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Shattered, Cracked, or Firmly Intact?Women and the Executive Glass Ceiling Worldwide$

Farida Jalalzai

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199943531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199943531.001.0001

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(p.185) Biographies of Women Leaders, 1960–2010

(p.185) Biographies of Women Leaders, 1960–2010

Shattered, Cracked, or Firmly Intact?
Oxford University Press

Region: Africa

Sylvie Kinigi (1952-)Prime Minister of Burundi (June 1993–February 1994)

Sylvie Kinigi was a student of economics at the University of Burundi before becoming a civil servant and adviser to the prime minister in 1991. As a member of the Hutu ethnic group who had married a Tutsi, she was in a unique position to help breach the rift between the two rival groups (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2010a, 2010b; UNESCO 2011). Kinigi was elevated from bureaucrat to prime minister after the election of President Melchior Ndadaye in 1993. Four months following her appointment, President Ndadaye was assassinated in a coup, and Kinigi was asked to form a caretaker government. However, after the National Assembly elected a new president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, a new prime minister was appointed and Kinigi left government service. She became an outspoken proponent of reconciliation between Hutus and Tutsis and continues in that role today. Kinigi has held various positions in the United Nations, including special representative of the UN Secretary General to the Great Lakes region in Africa (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2010a; UNESCO 2011; Reuters 1994).

Elisabeth Domitien (1925-April 26, 2005)Prime Minister of Central African Republic (January 2, 1975–April 7, 1976)

Elisabeth Domitien was the first woman prime minister of Central African Republic and the first black woman ruler of an independent state (Zárate 2011). A businesswoman and politician, Domitien became involved in politics at an (p.186) early age. She supported Jean-Bédel Bokassa, who assumed power in a 1965 coup (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2010c). She became vice president of the Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa (MESAN), the country’s only legal political party, in 1972. Three years later she was appointed prime minister by Bokassa, but she was dismissed in 1976 because of her opposition to Bokassa’s institution of a monarchical state (Titley 1997). After Bokassa was ousted from office in 1979, Domitien was tried for covering up extortion within Bokassa’s government (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2010c). She served a brief prison term and was barred from participating in politics. Nevertheless, she remained influential in both business and politics until her death in 2005.

Rose Francine Rogombé (September 20, 1942-)President of Gabon (June 10–October 16, 2009)

Born in Lambarene, Gabon, Rose Francine Rogombé studied in France but returned to Gabon to serve in the government. She worked as a magistrate before being named secretary of state for the advancement of women and human rights. She received a degree in theology in 2007 and was chosen as president of the Senate in February 2009 (Our Campaigns 2009; African Free Press 2009).

The death of President Omar Bongo in June 2009 propelled Rogombé into the presidency because the Gabonese constitution stipulates that the president of the Senate is the presidential successor (Radio Netherlands Worldwide 2009; Our Campaigns 2009). Although she served only on an interim basis (the first woman to hold that office), the political climate of Gabon was somewhat tenuous as concerns arose over a potential power vacuum (Koep 2009). Amid widespread criticism, however, Rogombé fulfilled her obligation as interim president and ordered a new election within the forty-five-day time frame designated by the constitution (Index Mundi 2012) After the election of a new president, Rogombé returned to her previous position as president of the Senate, in which she continues to serve.

Carmen Pereira (1937-)President of Guinea-Bissau (May 14–May 16, 1984)

Carmen Pereira became involved in politics when Guinea-Bissau was fighting for its independence from Portugal. Women were likewise seeking liberation, but from the exploitative nature of the patriarchal system (Urdang 1975). Pereira, the daughter of a lawyer, was expected to hone her embroidery and other sewing skills and patiently wait for a husband (Coquery-Vidrovitch (p.187) 1997). While she indeed found a husband, her career eventually extended far beyond household duties.

Pereira’s membership in the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) led her to assume several governmental posts. In 1973 she became the deputy president of the Assembléla Nacional Popular, a position she maintained until 1984 (Urdang 1975; Christensen 2011). From 1975 to 1980 Pereira served as president of the Parliament of Cape Verde. She also served as minister of health and social affairs, acting head of state for three days in 1984, a member of the Council of State, and minister of state for social affairs (Christensen 2011). She was deputy prime minister of Guinea-Bissau from 1990 until she was dismissed in 1992 by her successor, President João Bernardo Vieira.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (October 29, 1938-)President of the Republic of Liberia (January 16, 2006–present)

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was born in Liberia and came to the United States to attend the University of Colorado, where she studied economics. She then obtained a master of public administration degree from Harvard University. Johnson Sirleaf returned to Liberia following her education and immediately became embroiled in national politics, serving as finance minister. She narrowly escaped death in 1980 when all but four cabinet ministers were executed when Samuel Doe overthrew the government of President William Tolbert (CBC News Online 2006). After the coup, Johnson Sirleaf began protesting Doe’s government. These activities eventually led her to flee Liberia. While working for Citibank during her exile in Kenya, she continued agitating for democratic transition in her home country. In 1985 she returned to Liberia to run for the Senate and was placed under house arrest for several months; when she was released she again went into exile in Kenya (CBC News Online 2006).

In addition to serving as a vice president for Citibank and HSCB, she worked for the United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Bureau for Africa and for the World Bank and was president of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment. She also served on the board of the International Monetary Fund. While initially supportive of Charles Taylor, who overthrew the Liberian government, she ultimately challenged him, leading Taylor to charge her with treason and exiling her again (BBC News 2005b; CBC News Online 2006).

When Taylor’s government fell in 2005, Johnson Sirleaf successfully ran for the presidency. She restored necessary infrastructure, including electrical and water systems, in addition to providing general political stability. Although continually plagued by corruption, Johnson Sirleaf exposed criminal behavior (p.188) within the government (BBC News 2005b; Cabellero 2006; CBC News Online 2006; Hough 2006; Independent Television Service 2008; PBS News Hour 2005; Whitaker 2010). In 2011, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She recently embarked on a second term as president of Liberia.

Luísa Dias Diogo (April 11, 1958-)Prime Minister of Mozambique (February 17, 2004–January 16, 2010)

Luísa Dias Diogo obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics from Eduardo Mondale University and began a lifelong career in Mozambique’s finance ministry. She began as part of the technical staff of the program and worked her way up to head of the Department of Budget in the Ministry of Finance. She was appointed national director of the Budget Office in1992; in the same year, she completed her master’s degree in financial economics (AfDevInfo 2008; Department of Public Information 2006). When she left the budget office, she went to work for the World Bank for one year before returning to the Ministry of Finance as the director of budget. She served five years as the deputy minister of finance and five years as the minister of finance before she was selected to be prime minister.

Diogo helped with public-sector financial reforms, restructuring foreign debt, reforming the tax system, and strengthening the financial position of Mozambique. She is currently working as cochair of the United Nations High-Level Panel on System-wide Coherence in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance, and environment (AfDevInfo 2008; Department of Public Information 2006). Diogo was ranked ninety-sixth in Forbes magazine’s list of “the 100 Most Powerful Women of 2005.” Time magazine also listed her as one of the “top 100 most influential and powerful people of 2004” (Encyclopedia of World Biography 2010; Forbes 2007).

Agathe Uwilingiyimana (May 23, 1953-April 6, 1994)Prime Minister of Rwanda (July 18, 1993–April 7, 1994)

Agathe Uwilingiyimana was appointed prime minister of Rwanda during a time of continuing turmoil and tribulation in that nation. Prior to her appointment, Uwilingiyimana spent many years as a chemistry and math teacher (Yasinow 2006) before being elevated to minister of primary and secondary education, in which position she focused on making education available to all Rwandans. She served as prime minister for eight months, before the government fell apart. Rebels first destroyed the airplane in which President Juvenal Habyarimana (p.189) and Burundi’s new president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, were passengers. This same plane crash was responsible for elevating Sylvie Kinigi to Burundi’s prime ministership (New York Times 1994). The next day, Uwilingiyimana’s guards, provided by the United Nations, were killed and she was taken hostage. She was raped and, along with her husband, killed by her captors (New York Times 1994; Yasinow 2006). Ultimately, her attackers were convicted of genocide and murder (New York Times 1994; Simons 2007; Yasinow 2006).

Maria das Neves Ceita Batista de Sousa (1958-)Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe (October 3, 2002–September 18, 2004)

Maria das Neves was appointed prime minister of São Tomé and Príncipe after the dissolution of the previous government. Her appointment came during a long struggle between the office of the president and the Parliament. In order to strengthen their hands, the members of Parliament had attempted to rewrite the constitution. Das Neves was a consensus candidate among the three largest parties, and the president agreed to her appointment (New York Times 2003).

Das Neves was a civil servant in the Ministry of Finance, worked for the World Bank, and served as minister of economics and minister of commerce, industry, and tourism. The government survived a coup attempt, and Das Neves tendered her resignation after the government was restored. Her resignation was rebuffed; however, her government was dismissed on charges of corruption a year later (Africa Resource Center 2006). As prime minister, she focused on increasing tourism, promoting women’s rights, and developing industry, specifically an oil industry (New York Times 2003; Afrol News 2002, 2003a, 2003b; Council of Women World Leaders 2011; Africa Resource Center 2006).

Maria do Carmo Silveira (1961-)Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe (June 8, 2005–April 21, 2006)

Less than a year after São Tomé and Príncipe witnessed the dismissal of its first female prime minister, President Fradique de Menezes selected another woman for that position. Maria do Carmo Silveira was governor of the National Bank from 2002 until 2005. She simultaneously served as prime minister and finance minister (Freedom House 2005). General elections were held the year following Silveira’s appointment, and a coalition government assumed office (Encyclopedia.com 2007).

(p.190) Mame Madior Boye (1940-)Prime Minister of Senegal (March 3, 2001–November 4, 2002)

Mame Madior Boye was the councilor to the Supreme Court of Appeals and minister of justice and keeper of the seals before being selected as prime minister of Senegal in 2001 (Christensen 2011). Her position was to be temporary, and her primary responsibility was to oversee new elections (Jensen 2008). President Abdoulaye Wade was so impressed with her performance, however, that he appointed her to a full term following the elections. Controversy arose when a ferry disaster claimed the lives of almost one thousand people in October 2002, and Boye was dismissed as prime minister a month later (Jensen 2008).

Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri (September 18, 1937-April 6, 2009)President of the Republic of South Africa (September 14–September 18, 2005; September 25, 2008)

Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri was born in Kroonstad in South Africa’s Free State province. At the age of twenty-eight, she went into exile and would not return to South Africa for twenty-five years. During her time in exile, she enrolled in postgraduate studies in the United States and received a doctorate degree in sociology from Rutgers University (Ministry of Communications 2009; Who’s Who Southern Africa 2009). Matsepe-Casaburri returned to South Africa in 1990 and became active in the areas of gender, education, economic development, and local government. In 1996 she became the first female premier of the Free State provincial government, a post she held until 1999.

Matsepe-Casaburri served as minister of communications from 1999 until her death in 2009. Twice during her tenure, she was named acting president of South Africa. In 2005 she served in that capacity for three days during the simultaneous absence of the president and the deputy president, and in 2008 she served for fourteen hours following the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki (Ministry of Communications 2009; Quintal 2008). During her long career, Matsepe-Casaburri taught at Rutgers University, was the senior lecturer and registrar at the United Nations Institute for Namibia, was the first woman and first black chairperson of the Board of Sentech, and was an activist on issues of education, gender, and research. She also received an honorary doctorate in law from Rutgers (Ministry of Communications 2009; Who’s Who Southern Africa 2009).

(p.191) Region: Asia

Sheikh Hasina (September 28, 1947-)Prime Minister of Bangladesh (June 23, 1996–July 15, 2001; January 6, 2009–present)

Sheikh Hasina’s father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, led the independence movement that secured Bangladesh’s freedom from Pakistan. However, he was assassinated in a coup that claimed not only his life but also the lives of his wife and three sons. Sheikh Hasina and her sister were in West Germany at the time of the coup (Bangladesh Awami League 2011), and Hasina remained outside of the country until she was elected leader of her party, the Awami League. Upon her return to Bangladesh, she assumed the role of opposition leader, and she was jailed a number of times in that role. She and Khaleda Zia (discussed in the next biography) struggled to free Bangladesh from military rule. When the military government was expelled, Khaleda Zia’s party won parliamentary elections, but many of Zia’s counterparts participated in the military government. As a result, Hasina continued to agitate for a caretaker government and new elections.

Eventually, her efforts led to elections and the Awami League won a parliamentary majority, leading to her installation as prime minister. She was eventually ousted by rival, Khaleda Zia, in 2001. She faced corruption and murder charges leveled by her enemies. Eventually both Hasina and Zia would be arrested following a military coup (Bangladesh Awami League 2011; Virtual Bangladesh 2006a; Green and Perry 2006; Banglapedia 2006). Once military rule ended, Hasina returned again as prime minister of Bangladesh in 2009. Despite threats of assassination, Hasina continues to pursue economic development and promote women’s participation in various sectors of government (Bast 2010).

