In this four-part series, Dr. Amanda Foreman traverses countries and continents to uncover and interrogate key stories of the strong, radical and revolutionary women that have made and changed the course of human history from 10,000 BC to the present day. The diverse characters she explores range from Mughal Empress Nur Jahan, who helped establish trade routes and pioneered the visual aesthetic of India, to American activist Margaret Sanger, who coined the term ‘birth control’ and developed the contraceptive pill. The series geographical reach is just as ambitious, covering everywhere from ancient Greece to medieval France; from first-century Vietnam to modern America. The Ascent of Woman argues that the history of women isn’t a straight line from Eve’s apple to Margaret Sanger’s Pill. Instead, over the past ten thousand years it has veered wildly between extremes of freedom and oppression, inclusion and exclusion. The reason is that the status of women is a barometer of a society’s tolerance, fairness and openness. A poor record on women’s rights goes hand-in-hand with low economic output and high levels of violence. For the next economic cycle to be the age of full participation, there has to be a woman-led revolution that unleashes the potential of all individuals. At stake are the goals of autonomy, authority, and agency for all women.