Great women political leaders
The end of the 20th century saw an emergence of strong female political leaders who represent many different ethnicities. What they all have in common is that they have overcome sexism in order to firstly get voted as the leader of their parties and secondly become the most favored politician in their country.
Many have done so without cowing to public pressure and have proved to be just as strong as their male counterparts. This was certainly the case with Margaret Thatcher who was the prime minister of the United Kingdom between 1979 and 1990. She was the first woman to hold the post and was the longest serving prime minister of the 20th century.
Her autobiography named after herself tells her story after some of her biggest battles while in office. She stood strong against the unions, implemented strong economic policies that were unpopular among the masses and led the country into a war against Argentina over a small island in the South Atlantic.
Yet despite the tough stand she took on many issues, she certainly left the country in a stronger position than it was when she first took office. The economic strength of the country in the years after she was in office was due to the policies that her government had implemented when they were in power.
A woman who plays a similar role today in the German leader Angela Merkel. In her run as the German chancellor, she also has a strong role in the running of Europe, and she has held this post since 2005.
During her time in office she has had deal with many political storms yet has still managed to come through them relatively untouched. “Angela Merkel The Authorized biography” by Stefan Kornelius identifies Merkel’s religious upbringing, and her fluency in speaking Russian, as major factors in her having such a successful political career.
While Merkel and Thatcher experienced relatively smooth journeys to the top, the same cannot be said about the Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi who is now the leader of the National League for Democracy and acts as the country’s prime minister.
For 15 years she was placed under house arrest by the military who controlled and ruled the country. In 2015 she was elected as the country’s leader but since she has been in power she has received much criticism from around the world for failing to accept the dreadful actions taken by the country’s military who still hold a strong influence in the country.
Her story has been told in many books with the real ones of interest emerging from when she was a political prisoner in her own home. Fergul Keane, and even her own autobiography, have described the incredibly tense circumstances she survived in. Despite fearing for her life, she was constantly letting the outside world know what was happening in her country.
Indira Ghandi was another influential woman in Asia. She was the second longest serving Indian Prime Minister in history after her father Jawaharial Nehru, and is the only female to this date to have held the office.
Having been raised in a political family her path was certainly cast for her and by her father’s career. She was in fact his personal assistant. Her biography written by Pupul Jayakar certainly identified her ruthless streak as she took India into war with Pakistan. She even censored the press and her unpopularity led to her assassination in 1984 by her own bodyguards.
There are many leaders around the world today who are females. For years women’s ability to lead was ignored but it would now appear that there qualities are being appreciated more.