Khaleda Zia (August 15, 1945-)Prime Minister of Bangladesh (March 20, 1991–March 30, 1996; October 10, 2001–October 29, 2006)

Khaleda Zia’s political life began when her husband, General Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated in a military coup (Banglapedia 2006). He had come to power as a result of a military takeover of the Bangladesh government. His death led to Zia’s greater involvement in political party activities with the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), which set her at odds with Sheikh Hasina (discussed in the preceding biography). The military government eventually yielded to pressure brought to bear by Zia and Hasina as well as other parties. Like Hasina, Zia was imprisoned a number of times during their freedom fight.

(p.192) In the election of 1991, Zia gained the prime ministership. She focused heavily on the role of women and on reducing poverty and improving education. She also concentrated a great deal on reducing the role of terrorists in Bangladesh. She served two terms before being defeated by Hasina. She retreated to the role of active opposition leadership until 2001, when she again defeated Hasina (Green and Perry 2006; Banglapedia 2006; Virtual Bangladesh 2006b). Upon the conclusion of Zia’s second term, emergency rule in Bangladesh resumed for two years. Zia was arrested on corruption charges in 2007 but, like Hasina, gained release in 2008 (US Department of State 2010). Most recently, BNP activists have been protesting the disappearance of party members since Hasina’s return to the premiership (Alam 2012).

Indira Gandhi (November 19, 1917-October 31, 1984)Prime Minister of India (January 19, 1966–March 24, 1977; January 14, 1980–October 31, 1984)

Indira Gandhi was born into a politically active Indian family. Mahatma Gandhi (no relation) was a frequent guest in her family’s home (IndiraGandhi.com 2008). She, along with family members, participated in India’s independence movement. After India gained autonomy, her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, became the country’s first prime minister. After her father’s death, Gandhi was elected to Parliament in 1966 and was subsequently appointed prime minister when a death opened the position for contestation.

Gandhi led during a time of great turmoil for India, including a war between India and Pakistan and problems between East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) and West Pakistan. The war resulted in a military win for India and the granting of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan (Kamat 2011). Gandhi was severely criticized for her heavy-handed approach to governance. She was accused of amassing too much power, ruling essentially as a dictator through issuing emergency rule. In 1977, she was voted out of power, but she returned to office in 1980, and her son Sanjay Gandhi was assumed to be her heir apparent. Upon his death in a plane crash, her other son, Rajiv Gandhi, began his political career. In October 1984, Indira Gandhi’s bodyguards attacked and killed her. Rajiv Gandhi succeeded her (IndiraGhandi.com 2008; Kamat 2011), but Tamil militants murdered him in 1991.

Pratibha Patil (December 19, 1934-)President of India (July 25, 2007–July 25, 2012)

Pratibha Patil has held numerous positions in local and national Indian government, including minister of tourism, social welfare, and housing; chief of her (p.193) party; director of the National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies; and governor of Rajasthan. In all, Patil has held more than ten different positions in state and national government in India (President’s Secretariat 2011).

A public supporter of Indira Gandhi, Patil spent ten days in jail for protesting Gandhi’s arrest. In 2007, a male consensus candidate for the presidency was chosen by a group of left-wing politicians. However, on the day of the nomination, the coalition fell apart. The parties sought a more palatable candidate, leading to Patil’s selection as the consensus choice (BBC News 2007b; President’s Secretariat 2011). She easily won election at age seventy-two (BBC News 2007b; President’s Secretariat 2011; NDTV Bureau 2007; Nilacharal Ltd. 2011).

Megawati Sukarnoputri (January 23, 1947-)President of Indonesia (July 23, 2001–October 20, 2004)

Megawati Sukarnoputri’s father, Sukarno, was considered the “Father of Indonesia”; he helped free the country from Dutch colonial rule after World War II. Sukarnoputri did not get involved in Indonesian politics until she was into her forties (BBC News 2004). During this time, General Suharto took over the Indonesian government and ruled as a dictator (CNN 2004; PBS News Hour 2001). His harsh governance propelled Sukarnoputri into action. She began protesting Suharto’s government and resurrected her family’s political party. Feeling threatened, Suharto refused to allow her to run for office. Eventually, Suharto was removed from power. In 1999, Sukarnoputri ran for president and reportedly gained the most votes (Sirry 2006, 477), but the Parliament instead appointed Abdurrahman Wahid, a Muslim cleric, to the presidency. Wahid successfully mobilized Muslim parties against a female presidential candidacy, though they were willing to elect Sukarnoputri vice president (Sirry 2006, 477). She succeeded Wahid after his impeachment in 2001.

Sukarnoputri brought stability to the government in the face of rising worldwide concerns about Indonesia’s role in terrorism. A sluggish economy and continued terrorist incidents would ultimately cost her reelection in 2004 (BBC News 2004; PBS News Hour 2001; CNN 2004). The first direct presidential election in Indonesia was held in July 2004. Because the winner lacked a majority vote, Sukarnoputri, who ranked second, participated in a runoff election in September 2004, but she lost. Her third run in 2009 likewise proved unsuccessful (Economist 2009).

Nyam Osoryn Tuyaa (1958-)Acting Prime Minister of Mongolia (July 22–July 30, 1999)

Nyam Osoryn Tuyaa assumed the duties of acting prime minister of Mongolia after the government fell in 1999. She served in that capacity for more than a (p.194) week until the Mongolian Parliament selected a successor. Tuyaa remained in the new government as foreign minister (Jensen 2008; Christensen 2011).

Benazir Bhutto (June 21, 1953-December 27, 2007)Prime Minister of Pakistan (December 2, 1988–August 6, 1990; October 19, 1993–November 5, 1996)

Raised a daughter of privilege in Pakistan, Bhutto was educated at Harvard University in the United States and at Oxford University in England before returning to Pakistan (Baker 2007). Her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, served as prime minister and president, and he was hanged in 1979 for murdering a political rival (a charge he vehemently denied). Benazir, as her father’s oldest child, took up the mantle of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and was eventually appointed prime minister (bhutto.org 2008). While she ran on promises of liberating Pakistan from some of its religious strictures, particularly as they related to women, her first administration was noted for its inactivity. She was ousted from government on charges of corruption in 1990. One of Bhutto’s brothers was also killed while she was prime minister, and some of her family turned against her, accusing her and her husband, Asif Zardari, of being complicit in his murder.

However, Bhutto’s departure from government proved brief. She gained reappointment as prime minister in 1993, after the government following her first term was also ousted. Her second stint was soon interrupted by charges of corruption, resulting in her husband’s arrest and her family’s departure from Pakistan. They remained exiled until 2007, when President Pervez Musharraf started clearing the way for her return to Pakistan and opened talks regarding a power-sharing agreement (Baker and Robinson 2007). Bhutto’s triumphant return proved short-lived. During a celebration of her homecoming in the Rawalpindi district, the same district where her father had been hanged, shots rang out and, shortly thereafter, a suicide bomb was detonated. The exact cause of Bhutto’s death remains unclear (whether she was killed by a gunshot or by a blow to the head from the bomb concussions), but some suspect that the Taliban was involved in her assassination, likely because of her Western leanings (Baker 2007, 2008; Baker and Robinson 2007).

Corazon Aquino (January 25, 1933-August 1, 2009)President of the Philippines (February 25, 1986–June 30, 1992)

Corazon “Cory” Aquino came from a wealthy and politically powerful family in the Philippines (Bacani 2010; Coronel 2006). At the end of World War II, her (p.195) parents sent her and her siblings to the United States to finish their educations because of the residual effect of the war on the Philippines. Upon returning home, she abandoned her plans to become a lawyer in favor of marrying Benigno Aquino and starting a family (Bacani 2010; Coronel 2006). Her husband entered politics, first attaining a mayoral position. He became a vocal leader of the opposition to President Ferdinand Marcos, which eventually resulted in his arrest. He was held for a number of years, and upon his release the family moved to the United States so that he could seek medical treatment (Bacani 2010; Coronel 2006).

When the family returned to the Philippines to pressure the Marcos administration to hold free and fair elections (Benigno planned to run for the presidency), Benigno Aquino was assassinated (Bacani 2010; Coronel 2006). Following his death, Corazon Aquino was urged to run in her husband’s place. She did so and won the election, but Marcos falsified the results, leading to the peaceful People’s Revolution and Marcos’s exile from the Philippines (Coronel 2006).

One of Corazon Aquino’s first acts as president was to declare a revolution government (Coronel 2006). This allowed her to dismiss the legislature, rewrite the Constitution, pressure other leaders into leaving government, and begin a dialogue about land redistribution. Many of her critics noted, however, that she deferred the land redistribution plans to the legislature, which was composed primarily of landowners. Aquino survived numerous coup attempts and eventually oversaw the peaceful transfer of power (Bacani 2010; Coronel 2006). She died in 2009, and her son, Benigno Aquino III, now continues her presidential legacy.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (April 5, 1947-)President of the Philippines (January 20, 2001–June 30, 2010)

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was born into a politically active family in the Philippines. Her father, Diosdado Macapagal, was the ninth president of the nation, and many of her relatives, including siblings, nieces, and nephews, have been involved in governmental or nongovernmental service to the Philippines (KGMA 2011). Macapagal-Arroyo attended Catholic school in the Philippines before enrolling at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She finished her undergraduate education at Assumption College, and she later completed a doctorate in economics. Returning to the Philippines to enter government service, she held executive-level positions in the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Social Welfare and Development and served on the Garments and Textile Boards. She was elected senator and later vice president before she achieved the presidency in 2001.

Although many Filipinos initially welcomed Macapagal-Arroyo’s presidency, her time in office was rocked by rumors of corruption, four impeachment (p.196) attempts, and a number of coup efforts. She broke her promise not to seek a second term and was reelected amid allegations of vote fraud. In 2010, Filipinos elected Benigno Aquino III, the son of former President Corazon Aquino, as the new president of the Philippines. Macapagal-Arroyo was elected to Congress in the new government (Syjuco 2010).

Sang Chang (1939-)Interim Prime Minister of South Korea (July 11–July 31, 2002)

Sang Chang became the designated prime minister of South Korea in July 2002, only to have her appointment vetoed by Parliament less than a month later. She holds a doctoral degree in theology from Princeton Theological College (Christensen 2011).

Myeong-Sook Han (March 24, 1944-)Prime Minister of South Korea (April 19, 2006–March 7, 2007)

Myeong-Sook Han completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French literature from South Korea’s prestigious Ewha Women’s University. Shortly after she completed her studies, the government imprisoned her for two years because of her political philosophy. Upon her release, Han took a position as a lecturer in women’s studies at Ewha Women’s University (Kitchens 2006). Prior to being elevated to prime minister at age sixty-two, Han served as a member of the Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Environment and Labor Committees. She was also the minister of environment and the first minister of gender equality. Han resigned the prime ministership ten months after taking office to run (unsuccessfully) for the presidency. She advocated increased maternity leave, expansion of the U.S. Army base near Seoul, and greater German investment in South Korea (Kitchens 2006; Korea Society 2007). In 2010, Han was tried and acquitted of bribery charges and campaigned for the office of mayor of Seoul. She lost her mayoral bid to incumbent conservative Oh Se-hoon (Jackson 2010). She recently quit her post as opposition leader (United Press International 2012).

Sirimavo Bandaranaike (April 17, 1916-October 10, 2000)Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (July 21, 1960–March 27, 1965; May 29, 1970–July 23, 1977; November 14, 1994–August 10, 2000)

Sirimavo Bandaranaike holds the distinction of being the world’s first woman prime minister; she has served as Sri Lanka’s prime minister three separate (p.197) times. Bandaranaike’s husband, Solomon Bandaranaike, was prime minister from 1956 until his assassination by a Buddhist monk in 1959. After his death, her political career began in earnest (BBC News 2000; Bandaranaike 2005). She was elected to the Senate and was appointed prime minister in 1960 at age forty-three. Her first term allowed her to show her skills in foreign policy. She successfully navigated relationships with India and China to help avoid an armed confrontation over a border dispute (BBC News 2000; Bandaranaike 2005; Government of Sri Lanka 2010).

