Traditionally, women’s place was at home taking care of their families. To this day, there are some traditions that still regard women as the weaker gender and hence not allowed to hold any responsible position in the society. As times change, women are rising up and proving to the women they are capable of performing in areas perceived to be men’s territories.
Politics has for long been a perverse for men. Few women to this date have managed to weave through and hold strong political positions. Of the few who manage, they have exhibited extra ordinary performances in some instance performing much better than men holding the same positions. Whether you agree or not, women politicians have the potential for outstanding performances if offered the opportunity.
Here is a list of 10 most famous women who are political leaders and made a mark in politics.
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10. Golda Meir
Born and brought up in Israel, Meir started her career as a teacher. During her career, she made her debut in politics rising to be one among the strongest world leaders. She held several positions of power that include serving the government as a minister in the docket of labor and foreign affairs. In 1969, she was elected to the position of a prime minister where she earned the title “Iron Lady”. Her predecessor David Ben-Gurion referred to her as the “best man in government g” for her quest and agility in discharging her duties. Her admirers referred to her as the grayed grandmother of the Jewish people for her strong will to serve and ensure the less privileged were considered and uplifted.
9. Dilma Rousseff
Born in the family of a Bulgarian entrepreneur, Dilma is currently the first ever woman president in Brazil. She sits as the 36th president in the history of the country. Before being elected to the post, she served as the chief of staff between the years 2005 and 2010 under President Da Silva. Her journey in politics began as a youth when she joined urban guerillas to fight the dictatorial leadership in the country. By joined the left-wing movements, she was captured by government and served two years in jail regaining her freedom in 1972.
8. Johanna Sigurdardottir
Listed by Forbes among the most powerful women in the globe, Sigurdadottir is the current prime minister of Ireland. She is on record as being the first known lesbian in the world to head a government. She also tops the list as the first prime minister of Iceland. Before rising to the top post, she served in various government posts including heading the social affairs and security ministry. She depicts the real “strength of a woman” by serving her subjects as per the law of the land. It is for this reason that she joins the list of most powerful women politicians of all times.
7. Yingluck Shinawatra
Considered as the youngest prime minister in Thailand, Yingluck holds the seventh position of powerful women politicians. She is the 28th prime minister of the country joining the list of modern and youthful leaders from across the globe. She made her history in being the youngest in the history of the state of more than 60 years. Before being elected to the position, she was a member of the ruling Pheu Thai Party through which she rose to power. Other than being among the biggest politicians, she is a renowned businesswoman with interests across the state.
6. Sonia Gandhi
Serving the worlds second largest populous country, Sonia is the current president of Indian National Congress. Heading the party that reigns in India, she took over power from her husband Ranjiv Gandhi who was the former prime minister. Though born of Italian roots, Sonia has perfected the art of leadership and following in her late husbands footsteps managed to win the trust of Indians. A report by the Forbes magazine in 2013 lists her in position 21 among the most powerful people in the world and in the 9th position among the most powerful women on the globe.
5. Angela Merkel
A former research scientist, Merkel is today one of the strongest persons in the world. A strong-willed politician, she held the position of German Chancellor since 2005. She is also the head of CDU (Christian Democratic Union) a position she has held since 2000. She makes history as being the first woman to hold either of the positions and currently is working as the backbone behind the European Union. Forbes ranking in 2012 placed her in the second position of the most powerful persons across the globe the highest rank ever to be attained by a woman.
4. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
The current and 24th president of Liberia Sirleaf holds the fourth position amount the most powerful women politicians. She was actively involved in formation of National Patriotic Front and an active politician in the state. She gained her fame fighting for the rights of women a position that won her recognition and being awarded the peace Nobel Prize in 2011. Another international prize was to fall into her bag in 2013 when she was conferred the coveted Indira Gadhi Prize by the Indian president. These prizes were in recognition of her peace struggles in the fight for women’s safety and her participation in peace building across the globe.
3. Isabel Martinez de Peron
A controversial figure, Isabel Martinez led the country of Argentina between 1974 and 1976. Before rising to power, she was the third wide to the former president of the country Juan Peron who passed away in 1974. During the reign of her husband, she worked in various government positions holding the office of the first lady and at one time the position of the vice-president. She made history by rising to the position of the president while she was not a member of the royal family.
2. Park Geun Hye
Accredited as the first woman in Northern Asia to clinch presidency, Hye is the current president of South Korea. In the history of the country as well, it is the first time the South Korean to be headed by a woman president. Initially, she led the Grand National Party as the chairperson. Over the years, she served in various political positions alongside being acknowledged as one of the most influential politicians in the country. Her political strength ranks her in the second position of the most influential political women from around the globe.
1. Benazir Bhutto
Born in the royal Family Benazir was the daughter of the former Pakistan prime minister. She gained her popularity through her concerns for the less privileged and her spirited fight to help eradicate poverty. Having served the country for a whole two terms as the prime minister. She leads the list of the strongest women politicians of modern times. Her efforts in fighting for the underprivileged were recognized by being named among winners of United Nations Prize in the category of Human rights. Her political career was cut shot in 2007 by bombing only two weeks to the general election where she was a leading contender.
While the crop of women seeking political positions continues to rise, few take up the challenge to ensure their presence is felt. This can only be achieved by women unleashing their full potential and making an impact among the masses. The above list of top 10 famous women who are political leaders is from the few who stood up to the challenge and proved to the world that women political leaders have the potential to lead and make change.