Golda Meir was without doubt one of the most incredible women of her – and any – time. Born in 1898 in Kyiv, she was the daughter of an impoverished carpenter – and became the first (and only) female Prime Minister of Israel. Meir’s earliest memory is of her father boarding up the front door in response to rumours of an imminent pogrom. The family emigrated to the US and for a while Meir lived with her sister, where she was exposed to debates on Zionism, women’s suffrage, literature and socialism. She became a teacher, and after her marriage emigrated again to Palestine, settling on a kibbutz.
Always politically active, she became Israel’s first envoy to Moscow; was promoted to Foreign Minister and ultimately elected as Prime Minister, leader of Israel. In her autobiography she wrote: ‘To me, being Jewish means and has always meant being proud to be part of a people that has maintained its distinct identity for more than 2,000 years, with all the pain and torment that has been inflicted upon it’