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.
President of Zimbabwe since 2018
Sahle-Work Zewde, a native of Ethiopia, currently serves as the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. She was appointed to this position by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 11 March 2011 and is the first person to hold the post at the level of Under-Secretary-General. By judgment dated 31 July 2012, the United Nations Dispute Tribunal criticized Zewde, because "she continued to lead UNON management to wallow in its disobedience and impunity". Prior to her appointment with UNON, Zewde served as Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic. Previously, she also held a number of other ...more on Wikipedia
Theresa Mary May PC is a British Conservative politician, and the current UK Home Secretary. May was first elected to Parliament in 1997 as Member of Parliament for Maidenhead. She went on to be appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party and was sworn of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council in 2002. She served in a number of roles in the Shadow Cabinets of Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Howard and David Cameron, including Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary. When David Cameron became Prime Minister in May 2010, May was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities; delegating the latter role in 2012 to Maria Miller, Secretary of ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Nationality: United Kingdom
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Tsai Ing-wen is a Taiwanese politician who currently serves as the chair of the Democratic Progressive Party. Tsai previously served as chair from 2008 to 2012, and was the party's presidential candidate in 2012. Having studied in Taiwan, the U.S and the U.K., Tsai earned an LL.B. from National Taiwan University, an LL.M. from Cornell University Law School and a PhD from the London School of Economics. Tsai held professorial positions at several universities upon returning from her study abroad in 1984. Starting 1993, she was appointed to a series of governmental positions by the then-ruling Kuomintang and was one of the chief drafters of the Special state-to-state relations doctrine of ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Fangshan, Pingtung
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Angela Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany and the head of the political party CDU in Germany. In addition to being the first female German Chanchellor, she is also considered by Forbes magazine to be the most powerful woman in the world. ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
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