Women are an important and equal part of the society as well of the world. In ancient times, women were oppressed and have a meager role in politics and government. However, with the passage of time, many famous female political leaders emerged in the world.
Women are the roots of the universe. They are aspiring. A woman’s spirit blossoms in the colors of her soul. They believed they could so they did. On a lighter note, It is said if women used to rule the world there would never be a war. As we see a bunch of jealous countries does not even have political or diplomatic relations. Women in the present are anyhow different from the past. They have vision and mission and have stopped serving as slaves but serving themselves more now. The number of female leaders in politics is relatively less. However, a lot of women have proved their leadership qualities by presiding over their countries and states for decades. During the course of the evolution of women, female politicians have made lots of revolutions in culture and inducing prosperity through their passion and intelligence.
Here is a brief detail of the top 14 famous female political leaders of all time who proved themselves.
1. Angela Merkel, Germany
Angela Dorothea Merkel was born in the Hamburg State of Germany in July 1954. She started her career as a deputy spokesperson. Merkel was elected by the East German Government at the start of 1989’s Revolutions. Moreover, until then she had completed her Doctorate in Quantum Chemistry.
Later on, proving her skills she served as Federal Minister of Women & Youth in the 1990s. In 2005 she became the first-ever female chancellor of Germany. While serving as the president of the European Council in 2007 she played a vital and arbitrator role in the negotiation of the “Treaty of Lisbon” & “Berlin Declaration”.
Health care reforms, energy development & most recently to manage migrant crises have been her top priorities during her chancellorship. The most adorable thing is that she has been the senior leader of G-7. Her role in managing financial crises on European as well as the international levels is remarkable that’s why she is famous as “The decider”.
In 2018 she has announced not to reelect after her completion of chancellorship in 2021.
On April 6, 2020, she stated about COVID-19:
In my view, the European Union is facing the biggest test since its foundation.
and member states must show greater solidarity.
so that the block can emerge stronger from the economic crisis unleashed by the pandemic.
2. Theresa Mary May, England
May is also one of the famous female political leaders in the world. She served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom & Leader of Conservative Party. Moreover, she was born in October 1956 in Sussex and grew up in Oxfordshire. She attended the University of Oxford and graduated in geography. After the death of her parents in a car accident, she worked at a bakery to complete her studies. She was a girl of political ambitions from an early age.
May started her career from the financial sector and worked at Bank of England from 1977 to 1983. Later she worked as a financial consultant in the “Association of Payment Clearing Services” from 1985 to 1995. She has also served as head of European Affairs unit & senior advisor on international affairs.
She started her political career as a councilor in London Borough of Merton, where she was Chairman of Education. In 1992 general elections she was a candidate of a conservative party for a safe labor seat but stood second. Finally, she succeeded to achieve the position of the conservative candidate for Maidenhead. In the course of 11 Years (1999-2010) she served many roles in cabinets. May performed her role as home secretary and Minister of Women Equalities which she resigned later in 2012.
Theresa May proved her leadership skills by reforming the police federation. Also, she included strict laws on drugs as well as a ban on Opium. The Crown of the creation of the National Crime Agency also goes to her. She introduced restrictions on immigration policies as well.
May held the second female prime minister of the UK after the resignation of former prime minister Mr. Davis Cameron. She played a vital role in withdrawing article 50 of withdrawing the Uk from the European Union. After triggering article 50 she immediately announced general elections to strengthen her position in Brexit negotiations. She had a slogan of “Strong & Stable Leadership”.
Despite having a majority in parliament, the party lost her seats in Brexit. Hence it resulted in withdrawal Brexit agreement with European unions. May resigned from her position when the agreement was rejected by parliament three times. However, she now remains as a backbencher in the house of commons.
3. Christine Lagarde, France
Christine Lagarde is a French politician and lawyer currently holding the designation of President of the European Central Bank. was born in 1956 in a teacher’s family in Paris, France. Her parents were teachers by profession which made her keen to study and knowledge. She graduated from Paris West University by obtaining Masters Degrees of English, Labor Law & Social Law in a row.