After her first ouster as prime minister in 1965, she led the opposition. She regained the office in 1970, and during this term, she also served, simultaneously, as the minister of planning and economic affairs and the minister of defense and foreign affairs. Sri Lanka then implemented a dual executive, with a weak presidency, and Bandaranaike’s second term was marked by a worldwide oil crisis, a food crisis, and an insurgency. She also initiated land reforms (BBC News 2000). In 1978, Sri Lanka established a presidential dominance system in an attempt to alleviate tensions between the government and Sinhalese Tamils. Opponents saw Bandaranaike as incapable of providing unity, and their alterations to the presidency deliberately sought to keep her from exercising dominant executive power. In 1980, her political rivals cast her from Parliament altogether, prohibiting her from running for president in 1983. When she again set her sights on the presidency in 1986, she lost the elections. She eventually won back her parliamentary seat in 1989. She returned to the prime ministership in 1994 when her daughter (President Chandrika Kumaratunga, discussed next) appointed her to the position (Liswood 1995, 8). She resigned in August 2000 and died in October of that year (Bandaranaike 2005; BBC News 2000; Government of Sri Lanka 2010).

Chandrika Kumaratunga (June 29, 1945-)Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (August 19-November 14, 1994)President of Sri Lanka (November 14, 1994–November 15, 2005)

Chandrika Kumaratunga comes from a politically active Sri Lankan family. Both her father and her husband lost their lives to political rivals. She was educated at St. Bridget’s Convent and studied at the Aquinas University College in Colombo, Sri Lanka, receiving a baccalaureate in law. She completed a degree in political science at the University of Paris and was pursuing a Ph.D. in development economics when she was called home to serve her country (Gluckman 1996; Government of Sri Lanka 2008).

Kumaratunga’s involvement in Sri Lankan politics began upon the appointment of her mother, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, as prime minister. The family (p.198) assumed that Bandaranaike’s son, Anura, would succeed his mother, particularly given that Kumaratunga and her husband, Vijaya Kumaratunga, founded an opposition party in the late 1970s. Vijaya Kumaratunga, a film idol turned politician, was assassinated in 1988, and Chandrika and her children fled in fear to Europe (Gluckman 1996). Kumaratunga returned to Sri Lanka in 1992 and became her mother’s heir apparent in the family party. She gained election as chief minister of the Western Provincial Council in 1993 and in 1994, and was appointed prime minister at the age of forty-nine. Three months later, she successfully gained the presidency. Upon her elevation to president, she appointed her mother prime minister. She won a second presidential term in 1999 and retired in 2005 due to term limits. Critics of Kumaratunga’s presidency accused her of being too ambitious, creative, and ineffective (Government of Sri Lanka 2008, 2010; Gluckman 1996).

Region: Caribbean

Eugenia Charles (May 15, 1919-September 6, 2005)Prime Minister of Dominica (July 21, 1980–June 14, 1995)

Eugenia Charles studied law at the University of Toronto and then went on to study at the London School of Economics. She eventually became a lawyer, the first Dominican woman to do so, and specialized in property law (Pattullo 2005). In 1968 Charles helped form the Dominica Freedom Party and was subsequently elected to the House of Assembly and led the opposition. She was later selected as Dominica’s first female prime minister in 1980. Her tenure in office was both revered and reviled. Supporters lauded her efforts to stabilize Dominica and secure aid for the nation’s devastated infrastructure after the ravages of Hurricane David in 1979. Critics, on the other hand, accused her of betrayal for supporting the invasion of Grenada by the United States in 1983 (Pattullo 2005). She survived several attempts to remove her from office. Charles was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1991, and she retired from politics in 1995.

Ertha Pascal-Trouillot (August 13, 1943-)Acting President of Haiti (March 14, 1990–February 7, 1991)

Ertha Pascal-Trouillot was born to a blacksmith and a seamstress in Petion-Ville, Haiti. She received her law degree from the Law School of Gonaives. In 1980, she was appointed the first woman civil judge in Port-au-Prince, and she was (p.199) the first woman on the executive committee of the Haitian Bar Association (Haiti-Reference 2010). She was later the first woman selected to serve on Haiti’s Court of Appeals. Her appointment as judge of the Court of Cassation paved the way for her succession to the presidency.

Pascal-Trouillot became provisional president of Haiti on March 14, 1990, after the removal of the military-dominated government following the ouster of dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986 (Jensen 2008). She gained this appointment after the head of the Supreme Court and other judges refused the position or were discounted (Jensen 2008). Political disagreements damaged Pascal-Trouillot’s presidency, as charges of corruption and nepotism marred attempts to hold elections. She refused to resign. Following the election of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Pascal-Trouillot was arrested and charged with complicity in an attempted coup. She gained release one month later.

Claudette Werleigh (1946-)Prime Minister of Haiti (November 7, 1995–February 27, 1996)

Prior to being named prime minister by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Claudette Werleigh served as minister for social affairs and foreign affairs in Ertha Pascal-Trouillot’s administration (Diocese of Westminster 2010; Jensen 2008). She previously worked for numerous nongovernmental organizations, dealing primarily with adult literacy and humanitarian relief (Diocese of Westminster 2010). She received her education and training in the fields of medicine and law in the United States and Sweden, and then obtained a postgraduate specialization in adult nonformal education (Diocese of Westminster 2010; Pax Christi International 2006).

Portia Simpson-Miller (December 12, 1945-)Prime Minister of Jamaica (March 30, 2006–September 11, 2007)

Portia Simpson-Miller came from a working-class family. She obtained a college degree at the University of Miami (Jensen 2008; Mascoll 2006). The resignation of Prime Minister Percival Patterson offered an opportunity for Simpson-Miller to succeed him. However, she first needed to gain the office of president of the ruling People’s Party (Jensen 2008). Prior to being elected prime minister, Simpson-Miller was minister of local government, community development, and sport (Christensen 2011). She also served as the minister of tourism, entertainment, sports, and women’s affairs, as well as minister of labor, social welfare, and sports. In 2006, she was named to Forbes magazine’s list of the “100 Most (p.200) Powerful Women” (Forbes 2006). Her first term as prime minister ended in 2007, and she regained the position in January 2012.

Michéle Pierre-Louis (October 5, 1947-)Prime Minister of Haiti (September 5, 2008–November 8, 2009)

Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis was born in the southwestern city of Jeremie, Haiti. Following her primary education in Haiti, she enrolled at Queens College in New York, where she received a master’s degree in economics. At the age of fifty-six she obtained a Ph.D. in humanities from St. Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont (Pierre-Louis and Ives 2008; Mahalo 2011). Prior to her prime ministership, she was the assistant director-general of the National Airport Authority, a national trainer for the Mission Alpha Catholic Church literacy program, a member of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s cabinet, and executive director of Fondation Connaissance et Liberte (FOKAL), also known as the Knowledge and Freedom Foundation (Pierre-Louis and Ives 2008).

Pierre-Louis was a professor at Quisqueya University and FOKAL’s director at the time of her prime ministerial nomination (Pierre-Louis and Ives 2008). Just fourteen months after her ascension, the Haitian Senate voted to remove Pierre-Louis from office (Guyler Delva 2009), alleging that she had done nothing to alleviate poverty in Haiti and was ineffective in rebuilding parts of the infrastructure following devastating storms in 2008. During her tenure, Pierre-Louis was instrumental in securing $1.2 billion in debt relief along with millions of dollars in funding from multiple donors (Mahalo 2011). She also continued her promotion of literacy and educational development. Since her removal from office, Pierre-Louis remains active in FOKAL and solicited aid for recovery efforts following the devastation caused by the earthquake that struck Haiti in early 2010 (Progressio 2010).

Kamla Persad-Bissessar (April 22, 1952-)Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago (May 26, 2010–present)

Kamla Persad-Bissessar was born in Siparia, Trinidad, and received her primary education at Hindu and Presbyterian schools. She continued her education at Norwood Technical College and the University of the West Indies, where she obtained a bachelor of arts degree and a diploma in education (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011; Sookraj 2010). She earned a law degree from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago. In 2006, she received an executive master’s degree in business administration from the (p.201) Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in Trinidad (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011).

Persad-Bissessar entered politics in 1987 despite the hostile nature of the profession, especially toward women (Yearwood 2010). She was elected alderman for St. Patrick County Council in Siparia (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011), a position she held from 1987 until 1991. In 1995 she was appointed the country’s first attorney general and then minister of legal affairs in 1996 (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011). She was the first female deputy political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) as well as the first woman leader of the opposition. She has been a member of Parliament for Siparia since 1995 (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011). In the capacity of education minister, she succeeded in establishing universal secondary education as well as approximately thirty-two new secondary schools (Sookraj 2010). She was appointed Trinidad and Tobago’s first female prime minister in May 2010 (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011). Persad-Bissessar has promised to adopt policies that consider group dynamics and multiculturalism and has stated that she wishes to continue her advocacy in the advancement of education (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011).

Region: Europe

Reneta Indzhova (July 6, 1953-)Interim Prime Minister of Bulgaria (October 16, 1994–January 25, 1995)

In 1994, when a deeply divided Bulgarian legislature failed to elect a prime minister, the president dissolved Parliament and appointed Reneta Indzhova interim prime minister (Jensen 2008; Perlez 1994). Prior to her appointment, Indzhova served as head of the privatization agency (Christensen 2010; Jensen 2008; Perlez 1994). It was Indzhova’s duty to oversee new elections. Her brief stint as prime minister prompted her to pursue the office of president in 2001. She ran as an independent, and her candidacy was subsequently rejected by the Central Election Commission (Jensen 2008).

Jadranka Kosor (July 1, 1953-)Prime Minister of Croatia (July 6, 2009–December 23, 2011)

Jadranka Kosor graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Zagreb in 1972. Following her education, she became a correspondent for the newspaper (p.202) Večernji list and Radio Zagreb (Government of the Republic of Croatia 2010). During the Croatian War of Independence, Kosor hosted a show for refugees at Croatian Radio (SETimes 2009). In 1995, she made the transition from journalist to politician and was elected to the House of Representatives. She was subsequently selected to serve as vice president of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). From 1999 until 2002, she was president of the HDZ’s Women’s Association Katarina Zrinski (Government of the Republic of Croatia 2007; SETimes 2009). Kosor became the deputy president of the HDZ in 2002, followed by her appointment as deputy prime minister and minister of family and veterans’ affairs in 2003.

Six days following the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, the ruling party elected Kosor Croatia’s first female prime minister (BBC News 2009a; SETimes 2009). During her time in office, Kosor cracked down on widespread corruption in the government and was a proponent for Croatia’s entry into the European Union. In October 2010, Kosor’s government survived a no-confidence vote prompted by the opposition (Kuzmanovic 2010).

Tarja Halonen (December 24, 1943-)President of the Republic of Finland (January 3, 2000–March 1, 2012)

Tarja Halonen has a law degree from the University of Helsinki (Halonen 2012). Beginning in 1970, she worked as a lawyer for the Finnish Trade Unions (Aimo-Koivisto 2006). She was appointed parliamentary secretary to the prime minister in 1974 and joined Parliament in 1979. She was also a member of the Helsinki City Council beginning in 1979. She was reelected to Parliament four times and the city council five times before leaving Parliament to become Finland’s first female president in 2000 at age fifty-six. While a member of Parliament she worked on the Social Affairs Committee, the Legal Affairs Committee, and the Grand Committee. As a member of the cabinet, she served as minister of justice, minister of foreign affairs, and minister of social affairs and Health. She held the position of president of the European Union from July to December 1999 (Halonen 2012).

Anneli Tuulikki Jäätteenmäki (February 11, 1955-)Prime Minister of Finland (April 17–June 24, 2003)

Born in Western Finland, Anneli Tuulikki Jäätteenmäki trained and worked as a lawyer before joining Parliament in 1987. While in Parliament she was a member of Finland’s delegation to the Nordic Council, chairwoman of the Environment (p.203) Committee, minister for justice, and vice chairwoman of Finland’s delegation to the Council of Europe. She also served as vice chairwoman and chairwoman of the Centre Party, the first woman leader of a Finnish party. In 2003, Jäätteenmäki led her party to victory and became prime minister (Jäätteenmäki 2008).

She served less than one year as prime minister before moving on to the European Parliament. Her resignation was forced after it was revealed that she had used classified documents in her campaign. She was tried for her role in the documents’ release and was found not guilty (her codefendant, however, was convicted of leaking secrets). In the European Union she has worked on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the Women’s Right and Gender Equality Committee, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Subcommittee on Security and Defense, and the Subcommittee on Climate Change (Jäätteenmäki 2008; Jensen 2008; Gibbs 2004).

Mari Kiviniemi (September 27, 1968-)Prime Minister of Finland (June 22, 2010–June 22, 2011)

Mari Kiviniemi graduated from the University of Helsinki with a master’s degree in social science. She has served as minister of public administration and local government, minister of foreign trade and development, and minister of the interior and as a member of Parliament since 1995 (Parliament of Finland 2012). She also was part of the Finnish Delegation to the Nordic Council. She has chaired or served as vice chair on various committees, including Parliamentary Commerce, Parliamentary Grand, and Foreign Affairs, and on the Supervisory Council of the Bank of Finland (Parliament of Finland 2012). Kiviniemi became the second female prime minister of Finland in June 2010 after her selection to the chairmanship of the Centre Party.

