own star-studded movie

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Oct 2016

How to be a nasty woman: Stylist's 9 step guide

A must-read for all women considering themselves 'good girls'

by Harriet Hall
21 Oct 2016

Totally fetch: Rachel McAdams is on board with a Mean Girls reunion

Shut up.

by Moya Crockett
21 Oct 2016

“Criminalising purchase would be a danger to sex workers”

...argues sex worker and activist, Molly Smith

by The Stylist web team
20 Oct 2016

Eyebrows ahoy... A Cara Delevingne documentary is on its way

The Cara Project will follow Delevingne’s transition from model to actress.

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2016