This project is an account of the life of Sofia Kovalevskaya, one of the first great female mathematicians and a woman who passionately tried to change the views of society and provide a free choice for women in their pursuit of knowledge. During her life she faced many obstacles, from her family, society and the academic world. She triumphed over most of these and was at the height of her academic powers when her life was tragically cut short.
Many of her experiences are relevant when analysing the problems facing women in mathematics today. These are examined in a conclusion that also draws on the lives of other women to ask exactly how far we have progressed and what the future may hold.