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Why is Joan of Arc considered a feminist icon?

The Maid of Orleans

Joan of Arc's estimated date of birth is on January 5th or 6th, 1412, in Domrémy, France. The Maid of Orleans was raised in a well-off rural family. Her childhood years took place during the gruesome Hundred Years' War, which saw the son of the King of France fight against Henry VI of England for the French throne.

At age 13, Joan of Arc stated that she had heard the voices of several saints urging her to live a devout life. The following year, she added that God had called her to lead the French troops in battle.

After rejecting her petition initially, King Charles finally agreed to allow her command over 5,000 soldiers. She ran many successful campaigns which secured victory to her kingdom. However, it was not her role as a woman leader in a feudal society the only thing to make her an icon for modern feminism: when the war ended, she was handed over to the English troops, which accused her of heresy and of practicing witchcraft. Although she was given an opportunity to take her words back, she decided not to do so and thus she was sentenced to die at the stake.

She was killed under accusation of being a witch, just like hundreds of other women who, in the Middle Ages, practiced Medicine or worked in fields that went against gender roles at the time. She was beatified and canonized in the early 20th Century.

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