After completion of her degree, she started her career in an international law firm of Chicago, Baker & McKenzie where she handled many antitrust and law cases and proved her skills resulting in her partner of the firm in Western Europe. She joined the executive committee in 1995 and was honored with the first female chairman in October 1999. Later on, she became the president of the Global Strategic Committee.
She started her political career as Trade Finance Minister in 2005, where she brought new ideas for opening new markets for their products and improving the technology sector. After serving on the said designation for 2 years she got an appointment as Minister of Agriculture in the French Government followed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Finance & Employment. In 2010, she alone condemned the remarks of Jean-Paul Guerlain’s Racist remarks.
In 2011 she claimed her candidacy for the Head of IMF after the resignation of Dominique Strass. Moreover, she got support from the British, Indian, Brazil, Russia, China, Germany & the United States of America. Meanwhile, the IMF board elected her as their next Managing Director & chairman for the next five years. Hence she became the first female head of IMF. Her countless efforts and experience again earned her the position for the next five years in 2016 as well. Moreover, she was the only candidate who got the nomination for the said post.
Her career allegations arose in 2016 when a French court made her guilty for the negligence of her role as arbitrator in The Bernard Tapie case. However, she has not imposed a penalty. She was ranked 2nd most powerful woman in 2019 by Forbes.
4. Tsai Ing-Wen, China
Tsai, the president of the Republic of China was born in Taipei District of Taiwan in 1956. By far, she is one of the most famous female political leaders. Youngest of her 11 siblings, she was born in a businessman family. She obtained her early education from Taipei followed by her master’s degree in Law from Cornell University Law School. After that, she moved to London and completed her Doctorate degree in Law from the London School of Economics in 1984.
Her political career started when in 2000 she was appointed as Chair of the Mainland Affairs Council. During her service, she gained sympathies with the Pan-Green coalition which led her to join the Democratic Progressive Party in 2004. She was elected as Legislator-at-large in 204 legislative elections. In 2006 she gained the post of Vice President in the Executive yuan(Executive branch of Govt. of Republic of China, Taiwan). She assumed leadership of DPP in 2008, which resulted in the defeat of her party in presidential elections, therefore she had to resign as a chair.
In 2010 November, she struggled for new mayorship in municipal elections of New Taipei City, Taiwan. However, she could not win from the former vice-premier. Yet she did not decrease her struggle and earned a nomination as the first female presidential candidate in the history of the Republic of China. She had been the chair of DPP for two terms and proved her skills in different sectors like Green energy, Nuclear Energy, Labor Reforms, Pension Reforms, Same-Sex Marriages & forward-looking infrastructures. Also, she encouraged New Southbound Policy.
Tsai has recently announced for reelection in 2020 and also registered to run Democratic Progressive Party.
5. Elizabeth Alexandra (Queen Elizabeth II), UK
Elizabeth the Queen of The United Kingdom was born in April 1926 in The Royal Family of Great Britain. His father was The Duke of York & mother was Duchess of The York. She and her only younger sister were educated at home under the supervision of her mother and governess. Mainly they were taught history, literature, music, and language. Elizabeth shows love to dogs and horses and has proved herself a responsible woman to her duties.
Her kingdom career started when she was first appointed Queen Regnant and Head of commonwealth after the demise of her Father in early 1952. She has reigned many states during her Queenship e.g Commonwealth countries including Canada, Australia, Africa, Newzealand & Pakistan. Moreover, she honored many events including coronation & Sapphire Jubilee preceded by Silver, Golden & Diamond Jubilee. She has also held the award of the longest-lived and oldest serving Head of state.
The queen has worked tirelessly to protect the monarchy but she has faced many threats including death threats of their family. In 1979 her uncle was martyred in a vessel blast which led her to a great loss. She herself encountered a murder attempt when she was riding a military parade on her birthday in 1981 of which she fortunately survived. She faced a heavy loss when her daughter in law called Lady Diana was martyred in a car accident.
During her Queenship, she worked for the goodwill of their republicans. She gives her full time to schools, charities, and social institutes. She played an encouraging role in her republicans during world war II. It is also pertinent to mention that with the course of time she has not changed traditions associated with the crown.
6. Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh
Sheikh Haseena Wazid is a Bangladeshi politician and the 10th Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She is also one among the famous female political leaders. Her first term as a prime minister was 1996 to 2001. Sheikh is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of the country. She was born on 28 September 1947 in Tungipara, Gopalganj District, East Bengal. Her political association is with Awami League from 1980 to till date. Sheikh tied the knot with Wazed Miah in 1968. The couple has two children. Wazid Mian died in 2009. Haseen is qualified from the Eden Mohila college University of Dhaka.
Sheikh’s father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman also served the country as the first President. Sheikh’s also remained an Opposition leader. She remained consistent in the elections of 2008, 2014, and 2018. But her opposition mostly boycotted the held elections. And highly criticized by the international observers. Sheikh made her place in the Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 most powerful Women. Haseena is one of the “top 100 Global Thinkers” of this decade. Despite being controversial, she is undoubtedly one of the strongest female leaders.
7. Margaret Thatcher, Great Britain
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, a British state head, served great Britain for the longest spell. She remained Prime minister from 1979 to 1999 and counted among the most famous female political leaders. Margaret was the first female prime minister and became the longest-serving. Politically she comes from the Conservative Party and led it from 1975 to 1990. She was born on 13 October 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. And died by the age of 87 on 8 April 2013. She married Denis Thatcher in 1951 who died in 2003. The couple has two children named Mark and Carol.
Margaret got her early education from Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School. Then she proceeded to Somerville College, Oxford, and Inns of Court School of Law. She is a Barrister Chemist by profession. But destiny has written something else for her. She faces every challenge in a courageous way. Never compromise with pressure. Margaret’s political style won her the title of “ The Iron Lady”. In 1959, Thatcher became a Member of Parliament for Finchley. She served as secretary of state for education and science under the Edward Heath government 1970-74. Thatcher became the leader of the Opposition by defeating Heath in the party’s leadership election.
Thatcher became the first female to lead a political party. In the election of 1979, The people of England trusted a female to lead their country for the first time ever in history. Thatcher introduced her policies mainly focussing to decrease the unemployment ratio and economic struggles. She also pays attention to flexible labor markets. Many state-owned companies got privatized. She decreased the black and white hold of trade unions. Her first period consists of mainly struggling with unemployment. But the victory of the Falklands War and improving economy helped her to win the re-election of 1983.
In 1984 she barely escaped an assassination attempt by the Provisional IRA at Brighton hotel bombing. Her uncompromising political strategy helps her to win against the 1984-85 miners strike by the National Union of Mineworkers. Moreover. she secured the position for the third term in 1987. But her support and views over Community charge and Eurosceptic did not get appreciation even in her own cabinet. Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership after that in November 1990 she quit as prime minister. In 1992 she gave her resignation from the Commons. Then she got lifetime access as Baroness Thatcher. Which enables her to sit in the House of the Lords. She died at the Ritz Hotel in London in 2013. Despite being controversial, Thatcher is among the most historical prime ministers. Her policies left a lasting effect on the United Kingdom.
8. Hillary Clinton, USA
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is undoubtedly the finest leader America could ever have as well as one of the famous female political leaders. I think now Americans can realize that Clinton didn’t lose to Trump.
“Americans lose Hillary and America from Trump”.
Clinton is a politician, lawyer, diplomats, and public speaker. From 1993 to 2001 Clinton remained the first lady of America. She also served as a United States senator from New York from 2001 to 2009. Clinton served as a 67th United States secretary of state. She was the first woman in America’s history who got the nomination for president of the United States after winning the Democratic Party nomination in 2016.
According to the popular vote in the American presidential election, Clinton is the winner. ( If there is any voter of Clinton accept my sympathies and don’t forget to mention how you come up from this hangover). Hillary was born on October 26, 1947, at Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Clinton’s first political affiliation was with Republican. But from 1968 to now she is a member of Democratic. Hillary married Bill Clinton in 1975. The couple has only one child Chelsea Clinton. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law College.