Edith Cresson (1934-)Prime Minister of France (May 15, 1991–April 2, 1992)

Edith Cresson began her political career in the 1970s as a youth organizer. She caught the eye of President François Mitterrand and served in his cabinet as minister of agriculture, minister of foreign trade, minister of industry, and minister of European affairs before he nominated her for prime minister. She was previously the mayor of Châtellerault. As prime minister she was known for making colorful comments, which ultimately led to her removal (BBC News 1999; Sancton 1999). Upon her ouster, President Mitterrand sent her to the European Commission. She soon alienated European leadership by requesting to be made a vice president (p.204) of the EC. Instead, she was given the task of overseeing research, education, and training programs. As the director for this group, she appointed her dentist to oversee AIDS research. Additionally, on her watch, a large sum of money for youth training programs was misappropriated (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011; Sancton 1999).

Nino Burdzhanadze (July 16, 1964-)President of Georgia (November 23, 2003–January 25, 2004)

Nino Burdzhanadze was educated at Tbilisi State University, where she received a degree in law. She earned a doctoral degree in international law from the Moscow Lomonosov State University. Following her education, she began teaching international law at Tbilisi State University and became involved in politics (Parliament of Georgia 2011). Burdzhanadze served as an expert consultant to the Committee on Foreign Relations as well the Ministry of Environment in the early 1990s. In 1995 she was elected to Parliament and chaired several committees, including the Foreign Relations Committee and the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, as well as the Permanent Parliamentary Delegation to the United Kingdom. In 2003 Burdzhanadze was speaker of the Georgian Parliament when she and two of her fellow politicians led the movement to oust President Eduard Shevardnadze (Jensen 2008). Widespread street protests prompted Shevardnadze, who had headed a corrupt administration, to resign, clearing the way for Burdzhanadze to become interim president. She did not run in the subsequent election. She became acting president for a second time in 2007, when President Mikhail Saakashvili stepped down to campaign for reelection (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011).1 Also in 2007, Burdzhanadze announced her intention to organize the Democratic Movement–United Georgia, an opposition party to President Saakashvili (Schepp 2008).

Burdzhanadze’s experience in international relations earned her respect and recognition around the world. She openly questioned Saakashvili’s handling of the war with Russia in 2008 (Schepp 2008). She has supported the European Union’s involvement in the region, especially in regard to Georgia’s conflict with Russia. She has also attempted to pursue better diplomatic relations with the Russian government, a move that has brought accusations of treason against her by members of the Georgian Parliament (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011a).

Sabine Bergmann-Pohl (April 20, 1946-)President of East Germany (April 5–October 2, 1990)

Sabine Bergmann-Pohl holds the distinction of being the first and only female president of the German Democratic Republic as well as the last president of (p.205) that country. By the time Bergmann-Pohl was elected president, the Berlin Wall had fallen and reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany was the predominant issue (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011). The elections of 1990 were also the first free and fair elections held in East Germany.

Bergmann-Pohl, a physician with a specialization in lung diseases, joined the Christian Democratic Union of East Germany in 1981. She rose through the party ranks and became a member of the Volkskammer, or the People’s Chamber (Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2011; Marshall 1990). Reunification occurred just six months after Bergmann-Pohl took office. Following the reunification of Germany, she became the federal minister for special affairs for the new unified state. She was also named the parliamentary undersecretary of health and was a member of the German Parliament until 1998.

Angela Merkel (July 17, 1954-)Chancellor of Germany (November 22, 2005–present)

Angela Merkel’s father was a Protestant minister in Brandenburg, Germany. In the 1950s, he moved his family from Hamburg in West Germany to communist East Germany, where he ran a home for the mentally handicapped (Paterson 2010). Although living in a communist state, Merkel’s family had access to Western newspapers brought in under church protection. Merkel was an industrious student and excelled in Russian. Following her primary education, she went on to the University of Leipzig to study chemistry, where she completed a Ph.D. in physics in 1986 (Christian Democratic Union 2011).

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Merkel delved into the realm of politics and joined the democratic movement (Christian Democratic Union 2011). She worked for the press secretary for the final East German government, which was headed by Lothar de Maizière, and was named as the acting spokeswoman for that government. She then joined the German Parliament to focus on reunification issues. She served as minister for women and youth, party chairwoman, and minister for the environment, nature conservation, and nuclear safety. She was also elected leader of her party (Christian Democratic Union 2011; Paterson 2010; Government of Germany 2011).

In 2005, Merkel’s party won a narrow victory, and Merkel had to rely on a “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats in order to claim the chancellorship (BBC News 2009b). Her job performance in office, however, won her the admiration of the German people. Prior to the world economic downturn of 2008, Merkel’s economic policies had more than doubled the rate of German growth, and the German job market had improved. She also enjoyed high approval ratings (BBC 2005; Kulish 2007).

(p.206) The elections of 2009 solidified Merkel’s conservative government and allowed her to remain chancellor of Germany (Moulson and Eddy 2009). While her own party posted unimpressive results, the election effectively ended the “grand coalition” into which Merkel was forced four years prior. She was able to form a governing coalition with the promarket Free Democrats (Moulson and Eddy 2009; Paterson 2010). In 2010, Merkel’s popularity seemed to dip because of a lack of government movement in regard to reforms (Paterson 2010). In addition, Merkel received sharp criticism from the European Central Bank and fellow European Union leaders for forcing a possible bailout of the debt-ridden Greek economy. She has also been accused of looking out for German interests rather than the interests of Europe (Paterson 2010).

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir (April 15, 1930-)President of Iceland (August 1, 1980–August 1, 1996)

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was born in the capital city of Reykjavík. Her mother was a nurse, and her father was a civil engineering professor. Finnbogadóttir studied French, literature, and drama at the University of Grenoble, the Sorbonne, and the University of Iceland (Women’s International Center 2008; Club of Madrid 2003c). She worked with a number of theatrical organizations, including the Reykjavík Theatre Company, and served as a resource for information about the culture of Iceland. She began her political career as a member of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Affairs of the Nordic Council (Women’s International Center 2008; Club of Madrid 2003c). She became chair of that committee in 1978 and was elected president of Iceland in 1980, the first woman to be democratically elected as the constitutional head of state. She was reelected in 1984, 1988, and 1992. She emphasized reforestation, land reclamation, education, language and cultural restoration, and the care of youth. Since her presidency, she has continued to focus on preserving not only the cultural traditions of Iceland but also the native traditions of all countries around the world. She has also been involved in a number of international organizations working in the areas of human rights and education (Women’s International Center 2008; Club of Madrid 2003c; Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages 2008).

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (October 4, 1942-)Prime Minister of Iceland (February 1, 2009–present)

Born in the capital of Reykjavík, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir worked as a flight attendant and office clerk before becoming a member of Parliament in 1978 (p.207) (BBC News 2009c; Prime Minister’s Office 2010). As a parliamentarian, Sigurðardóttir served on a variety of committees, including Foreign Affairs, Industry, Constitutional Affairs, and Economy and Trade. She has been a member of the Icelandic delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union as well as the Icelandic delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Her diverse experience and popularity resulted in her selection as prime minister of Iceland in 2009. The selection of Sigurðardóttir, a lesbian, was considered a milestone for the gay rights movement (BBC News 2009c). A member of the National Movement Party—which she helped to form in 1995—she advocates for the mentally challenged and disabled, adult education, and the revision of social security (Prime Minister’s Office 2010).

Mary McAleese (June 27, 1951-)President of Ireland (November 11, 1997–November 10, 2011)

Mary McAleese, the oldest of nine children, was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She was the first woman to be pro-vice chancellor of Queen’s University of Belfast. Prior to coming to presidential office she also served as the director of a television station, director of a public utility, and delegate to the White House Conference on Trade and Investment. McAleese followed Mary Robinson into office. She was reelected in 2004 as the only valid candidate for the presidency (Irish Times 2004). She was the first president of Ireland to come from Northern Ireland (Áras an Uachtaráin 2005a). She focused her work as president on “building bridges.” Toward the end of her presidency, McAleese came under fire because of the cost to the Irish government of paying for her protection during her frequent trips to Northern Ireland (Murray 2009).

Mary Robinson (May 21, 1944-)President of Ireland (December 3, 1990–September 12, 1997)

Mary Robinson holds both a master of arts and a law degree from Trinity College in Dublin and began her career as a professor of penal legislation, constitutional and criminal law, and the law of evidence (Áras an Uachtaráin 2005b). She additionally holds degrees from King’s Inns Dublin and Harvard Law School. She joined Parliament in 1969 and worked on a number of committees there; in addition to serving on the Secondary Legislation Committee and the Joint Committee on Marital Breakdown, she chaired the Social Affairs Subcommittee and the Legal Affairs Committee. Simultaneously, from 1979 to 1983, she served on the Dublin City Council. Her legal practice focused on (p.208) utilizing the law to strengthen human rights protections in Irish and European courts. In 1980, she was elected chancellor of Trinity College.

Robinson became the first female president of Ireland in 1990. As president, focused on international human rights issues. In 1997, she left office to become United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In that position, she needled and prodded nations to do more to end human rights violations throughout the world. She served until 2002, when she left to take on a variety of human rights projects and concerns (Áras an Uachtaráin 2005b; Club of Madrid 2003b; Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 2011; Shipsey 2004; Elders Foundation 2011).

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (December 1, 1937-)President of the Republic of Latvia (June 17, 1999–July 8, 2007)

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga was born in Latvia and fled the country with her family in 1945 to escape Soviet occupation. She went to school in Germany, Morocco, and Canada. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from McGill University. At the University of Montreal, she taught courses in the psychology department and conducted research focusing on memory and language and the influence of drugs on cognitive processes. She also explored questions of Latvian identity and the political future of the Baltic states. She held a number of positions in the Canadian government. She returned to Latvia in 1998 and was named director of the Latvian Institute. At age sixty-one she was elected president of Latvia; she was reelected in 2003. She was active in helping Latvia to gain membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (Chancery of the President of Latvia 2007).

Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė (February 26, 1943-)Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania (March 17, 1990–January 10, 1991)

Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė was born in Vasiuliske in 1943, while Lithuania was a part of the Soviet Bloc. She attended Vilnius University, completed a doctorate in economics, and worked as an economics professor. In 1988 she became a part of the Sajudis Seimas (the Lithuanian parliament). A year later, she served as the deputy director of the Institute of Economics and deputy prime minister of Lithuania. At age forty-seven she became the first prime minister of the newly independent government of Lithuania.

(p.209) At the end of her term as prime minister, she went to work at the Institute of Europe of Lithuania, a nonprofit science organization, and also became a part-time lecturer at the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. She retained a number of governmental and quasi-governmental positions and relationships, including serving as a member of the International Committee of Economic Reforms and Cooperation and as a member of the Council of Women World Leaders. She continues to work on behalf of her political party (New Democratic Women’s Party) and serves in the Seimas. In 1992 she was investigated for an alleged role in the Soviet KGB (Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania 2011b). She has run several times for the presidency, but always unsuccessfully.

Dalia Grybauskaitė (March 1, 1956-)President of Lithuania (July 12, 2009–present)

Dalia Grybauskaitė was born in the capital city of Vilnius. She graduated from the Zhdanov University with a degree in political economic sciences (Baltic News Service 2009). Following her undergraduate education, Grybauskaitė worked as a lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at the Vilnius Higher Party School while she pursued a doctoral degree in economic sciences from the Moscow Academy of Social Studies. In 1991 she began working for the government of Lithuania as a director of programs (Baltic News Service 2009). She served as vice minister of finance and foreign affairs from 1999 to 2001 and headed the Finance Ministry from 2001 to 2004. In 2004, Grybauskaitė was appointed the European Union commissioner in charge of financial programming and budget. As a result of her work with the EU, she received endorsement from the EU commissioner to pursue the presidency of Lithuania. As president, she has vowed to provide tax breaks for small and medium-size businesses, to stimulate exports, and to demand transparency in her government (Reuters 2009).

Irena Degutienė (June 1, 1949-)Acting Prime Minister of Lithuania (May 4–May 18, 1999; October 27–November 3, 1999)

Irena Degutienė was educated at Vilnius University and graduated with a degree in medicine (Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania 2011a). She worked for twenty years at the Vilnius Red Cross Hospital prior to being named deputy minister of health care in 1994. In 1996 she was elected to Parliament, and in 2000 she ran a successful reelection campaign. Twice in 1999 she was designated acting prime minister of Lithuania. In May, a bitter dispute between the (p.210) president and Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius prompted the latter’s resignation. The president appointed Degutienė to the position until a replacement could be selected. Later that year, Lithuania witnessed a second resignation by a prime minister, leading Degutienė, again, to fill the void (Jensen 2008).

