Politics is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. But these women politicians have proved their worth in a field largely dominated by men.
In a run-up to the International Women’s Day to be celebrated on 8th March, we present to you some famous women in politics across the world.
Sirimavo Bandaranaike (Sri Lanka)
Born on 17th April 1916, Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in 1960, becoming the first woman Prime Minister in the world. She served two other terms as Prime Minister from 1970 to 1977 and 1994 to 2000.
She was inducted into the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) as the leader after the assassination in 1959 of her husband, S. W. R. D Bandaranaike, who was the leader of the party. The party won the election in July 1960 and this was the first time she was elected Prime Minister.
Margaret Thatcher (United Kingdom)
Famously known as ‘The Iron Lady,’ Margaret Thatcher served as the Prime Minister of United Kingdom in 1979, becoming the first woman to hold the post and the first woman Prime Minister of Europe. She was also the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 20th century.
She has widely been credited for changing the face of Britain by accelerating its economy. Her policies included flexible labour markets, privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions.
Indira Gandhi (India)
Indira Gandhi has been, till date, the first and the only woman Prime Minister of India. Daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru – the first Prime Minister of India – Indira Gandhi was known as a fierce leader who was first elected to office in 1966. She served as the leader of India till 1977 and again from 1980 to 1984.
She led India to victory against Pakistan in the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971. Further, she was also the leader when India conducted its first nuclear test ever.
Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan)
Benazir Bhutto served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990, and again from 1993 to 1996. In the process, she became the first woman leader of a Muslim nation in modern history. After the execution of her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, she became the head of the Pakistan People’s Party.
In a largely male-dominated society, Bhutto was widely seen as a champion of women’s empowerment and rights.
Angela Merkel (Germany)
Angela Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany and has held the post since 2005, becoming the first woman to hold the post. She is widely considered as one of the most powerful leaders of the world and the de facto leader of the European Union.
She played a prominent role in managing the euro-zone debt crisis, championing austerity measures and helping recover Europe’s damaged economy.
Hillary Clinton (United States of America)
Hillary Clinton was the first woman to be nominated for the President of the United States by a major political party. Subsequently, she lost the Presidential election of 2016 to Donald Trump despite winning a plurality of the popular vote.
Earlier, she served as the Secretary of the State of the United States from 2009 to 2013, and as the Senator of New York from 2001 to 2009.
Who are the other women leaders that have had a massive impact on the world political scenario? Do let us know the women in politics that have inspired you!
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