Women are becoming more and more involved in politics, as we can see from the recent elections. From representatives to prime ministers to presidents, female leaders are becoming prominent in today’s political realm.
Slovakia recently elected their first female president, Zuzana Čaputová, who is shown in the above picture. Čaputová not only made history for Slovakia by being the first female president, but is also the first female president in central Europe. She will take office on June 15 and hopes to continue combating corruption and advocating for minorities. She is also a recipient of the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for her work in environmental advocacy.
Around the world, there are currently several women in office as president or prime minister, which include the following:
- Evelyn Wever-Croes, Prime Minister of Aruba
- Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
- Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados
- Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia
- Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia
- Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia
- Salome Zurabishvili, President of Georgia
- Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany
- Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland
- Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania
- Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands
- Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar
- Saara Kuugongelwa, Prime Minister of Namibia
- Bidhya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal
- Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway
- Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
- Viorica Dăncilă, Prime Minister of Romania
- Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia
- Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore
- Leona Marlin-Romeo, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten
- Simonetta Sommaruga, Member of the Swiss Federal Council
- Viola Amherd, Member of the Swiss Federal Council
- Karin Keller-Sutter, Member of the Swiss Federal Council
- Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago
- Theresa May, Prime Minister of of the UK
Of course, there are many more former presidents and prime ministers, as terms for these positions vary based on the country. In fact, 76 modern states have had a female leader, and 4 former states (East Germany, Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Tannu Tuva) had female leaders as well. More fun facts are that the women who led the longest terms, are Zoya Pukhova in the Soviet Union and Brunhilde Hanke in East Germany, both with 25 years served. Some countries have even had multiple women as leaders (including acting), like San Marino (19), Switzerland (9), Haiti (4), Peru (4), Finland (3), Iceland (3), Lithuania (3), New Zealand (3), Poland (3), and South Korea (3).
In the United States, a new Chicago mayor was just announced, Lori Lightfoot, who will be the city’s the first ever openly gay, black female mayor. Not only is the mayor-elect history making, but the campaign itself was, as the two candidates running for office were both black females. With no prior experience in holding office, Lightfoot offers hope to citizens looking for change.
The United States has never had a female president. I hope in the future that we can change this, especially with the amount of women who have expressed their interest in running for the 2020 election. As Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar (equivalent to the prime minister) says: “I think more women should be involved in politics for the good of the human race.”