Although Degutienė’s role as a Lithuanian leader was brief, she has remained active in politics. She has been a member of Parliament and a delegate to the Baltic Assembly. She has served as the deputy chair of the Committee on Social Affairs and Labour (Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania 2011a). In 2009, Degutienė was the first woman to be installed as speaker of the Parliament (Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania 2011a).

Radmila Šekerinska (June 10, 1972-)Interim Prime Minister of Macedonia (May 12–June 12, 2004; November 18–December 17, 2004)

Born in Skopje in the former Yugoslavia, Radmila Šekerinska attended the University of Skopje and received a degree in power engineering. She then obtained a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (Academy for Cultural Diplomacy 2010). Between the periods when she was pursuing her educational degrees, Šekerinska worked in public relations at the Open Society Institute Macedonia and was elected to the Skopje City Council. In 1998 she was elected to the Macedonian Parliament and became a deputy coordinator of the Social-Democratic Union of Macedonia. After her reelection to Parliament she was appointed deputy prime minister, in which position she was responsible for facilitating Macedonia’s entry into the European Union (Academy for Cultural Diplomacy 2010). Macedonia received candidate status in 2005. Šekerinska served briefly as prime minister in 2004 on two separate occasions. In 2006 she became party leader of the Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia (SDSM), the first woman to lead the main opposition (SETimes 2006). She has authored numerous academic and scientific works, and the World Economic Forum has named her one of its Global Leaders of Tomorrow (Academy for Cultural Diplomacy 2010).

Agatha Barbara (March 11, 1923-February 4, 2002)President of Malta (February 15, 1982–February 17, 1987)

Agatha Barbara began her career as a schoolteacher. She ran for election for the first time in 1947 and was the first woman elected to the Maltese House of (p.211) Representatives. She participated in every election from then until she gained the presidency in 1982, and won every electoral contest in which she participated. In addition to her role as a legislator, she was active in the fight for Malta’s liberation from its colonial government. This advocacy netted her a prison sentence. As a legislator, she was selected to serve as minister of education, labor, culture, and welfare and as acting prime minister. She also served as minister of labor, social services, and culture. She was elected president of Malta in 1982 at age fifty-eight. As president, she focused on strengthening the Maltese position internationally. She was recognized by a number of countries, including Pakistan and China, for her work as a statesman (Department of Information—Malta 2005).

Zinaida Greceanîi (February 2, 1956-)Prime Minister of Moldova (March 31, 2008–September 14, 2009)

Prior to being named prime minister of Moldova, Zinaida Greceanîi served as vice prime minister and coordinator of activity in charge of the financial sector (Christensen 2011). She also served as vice minister and first vice minister of finance, as well as minister of finance. The Communist Party lost its reelection bid in 2009 and Greceanîi, therefore, lost the premiership and returned to her position as a member of Parliament. Greceanîi made an unsuccessful attempt at the presidency that same year (Azeri-Press Agency 2009).

Gro Harlem Brundtland (April 20, 1939-)Prime Minister of Norway (February 4–October 14, 1981; May 9, 1986–October 16, 1989; November 3, 1990–October 25, 1996)

Gro Harlem Brundtland completed her medical education at the University of Oslo and received a master of public health degree from Harvard University before returning to Oslo to work for the Board of Health, where she focused on children’s health issues. She served as the minister of the environment, becoming head of her party, and then prime minister in 1981. In this capacity, she appointed eight women to her cabinet, a first for Norway. At age forty-one, she was the youngest prime minister in Norway’s history. The Labour Party lost power in 1989, and Brundtland served as leader of the opposition party. When the Labour Party regained power in 1986, and again in 1990, she returned as prime minister. In 1996 Brundtland resigned as prime minister to pursue a career as the director general of the World Health Organization (Williams and CIMT Tech 1999a; World Health Organization 2011).

(p.212) Hanna Suchocka (April 3, 1946-)Prime Minister of Poland (July 11, 1992–October 26, 1993)

Hanna Suchocka has a master’s degree in constitutional law and a Ph.D. in law from the University of Adam Mickiewicz. She worked as a lecturer in law at the University of Poznan and the Catholic University of Lublin. She entered politics in 1980, becoming the legal adviser to the Solidarity trade union. She also became a member of Parliament in 1980. In 1984 she was expelled from her party and left Parliament but returned the same year. She served on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly. She also served as minister of justice and attorney general for Poland. She was prime minister for fifteen months, beginning in 1992. She focused on shepherding Poland through the transition from communism to democracy. After leaving the Polish government, Suchocka became Poland’s ambassador to the Holy See (Club of Madrid 2003a).

Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo (January 18, 1930-July 10, 2004)Prime Minister of Portugal (August 1, 1979–January 3, 1980)

Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo grew up in the era of fascist dictator António de Oliveira Salazar. Although a committed Catholic, she often defied the ultraconservative views of the church patriarchy and pursued her own progressive ideas. She obtained an engineering degree in industrial chemistry in 1953. She was a pioneer feminist, helping to establish Graal (the Grail) in Portugal, an international Catholic women’s association (O’Shaughnessy 2004; Women’s International Center 2004). After the Carnation Revolution in 1974, Pintasilgo was appointed minister of social affairs; she later became Portugal’s first envoy to France (O’Shaughnessy 2004). In 1979, President António Ramalho Eanes selected her to be prime minister, a position she held for five months. She ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1986. Among the accomplishments of her time in office were the establishment of universal social security, significant health care improvements, and expanded education and labor legislation.

Nataša Mićić (November 2, 1965-)Acting President of Serbia (December 29, 2002–February 4, 2004)

Nataša Mićić’s rise to the presidency occurred as a result of a bitter political conflict. She protested against the government of dictator Slobodan Milošević, offering up her law office as the unofficial headquarters of Otpor, an anti-Milošević (p.213) resistance group. After Milošević was ousted from power, two years of Serbian instability failed to produce an acceptable replacement (Anastasijevic 2002). Subsequently, the office of the president of Serbia fell to Mićić because of her position as speaker of the Parliament. As acting president, she oversaw three presidential elections, but low voter turnout resulted in the voiding of each (Election Guide 2010). She eventually dissolved Parliament during this period. Throughout her political career, Mićić has focused on government transparency and investing in research and technology for Serbia.

Iveta Radičová (December 7, 1956-)Prime Minister of Slovakia (July 8, 2010–April 4, 2012)

Iveta Radičová was born in Bratislava and was educated at the University of Bratislava, where she earned a degree in sociology as well as a doctoral degree in philosophy (Slovak Spectator 2010). She worked for a time as a lecturer at Comenius University and then as a staff member of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV). In 2005 she became the director of the Institute of Sociology at SAV. She was Slovakia’s first female professor of sociology. In 2006, Radičová was elected to Parliament and sat as the deputy chair of the Committee for Social Affairs and Housing. She campaigned for the presidency in 2009, competing well enough to enter the second round of voting. Although she was unsuccessful in the runoff election, her succession as party leader put her in the position to assume the office of prime minister (Slovak Spectator 2010). Economic woes, as well as diplomatic relations with Hungary, overshadowed the summer elections in Slovakia in 2010. The results of the election reflected the voters’ choice for the country to go in a different direction: Radičová’s center-right coalition was triumphant (BBC News 2010b). As leader of the best-polling party of the new coalition, Radičová was named Slovakia’s prime minister, the first woman to hold that position (BBC News 2010b; Slovak Spectator 2010).

Ruth Dreifuss (January 9, 1940-)President of Switzerland (January 1, 1999–January 1, 2000)

Ruth Dreifuss was born in St. Gall, Switzerland. Her family was forced to flee the country when she was a small child because of the impending Nazi occupation, but they eventually returned to Switzerland and settled in Geneva. Dreifuss began her career working as a journalist. She eventually completed a degree in mathematics and economics at Geneva University, where she joined the faculty for a time before leaving to work with trade unions. She then gained (p.214) employment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sat on a number of its committees. She championed the causes of social insurance and labor laws, particularly as they relate to maternity leave. In 1981 she was elected to the general secretariat of the Federation of Swiss Trade Unionists. In 1998 Dreifuss became vice president of Switzerland, and in 1999 she earned the distinction of being the first person of Jewish descent and the first woman to be president of the Swiss Confederation (Williams and CIMT Tech 1999b).

Micheline Calmy-Rey (July 8, 1945-)President of Switzerland (January 1, 2007–January 1, 2008)

Micheline Calmy-Rey completed a graduate degree in political science at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva in 1968. She entered politics after operating a book distribution business for more than twenty years. She was elected in 1981 to the Geneva Cantonal Parliament, ultimately serving as the chair of the Finance Committee. She was elected to the Swiss Federal Council in 2003 and served as the head of foreign affairs. In this capacity, she worked on policies promoting peace, human rights, and poverty eradication. She has also served on the Board of Directors of Swiss National Bank (Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs 2011). In 2008 she was elected president of the Swiss Confederation. She regained the presidency in 2011.

Doris Leuthard (April 10, 1963-)President of Switzerland (January 1, 2010–December 31, 2010)

Doris Leuthard was educated at the University of Zurich, where she studied law. She practiced law in the firm of Fricker & Leuthard from 1991 until 2006, during which time she held membership with the Aargau Cantonal Parliament, the Expert Commission on Gender Equality, and the Justice Commission, as well as the National Council (Swiss Confederation 2010). Leuthard was elected to the Federal Council in 2006 and became head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs. In 2010 she was elected president of the Swiss Confederation (Swiss Confederation 2010).

Tansu Çiller (May 24, 1946-)Prime Minister of Turkey (June 25, 1993–March 7, 1996)

Tansu Çiller was born into a middle-class Turkish family. Her father had political ambitions that he was unable to fulfill, and this may have shaped Çiller’s (p.215) own career in politics (Reinart 1999). She completed her master’s and doctorate degrees in the United States. She and her family returned to Turkey in the mid-1970s, and she began teaching economics at the university level. She was elected to office in 1991 and became minister of the economy in a coalition government. She made a number of controversial declarations regarding Turkey’s finances and the role of the World Bank. While others intervened to prevent her mistakes from damaging Turkey, they were unable to suppress the opposition forming against her. In 1993, however, she was appointed prime minister. Allegations of wrongdoing followed her throughout her premiership, eventually forcing her into a coalition government. As a result, she lost the prime ministership (Reinart 1999).

Yuliya Tymoshenko (November 27, 1960-)Prime Minister of Ukraine (February 4–September 8, 2005; December 18, 2007–March 3, 2010)

Yuliya Tymoshenko attended Dneproptrovsk State University in 1979 to study cybernetic engineering. When she finished her degree, she worked as an economy engineer at a machine-building plant, and in 1991 she began managing the Ukrainian Oil Corporation. She gained parliamentary office in 1996. She became a deputy chief of her party and chair of the Strategic Budgeting Committee. She was influential in shaping not only the tax codes of Ukraine but also the fundamental financial principles under which the Ukrainian government operated. She also completed her Ph.D. in economics and became vice premier minister under Viktor Yushchenko. She would be fired from this position in January 2001 and arrested on corruption charges in February 2001. However, she was released a month later because the allegations could not be substantiated. In 2005, Yushchenko won election as president and subsequently nominated Tymoshenko as prime minister (Cutler 2010). She served for seven months in 2005 and then returned to the office following elections in 2007. During her second period in office, her relationship with President Yushchenko seemed strained. She had not been his choice for prime minister; she came to power through election results favoring her coalition. She confronted votes of no confidence in 2007 and again in 2008 (Cutler 2010). In January 2010, Tymoshenko ran for the presidency against Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych. While Yushchenko placed a distant third, the voting results triggered a runoff election between Yanukovych, who came in first with 38 percent of the vote, and Tymoshenko, who placed second with 25 percent (Levy 2010). She subsequently lost the February runoff election (Associated Press 2010).

(p.216) Margaret Thatcher (October 13, 1925-)Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (May 4, 1979–November 28, 1990)

Margaret Thatcher was born in Grantham, England, the daughter of grocers. She attended school locally and went on to study chemistry at Oxford University. Raised in a religious family, she quickly become involved in conservative politics, as had her father before her (he held the position of mayor), and was president of the Conservative Student Association at Oxford. She twice ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Parliament.

In the 1950s she went back to school to become a tax attorney. She was eventually elected to Parliament in 1959. As a member of the Conservative Party, she worked her way up to the position of education secretary and became party leader. In 1979 the Labour Party had lost favor in the country because of poor economic conditions and a number of labor union strikes, and when the Conservative Party gained a majority in Parliament, Thatcher became prime minister.

Thatcher’s first term was plagued by bad economic news. The country entered into a recession, unemployment increased, and manufacturing plants closed down. During this period, the United Kingdom fought Argentina in the Falklands War, and Thatcher focused on changing her country’s international military posture. By her second term, union reforms were reaffirmed and her relationship with President Ronald Reagan strengthened the United Kingdom’s relationship with the United States. Hostilities also heated up between the British government and the Irish Republican Army, illustrated by a 1984 assassination attempt against Thatcher.