Moreover, Henry met her future husband and future President at Yale. Clinton played a vital role in the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Foster Care Independence Act, and the Adoption and Safe Families Act. Clinton’s personal and professional life came under fire during the Lewinsky scandal. But she remains side by side to her husband. Writing about Clinton I often encounter the word “she was the first female”. If there is a chance to reel her life this title would be nice. Anyhow she was the first female who elected as senator from New York in 2000. While again in 2006 she repeated the history.
During this authority, she advocated the medical benefits for the person whose health is damaged in the September 11 attacks. She participated in Democratic primaries but Barack Obama owned it. During the Obama Administration, she served as a secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. During this period she used a private email server, which was the most covered topic during the 2016 elections. Her second race for the presidential election didn’t succeed. Now she is working as a chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
9. Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan
Daughter of the East Benazir Bhutto is one of the most famous female political leaders. Also, she was the first-ever female political leader of South Asia. Benazir was the daughter of the former Pakistani prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. She was a Pakistani politician, a writer who served the country twice as prime minister. Moreover, Benazir was born on 21 June 1953 in Karachi Sindh. She got an education from Harvard University and the University of Oxford. Also, she led the Oxford Union.
Benazir married landlord Asif Ali Zardari in 1987. Later Zardari also served as the President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013. The couple has three children Bilawal, Bakhtawar, Aseefa. Bilawal Zardari is the current chairperson of her mother and grandfather’s political party. Her father was the founder of the “Pakistan Peoples Party”. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s government was ousted by a military cop and he was executed after a military trial. Bhutto alongside her mother Nusrat Bhutto took the charge of PPP and started a protest against the violation of Democracy. She endured the hardships of prison and finally exile to Great Britain in 1984.
She returns to Pakistan after the air accident of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. And led her party from the front, finally winning the election of 1988. Her first term as prime minister was accused of corruption and nepotism and fired by the president Ishaq Khan in 1990. In re-elections, Bhutto took the seat of Opposition leader. This government was soon dismissed. And in the elections of 1993 Bhutto took the prime minister seat again. Her main focus was on the rights of women and economic growth.
Her second term was soon under the charges of bribery, her brother Murtaza’s assassination, and taking ten percent commissions from the international companies. All these matters led her to lose her government. She participated in the elections of 1997 but lost. Then Bhutto went to self-exile in 1998 in Dubai.
After a deal with Pervaiz Musharaf, she returned to Pakistan in 2007 for the coming elections of 2008. On 27 December 2007 at a political rally in Rawalpindi, she was assassinated. To date, many theories came for the reason of her death. But people have not seen so far any satisfactory result. She was a role model for many in the male -dominating society. She faced a backlash from religious authorities for her modern agenda.
10. Yevgenia Bosch, Russia
Evgenia Bosch was born on 23 August 1879 in Ochakiv, Russian Empire. She was German by nationality but the citizen of Russia, Soviet. Her political affiliations remain with two parties firstly with RSDLP from 1901-1912. And then with the Russian Communist Party from 1912-1925. She got an education from Voznesensk Female Gymnasium. She was a Bolshevik activist, politician, and member of the national government of Ukraine under the Soviet Government. It is said she was the first modern female politician, leader, and member of the national government in the 20th century.
In 1917 She was the minister of interior and the leader of the provincial Soviet government of Ukraine. She was the first prime minister of independent Ukraine. Bosch’s childhood was not so happy because of the often quarrels between her parents. Her parents tried to marry her with a much older man but she took a stand against it. And then married to her own choice. In 1925 her memorial published with the title of “A year of struggle”. Which consists of the events of the Ukraine government. In 1925, she became upset over some political issues of her party. Also, her poor heart condition led her to commit suicide at the young age of 45.
11.Isabel Martinez de Peron, Argentina
Maria Estela Martinez Cartas de Peron was the president of Argentina from 1974 to 1976. She was the wife of President Juan Peron and a vice-president during her husband’s term from 1973 to 1974. She was the first female to attain the title of “President”. Isabel’s government is ousted by the military and she goes to house arrest for five years. In 1981 she exiled to Spain. She was born on 4 February 1931 in La Rioja, Argentina. Her political affiliation is with the Justicialist party. She married Juan Peron in 1961. This marriage remained successful until the death of Peron in 1974.
