“YES, A WOMAN CAN”
Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand
Images: Dario Pignatelli / Polaris
On Aug. 5, Yingluck Shinawatra became the first female Prime Minister of Thailand. Yingluck studied public administration at Kentucky State University, has spent much of her adult life working at a property business Thaksin founded. More here.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Images: Markus Schreiber / AP
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on June 22, 2010. The most influential female politician in the world, Angela Merkel earned a doctorate in physics in East Germany before turning her eye to politics. She won a seat in the Bundestag during the first postre unification general election in December 1990, and Chancellor Helmut Kohl appointed her as a Cabinet minister just one year later.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina
Images: Natacha Pisarenko / AP
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was elected President in November 2007 (succeeding her husband Néstor Kirchner).
Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil
Images: Bruno Domingos / Reuters
"I would like parents who have daughters to look straight in their eyes and tell them, 'Yes, a woman can,’ " Dilma Rousseff took the reins of the world's fourth largest democracy on Jan. 1, 2011, she became the South American country's first female President.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia
Images: Mick Tsikas / Reuters
After she helped orchestrate a Labor Party coup that ousted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on June 24, 2010, Julia Gillard, a 48 foreign-born lawyer, became Australia's first female Prime Minister. Gillard secured a 76-74 majority in parliament to form a minority government.
Friday, Sep. 02, 2011
"I'm not going anywhere. I'm doing this job because I am the best person to do it".
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia
Images: Chris Hondros / Getty
Educated at the University of Wisconsin and at Harvard, Africa's first female President served as Liberia's Minister of Finance in the late 1970s. But when Samuel Doe seized power in a military coup in 1980 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf fled to Kenya, where she became a director at Citibank. In the 2005 presidential election, she contested and won,
Sheik Hasina Wajed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Images: Max Rossi / Reuters
Sheik Hasina Wajed, the 63-year-old leader of the left-of-center Awami League. During a 1975 coup d'état, assassins killed 17 members of her family — including her son, three brothers, mother and father, former Prime Minister Sheik Mujibur Rahman. Hasina was first elected Prime Minister in 1996 but was ousted in 2001. In January 2009, the Awami League won 230 of 299 parliamentary seats, and found herself Prime Minister — again.
Johanna Sigurdardottir, Prime Minister of Iceland
Images: Bob Strong / Reuters
In October 2008, Johanna Sigurdardottir, 68, became Iceland's first female Prime Minister. The former flight attendant turned politician had won eight consecutive elections since entering Parliament in 1978, making her the country's longest-serving parliamentarian and one of its most popular
Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica
Images: Mayela Lopez / AFP / Getty
A former Vice President under Nobel laureate Oscar Arias Sánchez, Laura Chinchilla won 47% of the vote in Costa Rica's February 2010 presidential election. She previously served as both Public Security Minister and Justice Minister in the National Liberation Party.
Tarja Halonen, President of Finland
Images: Vincent Kessler / Reuters
Tarja Halonen as President of Finland since 2000.
Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania
Images: Ints Kalnins / Reuters
Dalia Grybauskaite came to power in 2009. She worked part time in a factory while earning a Ph.D. in economics. She won with a 68% majority — the largest margin of victory ever recorded in Lithuania's presidential-election history.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago
Images: Renzo Gostoli / Bloomberg / Getty
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, leader of the United National Congress, oversees a coalition of five political parties. A former attorney general and a social worker.