In her third and final term, with the economy fully recovered and the domestic and foreign policy of the country operating smoothly, she undertook a series of reforms to education, taxes, and the National Health Service. She oversaw the ending of the Cold War, the economic downturn of the late 1980s, and the first steps toward the European Union. She resigned the prime ministership on November 28, 1990, and then entered the House of Lords (Margaret Thatcher Foundation 2011; Satter 2009).

Milka Planinc (November 21, 1924-October 7, 2010)Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (May 16, 1982–May 15, 1986)

Milka Planinc was born Milka Malada in Drniš, a small Croatian town formerly part of Austria-Hungary. She fought in World War II in Josip Tito’s partisan army, later earning the rank of lieutenant (Djokic 2010; Barlovac 2010). Planinc obtained power by rising through the Communist Party ranks over a (p.217) period of thirty years. She was appointed head of an ideological propaganda committee in 1949. In 1965 she became education minister. After Tito’s death in 1980, the Yugoslavian government restructured the executive branch. The National Assembly of the Federal Executive Council appointed Planinc, then president of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Croatia, prime minister in 1982 (Opfell 1993, 118). Following the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s, Planinc held nonpolitical positions.

Region: Latin America

Isabel Perón (February 4, 1931-)President of Argentina (July 1, 1974–March 24, 1976)

Isabel Perón met her husband, Juan Perón, while he was in exile. He was an army colonel who had risen to the presidency originally through a military coup. They eventually returned to Argentina at a time when he was in poor health (BBC News 2008). At age seventy-eight, Juan Perón enjoyed renewed popularity and made one last presidential run. He selected his wife as his vice president. Some believed that when Juan Perón died, Isabel Perón would hold new elections rather than fill the presidency herself (BBC News 2008). Instead, she retained power and was elevated to the presidency upon her husband’s death in 1974. Her leadership was marked by turmoil, including death squads that may have been responsible for as many as fifteen hundred deaths and “disappearances.” Eventually, Isabel Perón was forced into European exile in Spain in 1981. In 2007, she returned to the public’s attention when she was arrested and arraigned for her role in the activities of the Argentine death squads. Spanish courts subsequently rejected her extradition back to Argentina, ruling that the charges were not considered “crimes against humanity” and the statute of limitations had expired (BBC News 2008).

Cristina Fernández (February 19, 1953-)President of Argentina (December 10, 2007–present)

Cristina Fernández is the second woman to serve as Argentina’s president and the first to be popularly elected. She met her husband and predecessor, Néstor Kirchner, when they were both students protesting the Argentine government’s undemocratic use of power (BBC News 2007a). They both then became active in government. Originally a psychology major, Fernández graduated from the University of La Plata in 1979 with a law degree. As a member of the Perónist (p.218) Justicialist Party (Partido Justicialista), she took part in the party’s national convention in 1985 at age thirty-two and became a member of the Santa Cruz provincial legislature in 1989. Beginning in 1995, Fernández served in both the upper and lower houses of Argentina’s Congress. Kirchner was elected president in 2003, and she was credited with helping him to victory. In 2007 Fernández was elected president of Argentina (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2010d).

Fernández ran a campaign that promised more of the same, with emphasis on continuing the economic developments led by her husband and lowering the inflation rate in Argentina. She was so far in the lead that rather than actually campaign, she began meeting with world leaders to assist with the implementation of her economic and political plans for Argentina. Her first thirty days in office were marred by an allegation of illegal campaign contributions (BBC News 2007a; Carroll 2007).

In October 2010, Néstor Kirchner died of heart attack (New York Times 2010b). Many wondered how Kirchner’s sudden death would affect his wife’s reelection plans (Schweimler 2011), but she easily sailed to victory, attaining some of the highest vote totals in the country’s history (Garlow 2011).

Lidia Gueiler Tejada (August 28, 1921-)Acting President of Bolivia (November 17, 1979–July 18, 1980)

Lidia Gueiler Tejada came to power in Bolivia as part of a long history of governmental instability. An accountant by training, she served almost a decade in the Bolivian Congress before fleeing the country. When she returned from exile in 1979, she again ran for Congress. Upon her election, the presidency was in chaos, as no single candidate had received 50 percent of the votes. Her immediate predecessor held office for sixteen days before being overthrown in a military coup. Strikes in the country led to the military seeking a compromise, which resulted in Gueiler’s being nominated for president by Congress at age fifty-eight (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2010e).

Her leadership was never meant to be permanent. Rather, she was put in office to help create stability and work toward the return of an elected president. The military initially supported Gueiler’s candidacy. However, a great deal of animosity developed between the United States and the military leaders of Bolivia, who felt that the U.S. government under President Jimmy Carter was attempting to manipulate the election’s outcome. Specifically, they wanted to expel the U. S. ambassador from the country. The presidential elections resulted in no clear winner. Rather than see a leftist leader take control, the military overthrew the government. The coup was led by Luis García Meza Tejada, Gueiler’s cousin. Coup leaders surrounded the place where Gueiler and her (p.219) cabinet ministers had been taken hostage. Eventually, Gueiler made her way to the Vatican consulate and became an exile in Europe for almost two years. She later returned to Bolivia and assumed different diplomatic missions before retiring from public life in the early 1990s (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2010e; Christensen 2011).

Michelle Bachelet (September 29, 1951-)President of Chile (March 11, 2006–March 11, 2010)

On September 11, 1973, Augusto Pinochet launched a coup against the Chilean government. Michelle Bachelet’s father, a general in the Chilean army, was imprisoned by Pinochet’s government and died of cardiac failure during his detention. In 1975, Bachelet and her mother were forced to flee the country after months of detainment (Langman and Contreras 2005; Newsweek 2002). While in exile, Bachelet went to medical school to become a pediatrician, and after her return to Chile, she eventually gained appointment as the nation’s first female health minister. Realizing the importance of understanding military strategy to executive leadership, she attended military academies in Santiago, Chile, and Washington, D.C., and was considered a standout student. Her military experience led to her being moved from the health ministry to a position as civilian head of the Chilean military (Langman and Contreras 2005; Newsweek 2002).

After assuming the presidency in 2006, Bachelet displayed a leadership style of active engagement and persuasion. Her primary platform was expansion of assistance to lower-class Chileans to close the income gap. However, critics questioned her ability, as a woman, to be an effective leader. While her initial cabinet was focused on gender parity, she quickly removed two women from the cabinet and replaced them with more experienced men (Langman and Contreras 2005; Clift 2007). Despite these problems, Bachelet took many positive steps toward advancing women’s rights, and her presidency was largely deemed a success. She was selected to lead the newly created United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in 2010 (Lemmon 2011).

Laura Chinchilla (March 28, 1959-)President of Costa Rica (May 8, 2010–present)

Born in the capital city of San José, Laura Chinchilla studied political science at the University of Costa Rica and then earned a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. She returned to Costa Rica following her education (p.220) in the United States and worked as a consultant on security and judicial reform (Long and Miller Llana 2010; Inside Costa Rica 2010). Her first post in the Costa Rican government was vice minister of public security (Long and Miller Llana 2010). She was later named the first female minister of public security. In 2002 Chinchilla became a member of the legislative assembly and then in 2006 served as vice president and minister of justice in the administration of Óscar Arias Sánchez (Jaco Blog 2010; Long and Miller Llana 2010; Inside Costa Rica 2010). She resigned in October 2008 to run for president. Endorsed by Arias, she won the 2010 election with nearly 50 percent of the vote. She pledged to turn Costa Rica into the first developed country in Central America, campaigning on the issues of improved health care and citizen safety (Long and Miller Llana 2010). While she was not the wife or daughter of an executive or political opposition force, her father had been the comptroller general of Costa Rica for fifteen years (Jaco Blog 2010; Long and Miller Llana 2010; Inside Costa Rica 2010).

Rosalí a Arteaga (December 5, 1956-)Acting President of Ecuador (February 9–February 11, 1997)

Rosalía Arteaga held the presidency of Ecuador on an acting basis for only two days. She was elected to the vice presidency on a ticket that resulted in Abdalá Bucaram’s ascending to the presidency. When Bucaram was impeached because of mental incompetence, Fabian Alcaron, the president of Congress, declared himself president, citing an unadopted constitutional amendment (Schemo 1997a; New York Times 1997). According to constitutional rules, however, as vice president Arteaga was the appropriate successor (Schemo 1997b). When President Bucaram refused to cede power, the military and Congress forced Alcaron to drop his claim to the presidency temporarily, resulting in Arteaga’s interim appointment (Schemo 1997c). Two days after constitutional changes altered the line of succession to place the president of Congress first in line in the case of a presidential opening, Alcaron was sworn in as president (Schemo 1997d). Arteaga unsuccessfully ran for the presidency the next year. Following the resolution of the turmoil, Arteaga worked for the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization and served on the board of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Janet Jagan (October 20, 1920-March 28, 2009)President of Guyana (December 19, 1997–August 11, 1999)

Janet Jagan was born in Chicago, Illinois. A Marxist, she met her husband, Cheddi Jagan, at Northwestern University’s dentistry school. Upon moving (p.221) to Guyana, she immediately became involved in local politics. She worked to establish workers’ unions and helped to lead the charge to end British oppression of the Guyanese people. Eventually, Cheddi Jagan was elected British Guyana’s chief minister. Shortly thereafter, the British government disbanded the governing council and jailed both Jagans (Ko 2011; Time 1963).

Cheddi Jagan returned to office in 1957, and Guyana achieved independence in 1966. However, the country did not hold free elections until the early 1990s. When these elections were held, Cheddi Jagan was elected president of Guyana. Following his death in 1997, Janet Jagan first gained appointment as prime minister and then was elected president. After a heart attack, she resigned before her first term ended (Ko 2011). She continued working in the offices of the People’s Progressive Party, which she cofounded with her husband (Ko 2011; Cheddi Jagan Research Center 1999).

Violeta Chamorro (October 18, 1929-)President of Nicaragua (April 25, 1990–January 10, 1997)

Violeta Chamorro was born into a world of privilege in Nicaragua. Her family was wealthy, and Chamorro’s education included private school in Texas. Her husband, Pedro Chamorro, was a journalist and a leading opponent of the Nicaraguan government who had family ties to the presidency. He was eventually gunned down in the streets of Managua, Nicaragua. His death led to the overthrow of the government by the Sandinistas and the establishment of a military junta. A falling out with the Sandinistas eventually led Violeta Chamorro to withdraw from the government and become one of its biggest critics (Hoge 1979; Flora 1988).When the Sandinistas were overthrown, Chamorro returned to public life and successfully ran for president as a restoration candidate, promising to undo the damage done to the government by the Sandinistas as well as their predecessors both at home and abroad. Comparisons were often made between Violeta Chamorro and Corazon Aquino, which Chamorro rejected (Managua 1990; Flora 1988; Purcell 1985; Robinson 1996; Uhlig 1990).

Chamorro’s presidency was marked by strife as she tried to balance the demands of her country internally and externally. Nicaragua struggled financially because of its history of war and the fact that the Russians and Americans were conducting a proxy war there at the time. This turmoil included attempts by Sandinista rebels to take over the government. It also made other countries reluctant to invest in the country. Still, Chamorro’s government was followed by a relatively smooth electoral transition (New York Times 1993; Rohter 1995).

(p.222) Mireya Moscoso (July 1, 1946-)President of Panama (September 1, 1999–September 1, 2004)

Mireya Moscoso came to prominence in Panama because of her husband, Arnulfo Arias, who was elected president of Panama three times (and deposed each time). He died in exile in Miami (Navarro 1999a). Moscoso, with a certificate in interior design from Miami Dade Community College, was dismissed by many people as undereducated and unable to lead. However, she returned to Panama and started a political party in her husband’s honor before becoming president (Navarro 1999b; Gonzalez 1999). As president, she faced tough challenges. Panama was racked with poverty. She was the first presidential candidate to lead Panama without the pressure of the American military, but also without the benefit of American money and jobs in the Panama Canal (Navarro 1999c).

Beatriz Merino Lucero (November 15, 1947-)Prime Minister of Peru (June 28, 2003–December 15, 2003)

Beatriz Merino Lucero served as a senator from 1990 until 1992 and then as a member of Peru’s Congress from 1995 until 2000 (Christensen 2011). She was a vice presidential candidate in 2000 before becoming prime minister in 2003. President Alejandro Toledo dismissed her from that post only five months after she took power (Wildman 2004). He reportedly felt threatened by Merino’s popularity and spread rumors about her sexuality (Wildman 2004).

