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. 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.
Bidhya Devi BhandariPresident of Nepal since 2015
State Counsellor of Myanmar since 2016Aung San Suu Kyi (; Burmese: အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည်; MLCTS: aung hcan: cu. krany Burmese pronunciation: [àʊɴ sʰáɴ sṵ tɕì]; born 19 June 1945) is a Burmese politician, diplomat, author, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1991). She is the leader of the National League for Democracy and the first and incumbent State Counsellor, a position akin to a prime minister. She is also the first woman to serve as Minister for Foreign Affairs, for the President's Office, for Electric Power and Energy, and for Education. From 2012 to 2016 she was an MP for Kawhmu Township to the House of Representatives. The youngest daughter of Aung San, Father of the Nation of modern-day Myanmar, and Khin Kyi, Aung San Suu Kyi... more
President of Estonia since 2016Kersti Kaljulaid (born 30 December 1969) is an Estonian politician who is the fifth and current President of Estonia, in office since 10 October 2016. She is the first female head of state of Estonia since the country declared independence in 1918, as well as the youngest ever President, aged 46 at the time of her election. Kaljulaid is a former state official, serving as Estonia's representative in the European Court of Auditors from 2004 until 2016. After several rounds of Estonian presidential elections in 2016 ended without success, she was brought as a "dark horse" and on 30 September 2016 she was nominated by the majority of parliamentary parties as a joint candidate for President of... more
Prime Minister of Serbia since 2017Ana Brnabić (born 28 September 1975) is a Serbian politician who has been the Prime Minister of Serbia since 29 June 2017. She is the first woman and first openly gay person to hold the office. She was previously the Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government of Serbia from 11 August 2016 until 29 June 2017, under Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and Acting Prime Minister Ivica Dačić. After Vučić was inaugurated as the President of Serbia on 31 May 2017, he proposed Brnabić as his successor in June. Her government was voted into office on 29 June 2017 by a majority of 157 out of 250 Members of the National Assembly of Serbia.... more