While women rulers have led great empires as hereditary monarchs since ancient times, the first appointed female head of state didn't take office until 1960, when Sirivamo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka became the world's first female elected Premier, serving as head of the government. In 1974, Isabel Peron was secretly sworn in as President of Argentina following the death of her husband, Argentinian strongman Juan Peron, becoming the first woman in history to hold the top position of power.
Since then, it's become more and more common for women to be elected as the leaders of their nations - and there 17 currently serving, as of August 2015. Many of the most powerful countries on earth, including Germany, India, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, Chile, and the United Kingdom have elected or appointed women as their heads of state. These women presidents and prime ministers have had command of nuclear weapons, powerful economies, vast populations, and - most importantly - the respect of their people.Here is the complete list of current presidents or heads of government who are women.
Dilma Vana Rousseff (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈdʒiwmɐ ˈvɐ̃nɐ ʁuˈsɛf(i)]; born 14 December 1947) is a Brazilian economist and politician who served as the 36th President of Brazil, holding the position from 2011 until her impeachment and removal from office on 31 August 2016. She was the first woman to hold the Brazilian presidency and had previously served as Chief of Staff to former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from 2005 to 2010.The daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant, Rousseff was raised in an upper middle class household in Belo Horizonte. She became a socialist in her youth and after the 1964 coup d'état joined left-wing and Marxist urban guerrilla groups that fought against the ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Park Geun-hye (Korean: 박근혜; Hanja: 朴槿惠; RR: Bak Geun(-)hye; IPA: [pak‿k͈ɯn.hje]; born 2 February 1952) is a former South Korean politician who served as President of South Korea from 2013 to 2017. Park was the first woman to be President of South Korea and also the first female president popularly elected as head of state in East Asia. She was also the first South Korean president to be born after the country's founding; her predecessors were either born during Japanese rule or during the post-World War II transitional period. Before her presidency, Park was chairwoman of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP, formerly called the Saenuri Party from February 2012 onwards now called the ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Jung District, Daegu
Nationality: South Korea
Erna Solberg (Norwegian: [ˌæːʁnɑ ²suːlbæʁɡ]; born 24 February 1961) is a Norwegian politician serving as Prime Minister of Norway since 2013 and Leader of the Conservative Party since May 2004.Solberg was first elected to be a member of the Storting in 1989 and served as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in Bondevik's Second Cabinet from 2001 to 2005. During her tenure, she oversaw the tightening of immigration policy and the preparation of a proposed reform of the administrative divisions of Norway. After the 2005 election, she chaired the Conservative Party parliamentary group until 2013. Solberg has emphasized the social and ideological basis of the Conservative ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Bergen, Norway
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, (born 7 December 1958) is a Maltese politician who served as the 9th President of Malta from 2014 to 2019. Currently, Coleiro Preca is president of Eurochild. Previously, as a member of the Labour Party, she was a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives of Malta from 1998 to 2014, and served as the Minister of the Family and Social Solidarity from March 2013 to March 2014. ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Qormi, Malta