Region: Middle East

Golda Meir (May 3, 1898-December 8, 1978)Prime Minister of Israel (March 17, 1969–June 3, 1974)

Upon her death in 1978, Time magazine eulogized Golda Meir as an appropriate symbol of Israel because she was “above all tough.” She was described as a pioneer in building the Jewish state and one of the world’s most admired women leaders. Meir was born in the Ukraine, and the inequality of treatment faced by Russian Jews affected her profoundly. Her father emigrated to the United States in 1903 and settled in Milwaukee, sending for Meir, her mother, and her two sisters to join him three years later.

Meir joined Histadrut, a Jewish labor federation, in the 1940s and became head of its political department. Following the end of World War II, she acted (p.223) as a fund-raiser for the Jewish government in the United States. She also served as an envoy to King Abdullah in Jordan to negotiate peace with the forming Israeli state. Once Israel became a state, Meir was named its first ambassador to Moscow. Additionally, she held the titles of minister of labor and foreign minister (Provizer 2003; Butt 1998).

Meir was the leader of Israel’s Labor Party when the prime minister of Israel died. Upon his death, she was invited by her party to take over as prime minister to avoid a power struggle in the new nation. In office, she focused on establishing Israel as an enduring proposition in the Middle East and changed military policy from general response to swift and sure response on a grand scale. As prime minister, she oversaw the Six-Day War (Provizer 2003; Butt 1998). She was driven from office by the start of the October War in 1974 (Time 1978; Provizer 2003; Butt 1998).

Dalia Itzik (October 20, 1952-)Acting President of Israel (January 25–July 15, 2007)

Dalia Itzik was first elected to the Knesset (the Israeli legislature) in 1992 (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2008). Previously, she had been a teacher and had served as deputy mayor of Jerusalem in charge of education. As a member of the Knesset, she worked on the Education and Culture Committee, the Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women, the Science and Technology Committee, and the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee. She was named minister of the environment in 1999 and minister of industry and trade in 2001. In 2006, Itzik was selected speaker of the Knesset. She became acting president in 2007 when then President Moshe Katsav was granted a temporary suspension in order to address charges of rape and other offenses (Frenkel 2007).

Region: North America

Kim Campbell (March 10, 1947-)Prime Minister of Canada (June 25–November 5, 1993)

A native of British Columbia, Kim Campbell received a degree in political science from the University of British Columbia, where she was active in the student government. Campbell earned a law degree in 1984 and practiced law in Vancouver until 1986. Her first public political work was as a trustee on the Vancouver School Board in 1983. She later served in the British Columbia (p.224) Legislative Assembly. In the federal government, she served in the cabinet as minister of Indian affairs and northern development, minister of justice, attorney general, and minister of defense. In 1993, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announced that he would not be running for reelection. After much campaigning, Campbell won the party election to replace Mulroney. Upon her elevation to prime minister, she made cuts to the number of ministries and worked to reduce ministry expenses. Campbell’s reelection possibilities were seriously handicapped by missteps in her campaign and a general Canadian fatigue with the Conservative Party following Mulroney’s service. Campbell was defeated in the November 1993 election by the Liberal Party’s Jean Chrétien (Bliss 2011; Farnsworth 1993a, 1993b).

Region: Oceania

Julia Gillard (September 29, 1961-)Prime Minister of Australia (June 24, 2010–present)

Julia Gillard was born in Barry, Wales, and emigrated to Australia in 1966 along with her parents and her older sister, Allison (Wills 2010). She grew up in Adelaide and attended Mitcham Demonstration School and Unley High School. Gillard enrolled at the University of Adelaide, then transferred to the University of Melbourne. She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1990, receiving degrees in both law and arts. Following her education, she joined the law firm of Slater & Gordon and became one of the firm’s first female partners.

Gillard served as chief of staff to the opposition leader of the state of Victoria from 1996 to 1998. She ran for and won the federal seat of Lalor for the Australian Labor Party in 1998 (Government of Australia 2012). As a proponent for social equity and education (Wills 2010), Gillard served on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education, and Workplace Relations from 1998 to 2001 (Government of Australia 2012). Following the Labor Party’s victory in the 2007 federal election, she became deputy prime minister and minister for education, employment, and workplace relations and social inclusion. Gillard’s rise in politics came under scrutiny in 2007 when it was revealed that as a student she was a “key figure in a socialist group that pushed radical policies and social agendas” (Wright 2007). The group advocated the cutting of Australia’s ties to the United States, the introduction of death duties (inheritance taxes), and the redistribution of wealth.

(p.225) Jenny Shipley (February 4, 1952-)Prime Minister of New Zealand (December 8, 1997–December 10, 1999)

Jenny Shipley’s political career began at the local level. Prior to becoming active in politics, she was a primary school teacher and farmer, having finished her degree from Christchurch Teachers College. She joined Parliament in 1987. While in Parliament, she served as minister of social welfare, minister of women’s affairs, and minister of health. In 1997 she became prime minister of New Zealand. She focused on New Zealand’s recovery from the Asian economic crisis, advanced a free trade agenda, and worked on a solution for East Timor. After her prime ministership ended in 1999, she spent four years as leader of the opposition before retiring from politics at age fifty. She then began a career as a consultant, speaker, and strategic adviser for the public and private sector. Since leaving office she has also sat on a number of boards of directors and consults as an adviser to some government agencies (Celebrity Speakers 2009; Official Website of the New Zealand Government 2009).

Helen Elizabeth Clark (February 26, 1950-)Prime Minister of New Zealand (December 10, 1999–November 19, 2008)

Helen Elizabeth Clark gained prominence in the New Zealand Labour Party in 1978, working as an executive member of the Auckland Regional Council. She became a cabinet minister in 1987 and served over time as minister of housing, minister of conservation, minister of health, and deputy prime minister. In 1999, she became prime minister of New Zealand, leading the ruling coalition. As prime minister she worked to improve the welfare system and reduce unemployment (Serafin 2008; Associated Press 2008a) as part of an effort to shepherd New Zealand through the end of an economic bust. Ultimately, the economic crisis of 2008–2009 led to the ouster of Labour Party as the dominant force in New Zealand politics. In November 2008, Clark pledged to continue her work as a member of Parliament but resigned from the leadership of the Labour Party. (p.226)

Table A-1. Tenures of Women Leaders and Their Predecessors






Tenure (years, months)


Tenure(years, months)



PM Kinigi

7 m

PM Sibomana

4 y, 8 m

Central African Republic

PM Domitien

1 y, 3 m

PM Bokassa*

9 y


PRES Johnson Sirleaf

4 y, 6 m+


2 m


PM Diogo

5 y, 11 m

PM Mocumbi

9 y, 2 m


PM Uwilingiyimana

8 m

PM Nsengiy

1 y, 3m

São Tomé and


PM das Neves

9 m

PM Costa

6 m


PM Boye

1 y, 8 m

PM Niasse

10 m



PM Wajed

5 y

PM Zia

PM Zia

10 y

PM Ahmed

8 m


PM Gandhi

15 y, 11 m

PM Shastri

1 y, 7 m

PRES Patil

3 y, 2 m+

PRES Kalam

5 y


PRES Sukarnoputri

3 y, 2 m

PRES Wahid

1 y, 9 m


PRES Otunbayeva

5 m+

PRES Bakiyev

5 y, 1 m


PM Bhutto

1 y, 8 m

PM Junego

4 y, 2 m

PM Bhutto

3 y

PM Sharif

2 y, 8 m


PRES Aquino

6 y, 4 m

PRES Marcos

20 y



10y, 2 m

PRES Estrada

2 y, 6 m

South Korea

PM Han

10 m

PM Lee

1 y, 8 m

Sri Lanka

PM Bandaranaike

4 y, 8 m

PM Senanayake

4 m

PM Bandaranaike

7 y, 1 m

PM Senanayake

5 y, 2 m

PM Bandaranaike

5 y, 8 m

PM Kumaratunga

1 y

PRES Kumaratunga

11 y

PRES Wijetunga

1 y, 6 m



PM Charles

14 y, 10 m

PM Seraphine

1 y, 1 m


PM Simpson-Miller

1 y, 5 m

PM Patterson

14 y


PM Werleigh

3 m

PM Michel

11 m

PM Pierre-Louis

1 y, 2 m

PM Alexis

2 y, 2m

Trinidad and


PM Persad-Bissessar

6 m+

PM Manning

8 y, 5 m



PM Kosor

1 y+

PM Sanader

6 y


PRES Halonen

10 y, 3 m+

PRES Ahtisaari

6 y

PM Jäätteenmäki

2 m

PM Lipponen

8 y

PM Kiviniemi

5 m+

PM Vanhanen

7 y


PM Cresson

11 m

PM Rocard

3 y


Chancellor Merkel

5 y+

Chancellor Schröder

7 y


PRES Finnbogadóttir

16 y

PM Eldjárn

12 y

PM Jóhanna


1 y, 10 m+

PM Haarde

3 y


PRES McAleese

12 y, 3 m+

PRES Robinson

6 y, 9 m

PRES Robinson

6 y, 9 m

PRES Hillery

14 y


PRES Vīķe-Freiberga

8 y

PRES Ulmanis

6 y


PM Prunskienė

9 m

No predecessor

PRES Grybauskaitė

1 y, 4 m+

PRES Adamkus

5 y


PRES Barbara

5 y

PRES Buttigieg

5 y


PM Greceanîi

1 y, 5 m

PM Tarlev

6 y, 11 m


PM Brundtland

8 m

PM Nordli

5 y

PM Brundtland

3 y, 5 m

PM Willoch

4 y, 6 m

PM Brundtland

5 y, 11 m

PM Syse

1 y


PM Suchocka

1 y, 3 m

PM Pawlak

1 m


PM Radičová

4 m+

PM Fico

4 y


PRES Dreifuss

1 y

PRES Cotti

1 y

PRES Calmy-Rey

1 y

PRES Leuenberger

1 y

PRES Leuthard

1 y

PRES Deiss

1 y


PM Çiller

2 y, 8 m

PM Demirel

1 y, 5 m


PM Tymoshenko**

7 m

PM Yushchenko

2 y, 1m

PM Tymoshenko

2 y, 2 m

PM Yanukovych

2 y, 1 m



PM Thatcher

11 y, 6 m

PM Callaghan

3 y, 1 m


PM Planinc

4 y

PM Djuranović

5 y, 2 m



PRES I. Perón

1 y, 8 m

PRES J. Perón

1 y, 6 m (total 18 y)


PRES C. Fernández

3 y+

PRES N. Kirchner

5 y, 7 m


PRES Bachelet

6 y

PRES Escobar

6 y

Costa Rica

PRES Chinchilla

10 m+

PRES Arias

4 y


PRES Jagan

1 y, 7 m

PRES Jagdeo

9 m


PRES Chamorro

6 y, 8 m

PRES Ortega

5 y, 3 m


PRES Moscoso

5 y

PRES Balladares

5 y


PM Merino

5 m

PM La Fuente

11 m

Middle East


PM Meir

5 y, 2 m

PM Eshkol

5 y, 8 m




PM Campbell

4 m

PM Mulroney

8 y, 9 m


New Zealand

PM Shipley

2 y

PM Bolger

7 y, 1 m

PM Clark

8 y, 11 m

PM Shipley

2 y


PM Gillard

6 m+

PM Rudd

2 y, 6 m

SOURCE: Author’s analysis of data from the World Political Leaders (1945–2010) page of the Zárate’s Political Collections Web site. Date durations for women leaders still in office were determined as of December 1, 2010.

NOTES: Women leaders are listed first, with their predecessors (not interim leaders) following. Bold numbers indicate longer durations. A plus sign indicates that the leader was still in office when the calculations were made (March 2010). Comparisons were not made when any of the following applied: (1) the successor was still in office when calculations made (March 2010) and the successor’s tenure did not already exceed her predecessor’s (Johnson Sirleaf and Blah, Liberia; Otunbayeva and Bakiyev, Kyrgyzstan; Persad-Bissessar and Manning, Trinidad and Tobago; Kiviniemi and Vanhanen, Finland; Merkel and Schröder, Germany; Grybauskaitė and Adamkus, Lithuania; Radičová and Fico, Slovakia; Gillard and Rudd, Australia); (2) a woman succeeded another woman (Wajed and Zia, Bangladesh; Bandaranaike and Kumaratunga, Sri Lanka; McAleese and Robinson, Ireland); (3) there was no predecessor (Prunskienė, Lithuania). Totals include nonconsecutive terms and multiple terms (Bhutto, Pakistan; Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka; Brundtland, Norway; Tymoshenko, Ukraine).

(*) Bokassa had already declared himself president prior as well.

(**) The person who served immediately before Tymoshenko served only on an interim basis.

