The 16 women taking over the world
Thursday 24 June 2010
Women make up fewer than 8 per cent of the world’s country leaders. But with Julia Gillard’s election to prime minister of Australia things seem to be improving. She brings the tally of simultaneous female premiers to a record 16.
Four female leaders, including Gillard, have taken the highest office in countries around the world so far this year. In 2009, female leaders were elected in Iceland, Croatia and Lithuania.
Elsewhere, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is Liberia's president, and the only elected a female leader on the African continent. Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, is a major player on the European political stage. While Iceland’s president, Johanna Sigurdardottir, is not only the country’s first female leader, but is also the world’s first openly gay head of state.
Despite Britain's progressive approach to most things, this country seems to have been stilted by Margeret Thatcher’s somewhat dubious legacy. The UK's first and only female prime minister came to power over 30-years ago, and yet, just one female Labour MP, Dianne Abbot, is willing to stand for party leader in 2010. Even with 'Blair's babes' and an affirmative action approach for women in politics, there are still only 143 women in parliament out of a total 650 MPs.
So, in an effort to highlight the rarity, as well as the achievements, of female heads of state, The Independent Online has compiled a brief guide to the 16 women taking over the world.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
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