In my previous blog post I quoted from the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission’s recent report bemoaning the lack of women in leading positions, including in politics.
It motivated me to research just how many of today’s presidents and national leaders were female.
The list, I am reasonably sure, is 20-strong. Mary McAleese, who has served as president of Ireland since November 1997, is the veteran in terms of tenure, while half the list have been in their posts for less than 18 months. The latest addition is Yingluck Shinawatra – younger sister of deposed Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra – who was appointed as prime minister of Thailand not even a month ago.
The list (ordered by date of appointment):
- President Mary McAleese (Ireland)
- President Tarja Halonen (Finland)
- Chancellor Angela Merkel (Germany)
- President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia)
- President Pratibha Patil (India)
- President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Argentina)
- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed (Bangladesh)
- Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir (Iceland)
- Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor (Croatia)
- President Dalia Grybauskaite (Lithuania)
- President Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan)
- President Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica)
- Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Trinidad and Tobago)
- Prime Minister Julia Gillard (Australia)
- Prime Minister Iveta Radicová (Slovakia)
- President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil)
- President Micheline Calmy-Rey (Switzerland)
- Prime Minister Rosario Fernández (Peru)
- President Atifete Jahjaga (Kosovo)
- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Thailand)
With presidential elections coming up next year in both the US and France, what are the chances of the two poster girls of the right – Marine Le Pen of France’s Front National, and Michele Bachmann, queen of the Tea Party – joining this list?
On May 11, the Financial Times publishes the next Women at the Top page as part of its flagship project on female business leadership. (more…)
Lord Davies’ recommendations may not have gone as far as some European countries and introduced formal quotas for the FTSE 350, but make no mistake – the report has teeth. (more…)
It is all too easy to dismiss the 1950s tone of much of Feminist Myths and Magic Medicine, Catherine Hakim’s study for the Centre for Policy Studies, as retrogressive twaddle, and its barmier suggestions have already been discussed here. (more…)
A new research study commissioned by the Fatherhood Institute, a think-tank, has compared and ranked 21 countries in a new fairness in families index. (more…)
Yesterday saw the election of 41 United Nations member states to the executive of a new “super agency”, UN Women, to promote women’s rights.
The agency brings together four existing UN bodies into a single force under its head, Chile’s former president Michelle Bachelet. Campaigners hope this will help push women’s rights up the international agenda and focus funding on one place. (more…)
Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina’s failures to win seats in the US midterm elections have been widely reported with a that’ll-teach-them self-righteousness that I think is misplaced. The takeaway from this is not that the former chief executives of eBay and Hewlett-Packard threw millions of greenbacks into the ring and lost: it’s that they did it at all. (more…)