(p.227) (p.228) (p.229) (p.230)

Table A-2. Male Leaders and Familial Ties


Male Leader

Ties to


Prime Minister Lester B. Bird

Father, Prime Minister Vere C. Bird


Prime Minister Aram Sargsyan

Brother, Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan


President Ilham Aliev

Father, President Hedyar Aliev


Prime Minister Tom Adams

Father, Prime Minister Grantley Adams


Prime Minister Mark Eyskens

Father, Prime Minister Gaston Eyskens


President Adolfo Ballivián

Father, President José Ballivián


President Ian Khama

Father, President Seretse Khama


President H. R. da Fonseca

Uncle, President Deodoro Fonseca

Central African Republic

President Jean-Bédel Bokassa

Cousin, President David Dacko


President Jorge Alessandri Rodríguez

Father, President Arturo Rodríguez

President Federico Errázuriz Echaurren

Father, Federico Marcos del Rosario Errázuriz Zañartu

President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle

Father, President. Eduardo Frei Montalva

President Pedro Elías Pablo Montt Montt

Father, President Manuel Montt Torres

President Jorge Montt

Uncle, President Pedro Elías Pablo Montt Montt

President Aníbal Pinto Garmendia

Father, President Francisco Antonio Pinto


President Alfonso López Michelsen

Father, President Alfonso López Pumarejo

President Andrés Pastrana Arango

Father, President Misael Pastrana Borrero


President Ali Soilih

Brother, President Said Mohammed Djohar

Costa Rica

President Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier

Father, President Rafael Ángel del Socorro Calderón Guardia

President José María Figueres Olsen

Father, President José María Hipólito Figueres Ferrer

President Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno

Father, President Jesús María Ciriaco Jiménez Zamora

Democratic Republic of Congo

President Joseph Kabila Kabange

Father, President Laurent-Désiré Kabila


President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh

Uncle, President Hassan Gouled

Dominican Republic

President Hector Trujillo

Brother, President Rafael Trujillo


President Carlos Julio Arosemena Monroy

Father, President Carlos Julio Arosemena Tola

President Galo Plaza Lasso

Father, President Leónidas Plaza Gutiérrez


Prime Minister Geórgios Papandréou

Father and Grandfather, Prime Ministers Andreas and Geórgios Papandréou

Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis

Uncle, Prime Minister Constantine

Prime Minister Sophoklis Venizelos

Father, Prime Minister Eleft herios Venizelos


President Jean-Claude Duvalier

Father, President François Duvalier


Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi

Mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi; Grandfather, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru


President Ezer Weizman

Father, President Chaim Azriel Weizman


Prime Minister Norman Manley

Father, Premier Norman Washington Manley; Cousin, Sir William Alexander Clarke Bustamante

Prime Minister Hugh Lawson

Cousin, Prime Minister Michael Manley


Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda

Father, Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda


Prime Minister Adnan Badran

Brother, Prime Minister Mudar Seyyid Muhammad Badran


President Guntis Ulmanis

Father, Prime Minister and President Guntis Ulmanis


Prime Minister Omar Abdul Hamid Karami

Father, Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Karami; Brother, Rashid Abdul Hamid Karami


Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak

Father, Prime Minister Abdul Razak

Marshall Islands

President Imata Kabua

Cousin, President Amata Kabua


Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam

Father, Prime Minister Seewoosagur Ramgoolam


Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala

Brother, Prime Minister Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala; Brother, Prime Minister Matrika Prasad Koirala


President Chamorro

Several generations of presidents

President Juan Bautista Sacasa Sacasa

Father, Roberto Sacasa Sarria

President Anastasio Somoza Debayle

Father, Anastasio Somoza García; Grandfather, Roberto Sacasa Sarria


President Ali Saibou

Cousin, President Seyni Kountché


President Th omas Remengesau

Father, President Th omas Remengesau Sr.


President Asif Zardari

Wife, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto; Father-in-Law, Prime Minister and President Ali Bhutto


President Arnulfo Arias

Brother, President Harmodio Arias Madrid

President Roberto Francisco Chiari Remón

Father, President Rodolfo Chiari Robles


President Francisco López Carrillo

Father, President Carlos Antonio López Ynsfrán


President Francisco Bermúdez Cerruti

Grandfather, President Remigio Morales Bermúdez

President Manuel Prado y Ugarteche

Father, President Mariano Ignacio Prado Ochoa


President Benigno Aquino III

Mother, President Corazon Aquino; Father, Benigno Aquino II


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Father, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew

Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Dudley Shelton Senanayake

Father, Prime Minister Don Stephen Senanayake


President Bashar al-Assad

Father, President Hafez al-Assad


Prime Minister Gerhard Louis De Geer

Father, Prime Minister Louis Gerhard De Geer


President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé

Father, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma

United States

President George W. Bush

Father, President George H. W. Bush

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Cousin, President Th eodore Roosevelt

President John Quincy Adams

Father, President John Adams


President José Pablo Torcuato Batlle y Ordóñez

Father, President Lorenzo Cristó bal Manuel Batlle y Grau

President Jorge Pacheco Areco

Great-Uncle, President Duncan Stewart


Prime Minister Ham Lini Vanuaroroa

Brother, Prime Minister Walter Hadye Lini

Prime Minister Barak Tame Sopé Mautamata

Uncle, President Ati George Sokomanu

(p.231) (p.232) (p.233)

Table A-3. Woman-versus-Woman Races



Name of Candidate

Percentage of Vote and Ranking (if available)



Mendez, L.

0.7%, 5th

Walsh, P.

0.8%, 4th


Castro, A.

Unclear but less than 7%

Carrió, E.

14%, 5th


Carrió, E.

23%, 2nd

Ripoll, V.

1%, 8th

C. Fernández

45%, 1st



Schmidt, G.

11%, 3rd

Knoll, G.

14%, 2nd



Zannou, C.

0.32%, 17th

Gbedo, M.

0.33%, 16th

Bosnia and


Javor-Korjenić , I.

Less than 1%


Avdalović , S.

Less than 1%

Udovičić, S.

Less than 1%



Carvalho, H.

7%, 3rd

Rangel, A.

Less than 1%, 5th



Marín, G.

3%, 3rd

Ruiz-Taige, S.

0.44%, 5th



Rojas, M.


Ramirez, M.



Betancourt, R.

0.18%, 4th

Gaitan, G.

0.3%, 9th

de Castro, D.

0.1%, 18th


Sanin, N.

6%, 4th

Pulecio, I.

0.5%, 5th

Costa Rica


Chinchilla, L.

47%, 1st

González León, M.

0.72, 6th


Brenes, N.

Less than 1%

Ventura, Y.

Less than 1%

Duarte, N.

Less than 1%



Adlešič, D.

2.68%, 4th

Košta, D.

0.37%, 11th

Kosor, J.

30%, 2nd


Škare-Ožbolt, V

1.89%, 11th

Pusić, V.

7%, 5th



M’Poyo, J.

0.44%, 18th

Republic of

wa Mbombo, C.

0.38%, 20th

the Congo

N’landu Kavidi, W.

0.32%, 24th

Mpolo, M.

0.21%, 30th

Tosimiaka M’Fumfu, A.




Lima, M.

2%, 6th

Serrano, R.

3%, 5th


Roldós Bucaram, M.

4%, 4th

Jácome, M.

1.35%, 5th



Kuuskaski, E.


Rehn, E.

30%, 2nd (Round 1)


Uosukainen, R.

12%, 3rd

Halonen, T.

40%, 1st (Round 1)

Hautala, H.

3%, 5th


Halonen, T.

52%, 1st (Round 1)

Hautala, H.

3%, 5th



Laguiller, A.

2%, 8th

Bouchardeau, H.

1%, 10th

Garaud, M.

1%, 11th


Boutin, C.

1.19%, 16th

Taubira-Delannon, C.

2.32%, 13th

Lepage-Jessua, C.

1.19%, 17th (but withdrew)


Royal, S.

26%, 2nd (Round 1)

Buff et, M.

1.93%, 7th



Rekangalt, Y.

0.11%, 11th

Duboze, V.

0.09%, 13th

Assayi, A.




Ranke-Heinemann, U.

Did not receive nomination

Schipanski, B.

Did not receive nomination



Reyes, C.

Less than 1%, 11th

Castro, A.




Finnbogadó ttir, V.

95%, 1st

Thorsteindó ttir, S.

5%, 2nd



McAleese, M.

45%, 1st

Banotti, M.

30%, 2nd

Scallon, D.

13.8%, 3rd

Roche, A.

7%, 4th



Ferrari, M.


Lotti, N.


Anselmi, T.



Jervelino, R.


Bonino, E.




Wangari, M.


Ngilu, C.

7.9%, 5th


1999 *

Udre, I.


Paegle, V.

1st place, but did not attain necessary majority



Johnson Sirleaf

9.58%, 2nd (Round 1)

Thompson, M.

0.9%, 12th (Round 1)



Blinkeviciute, V.

1.6%, 4th

Prunskienė, K.

21%, 2nd (Round 1)


Grybauskaitė, D.

69%, 1st

Prunskienė, K.

3.91%, 5th

Graužinienė-Šniokaitė, L.

3.61%, 6th



Hoxha, M.

3.09%, 7th

Taseva, S.




Gonzales, C.

2.75%, 4th

Toledano, M.

0.47%, 8th



Livitchi, M.

2.13%, 6th

Gorea-Costin, U.

0.69%, 8th

Abramcivc, V.

0.42%, 9th



Chamorro, V.

55%, 1st

Echaverry, B.

0.36%, 8th



Jubril, S.

0.4%, 6th

Abayomi Jorge, A.

0.02%, 15th

Adekunle-Obasanjo, M.

0.01%, 20th



Nano, L.

23.8%, 3rd

Ramos, M.


Negron, F.



Cosso de Ocampo, M.

7.4%, 4th

Villaran, S.

0.62%, 7th



Santiago, M.

19.7%, 2nd

Marcos, I.

10.3%, 5th


Santiago, M.

2.96%, 7th

Marcos, I.


Faigao Sumagpang, M.


Delos Santos, E.


Arilla, M.


Sabeniano, M.






Gronkiewicz-Waltz, H.

2.4%, 6th

Zytkiewicz, J.



Górniak, K.

16%, 3rd

Zytkiewicz, J.




Arandjelović, L.

38%, 11th

Karadjordjević, E.


Pop-Lazić, G.




Vasaryova, M.

6.6%, 3rd

Schomegova, B.




Bebler, D.


Zangar-Slana, A.



Pečarič, E.

0.89%, 6th

Piberl, M.

0.48, 7th

Sri Lanka


Kumaratunga, C.

64%, 1st

Dissanayake, S.

34%, 1st



Vitrenko, N.

4th, 11%

Datsenko, V.



Tymoshenko, Y.

25%, 1st (Round 1)

Bohoslovska, I.

0.41%, 8th

Pavlivna Suprun, L.

0.81%, 13th

United States


Osteen Jenhess, L.

0.1%, 5th

Chisholm, S.

Did not win nomination

Mink, P.


Abzug, B.



Wright, M.

0.06%, 15th

McCormack, E.

Did not win nomination


McCormack, E.

0.04%, 7th

Smith, M.

0.02%, 10th

Griswold, D.

0.02%, 12th

Johnson, S.

0.08%, 5th


Fulani, L.

0.24%, 5th

Kenoyer, W.

0.2%, 17th


La Riva, G.

0%, 23rd

Fulani, L.

0.6%, 6th

Halyard, H.

0%, 16th

Masters, I.

0%, 22nd

Howard, M.

Did not win nomination

Block, S.

Did not win nomination


Feinland, M.

0.03%, 7th

Moorehead, M.

0.03%, 8th

Hollis, M.

0%, 11th

Templin, D.

0%, 13th

Masters, I.

0%, 18th

Doerschuck, G.

Did not win nomination

Hoyd-Duffi e, E.

Did not win nomination

Jennings, A.

Did not win nomination

Harder, H.

Did not win nomination

Howard, M.

Did not win nomination

LeTulle, M.

Did not win nomination

Duncan, S.

Did not win nomination

Pharr, J.

Did not win nomination


Brown, C.

0%, 12th

Moorehead, M

0%, 11th

Rocker, A.

Did not win nomination

Harder, H.

Did not win nomination

Masters, I.

Did not win nomination

Howard, M.

Did not win nomination

Yaeger, D.

Did not win nomination

Dole, E.



Moseley Braun, C.


Howard, M.

Did not win nomination


Clinton, H.

Did not win nomination

McKinney, C.

0.12%, 6th

La Riva, G.

0%, 10th

SOURCES: Author's analysis of data from the Guide to the Female Presidential Candidates section of the Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership Web site, the African Elections Web site, the Election Guide section of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems Web site, the Political Database of the Americas, the European Election Database, and the US Department of State Web site. For the United States, analysis includes additional data from Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections Web site.

(*) Vīķe-Freiberga, who eventually won, was introduced as a candidate aft er several rounds of voting had occurred.

(p.234) (p.235) (p.236) (p.237) (p.238)


(1.) According to the Georgian constitution, elections for the presidency must be held forty-five days following the vacancy of the office. (p.260)