January 6th marks an incredibly important day in women's history. It is the birth date of Joan of Arc. 

As one of the most popular historical examples of women's suffrage in the west, Joan of Arc is a symbol of not only female empowerment, though also the turn of the documentation of women's history. In honour of the famous warrior, here are three other women who pioneered, fought and didn't make it into the history books.

James Barry / Margaret Ann Buckley (1795 - 1865)

Born in Ireland in 1795, James Barry would go on to study at the University of Edinburgh for a degree in medicine. After working as a surgeon in Cape Town, under the British Army, James Barry rose through the ranks to Inspector General; the second highest medical office in Britain. Not to mention, that James was the first person to successfully perform a Caesarean Section in Africa. It was only on his deathbed, that officials discovered that James Barry was actually born Margaret Ann Buckley. 

In order to pursue a career as a surgeon, Margaret chose to keep her gender a secret, so that she would be able to save lives. The penalty of being discovered would have been severe. The lives she saved will remember her as James Barry, though the world would have seemed to of forgotten Margaret Ann Buckley.

Khutulun the Mongolian Princess (1260 - 1306)

As a descendant of Ghengis Khan, (founder of the Mongol Empire), it's suffice to say that Khutulun had a great deal resting on her shoulders. Heavily relied on by her father Kaidu in battle, Khutulun was an incredible fighter. In fact, Kaidu relied more solely on Khutulun than any of her fourteen other brothers. 

Marco Polo, a world renowned explorer, even documented her skills. According to his documentations, Khutulun would often pick up and retrieve entire soldiers, riding off with them and delivering them to her father. 

So when the time came for Khutulun to be married off, she decided to settle who she would marry in a similar way - wrestling. If she lost a fight to a suitor, she would marry them. If Khutulun won, she would be given one hundred horses from the defeated suitor... 

10,000 horses later, Kaidu realised that it may not be an effective method for marriage. Finally, Khutulun found and married a man, though this time, on her own grounds. Sadly, Khutulun's story is not one that usually travels further than the borders of Mongolia. 

Ching Shih the Pirate Lord (1775 - 1844) 

Unarguably, the most successful pirate to ever sail the seven seas, was not in fact "Black Beard" or "The Barbosa Brothers", though rather a Chinese prostitute. Her name? Ching Shih. 

Little was to be expected of Ching Shih when her husband, (a successful pirate by the name of Zheng Yi), died. Though her decision to take over her husband's ship would be one to change the fate of the entire Chinese Government. 

Shih ruled with an iron fist. If any of her crew stole from towns that allied with her regime, raped captured women or stole from the pirate treasury, the penalty was death. Ching Shih became so notorious for stealing and ransacking villages, that the entire Chinese government sent fleets to stop her. She defeated them all by a land slide. 

Ching Shih went on to control over 80,000 sailors and over 1,500 vessels. In an attempt to put an end to her reign of terror, the Chinese Government sent for British and Dutch warships to back up their own fleets. This, however, was still not enough. 

Eventually, the Chinese government offered her amnesty, not only for herself, but also for her 17,000 current crew members. Ching Shih accepted this, and retired to the countryside, deciding to open a brothel and dying at the age of 69.

Although Ching Shih was the most successful pirate in history, her story remains almost completely forgotten. And unfortunately, the same also goes for the stories of Margaret Buckley and Princess Khutulun. Women's history is widely less documented to that of men's, and remains the reason why figures such as Joan of Arc are so important. Strong women have always existed, though the documentation of women similar to these, hasn't. Happy Birthday Joan of Arc!