Isabel opened her eyes to a lower-middle-class family and didn’t complete her education. She became a nightclub dancer. She met Juan when he was in exile. He was in love with her within no time. The couple moved together to Madrid in 1960. Under the pressure of conservative Roman Catholic nations, the couple married on 15 November 1961. Isabel played a vital role in the political life of her husband. She faced every challenge by walking side by side to him. Isabel faced a scandal where she had been charged with the forced disappearance of activist Hector Aldo Fagetti Gallego in February 1976.
She was also charged with the crimes related to Military operations against annihilated subversive elements. The case came to end in 2007 when an Argentine judge ordered her arrest. On 12 January 2007, she was arrested near her home in Spain.
12. Indra Gandhi, India
Indra Priyadarshini Gandhi was the first and till now only female prime minister of Inia. She is another one of the famous female political leaders. Her father Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India. She served the country as prime minister twice. Gandhi and her father both are the longest-serving prime ministers of India. She is one of the best leaders India could ever have. Moreover, She is the central figure of Indian politics. She was born on 19 November 1917 Allahabad, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India ( Present-day Prayagraj, Utter Pradesh, India).
Indra started her political career while assisting her father during his tenure as prime minister. Her political association is with The Indian National Congress. In 1959 She became the president of the party. She served as Minister of Information and broadcasting in Lal Bahadur Shastri’s cabinet. Though she was an elected prime minister yet some of her policies show dictatorship. She supports the war of freedom by East-Pakistan and led the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.
Gandhi also imposed a state of emergency from 1975 to 197. As per this, there was a complete ban on civic activities and the press goes to censorship. Gandhi’s nationalist policies led to her murder on 31 October 1984. Gandhi’s Sikh bodyguard attempted the assassination. Apparently he was angry over her military operation in the Golden Temple. Undoubtedly she was the most powerful woman of the 20th century. In the poll of BBC 1999, she earned the title “Woman of the Millennium”.
13. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka
Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike is the first non-hereditary female head of any country in the modern world. She was a Srilankan politician and one among the famous female political leaders. Sirimavo served Srilanka as prime minister three times. She was born on 17 April 1916 in Ratnapura, British Ceylon. Her political association is with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. She got married to Solomon Bandaranaike in 1940. The couple has three children Sunethra, Chandrika, and Anura. Moreover, Sirimavo was born to a rich Buddhist family in Sri Lanka. She started working as a social reformer. After marriage, she worked as an informal advisor to her husband.
Moreover, Sirimavo raised the living standard of rural girls and women through her reforms. After the assassination of her husband, she joins politics. And eventually elected as the prime minister of Sri Lanka. As a state head, her policies mainly deal with education, media, industry, and banking and trade centers. She tries to reform Sri Lanka after Independence from British colonies. We can say that she leveled the basis of today’s Sri Lanka. She gave Sinhala the status of administration language. Her major challenges were unemployment, high inflation, and taxes, and the constant tension between Sinhalese and Tamil. However, her policies were blamed for being Sinhala nationalist.
Sirimavo faced a number of rituals against her government. Also, she is accused of having illegal use of her powers. She played an important rule after the civil war of Sri Lanka. Moreover. Sirimavo opposed Indian interference in the country. Sirimavo also remained the leader of the opposition. Her daughter also won the election of the president and she was appointed as a Prime minister.
14. Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand
Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern is serving as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand. Undoubtedly, she was one of the most famous female political leaders right now. She was born on 26 July 1980 in Hamilton, New Zealand. She is a graduate of the University of Waikato. Her first job was as a researcher in the office of Prime Minister Helen Clark. She also worked with British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a policy advisor. She also worked as a President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.
Jacinda was elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on 1 March 2017. She improved the image of her party among voters which eventually led to the success in general election 2017. Moreover, Jacinda took oath at the age of 37 which makes her youngest female prime minister. Arderne states her government as “focused, empathetic, and strong”. After Benazir Bhutto Ardern is the second female who took maternity leave during the office.