Women Heads of State

In 1940, the first woman Head of State/Chairman of the Presidium of the Little Khural was Khertek Anchimaa Toka of Tuva. Through the years, women’s political participation became more apparent as more women are elected as heads of state.

This is a list of women who have been elected or appointed head of state of their respective countries. This list does not include female monarchs, nor does it include female heads of government who are not concurrently head of state, such as prime ministers.

Below the main list are separately listed female governors-general and French representatives of Andorra. As governors-general are appointed representatives of the monarch of the Commonwealth realms (currently Elizabeth II) and the French Representatives of Andorra are appointed representatives of the French Co-Prince of Andorra (currently François Hollande), they act as heads of state and carry out on a regular basis the functions and duties associated with such a role in the Commonwealth realms (excluding the United Kingdom, which has no governor-general, as the monarch of the Commonwealth realms primarily resides there) and Andorra, respectively.

List of female heads of state

  Denotes incumbent head of state

pink. Asia-Pacific region

  • Italics denotes acting head of state

 

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_elected_or_appointed_female_heads_of_state   

 
Name Country Office Mandate start Mandate end Term length
Agatha Barbara  Malta President 15 February 1982 15 February 1987 5 years, 0 days
Assunta Meloni  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 2008 1 April 2009 0 years, 182 days
Atifete Jahjaga  Kosovo President 7 April 2011 Incumbent 1 year, 89 days
Carmen Pereira  Guinea-Bissau President of Guinea-Bissau 14 May 1984 16 May 1984 0 years, 2 days
Chandrika Kumaratunga  Sri Lanka President 12 November 1994 19 November 2005 11 years, 17 days
Corazon Aquino  Philippines President 25 February 1986 30 June 1992 6 years, 126 days
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner  Argentina President 10 December 2007 Incumbent 4 years, 208 days
Dalia Grybauskaitė  Lithuania President 12 July 2009 Incumbent 2 years, 359 days
Dalia Itzik  Israel Acting President 25 January 2007 15 July 2007 0 years, 171 days
Dilma Rousseff  Brazil President 1 January 2011 Incumbent 1 year, 186 days
Doris Leuthard  Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 August 2006 Incumbent 5 years, 339 days
Edda Ceccoli  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 1991 1 April 1992 0 years, 183 days
Elisabeth Kopp  Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 21 October 1984 12 January 1989 4 years, 83 days
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  Liberia President 16 January 2006 Incumbent 6 years, 171 days
Ertha Pascal-Trouillot  Haiti Acting President 13 March 1990 7 February 1991 0 year, 331 days
Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf  Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 January 2008 Incumbent 4 years, 186 days
Fausta Morganti  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2005 1 October 2005 0 year, 183 days
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo  Philippines President 20 January 2001 30 June 2010 9 years, 161 days
Gloriana Ranocchini  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 1984 1 October 1984 0 year, 183 days
Gloriana Ranocchini  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 1989 1 April 1990 0 year, 182 days
Isabel Martínez de Perón  Argentina President 1 July 1974 24 March 1976 1 year, 267 days
Janet Jagan  Guyana President 19 December 1997 11 August 1999 1 year, 235 days
Joyce Banda  Malawi President 7 April 2012 Incumbent 0 years, 89 days
Khertek Anchimaa-Toka  Tannu Tuva Chairperson of the Presidium of the Little Khural 6 April 1940 11 October 1944 4 years, 188 days
Laura Chinchilla  Costa Rica President 8 May 2010 Incumbent 2 years, 58 days
Lidia Gueiler Tejada  Bolivia Acting President 16 November 1979 17 July 1980 0 years, 244 days
Maria Domenica Michelotti  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2000 1 October 2000 0 years, 183 days
Maria Lea Pedini-Angelini  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 1981 1 October 1981 0 years, 183 days
Maria Luisa Berti  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2011 1 October 2011 0 years, 183 days
Mary McAleese  Ireland President 11 November 1997 10 November 2011 13 years, 364 days
Mary Robinson  Ireland President 3 December 1990 12 September 1997 6 years, 283 days
Megawati Sukarnoputri  Indonesia President 23 July 2001 20 October 2004 3 years, 89 days
Micheline Calmy-Rey  Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 January 2003 31 December 2011 8 years, 364 days
Michelle Bachelet  Chile President 11 March 2006 11 March 2010 4 years, 0 day
Mireya Moscoso  Panama President 1 September 1999 1 September 2004 5 years, 0 day
Monique Ohsan Bellepeau  Mauritius Acting President 31 March 2012 Incumbent 0 years, 96 days
Nino Burjanadze  Georgia Acting President 25 November 2007 20 January 2008 0 year, 56 days
Nino Burjanadze  Georgia Acting President 23 November 2003 25 January 2004 0 years, 63 days
Patrizia Busignani  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 1993 1 October 1993 0 years, 183 days
Pratibha Patil  India President 25 July 2007 Incumbent 4 years, 346 days
Rosa Zafferani  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 1999 1 October 1999 0 years, 183 days
Rosa Zafferani  San Marino Captain Regent 1 April 2008 1 October 2008 0 years, 183 days
Rosalía Arteaga Serrano  Ecuador Acting President 9 February 1997 11 February 1997 0 year, 2 days
Rose Francine Rogombé  Gabon Acting President 10 June 2009 16 October 2009 0 years, 128 days
Roza Otunbayeva  Kyrgyzstan President 7 April 2010 1 December 2011 1 year, 238 days
Ruth Dreifuss  Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 April 1993 31 December 2002 9 years, 296 days
Ruth Metzler-Arnold  Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 May 1999 31 December 2003 4 years, 295 days
Ruth Perry  Liberia Chairperson of the Council of State 3 September 1996 2 August 1997 0 years, 333 days
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl  East Germany President of the People's Chamber 5 April 1990 2 October 1990 0 years, 180 days
Simonetta Sommaruga  Switzerland Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1 November 2010 Incumbent 1 year, 247 days
Slavica Đukić Dejanović Serbia Acting President 5 April 2012 31 May 2012 0 year, 56 days
Soong Ching-ling  People's Republic of China Acting Co-Chairperson 31 October 1968 24 April 1972 3 years, 176 days
Soong Ching-ling  People's Republic of China Honorary President 16 May 1981 28 May 1981 0 year, 12 days
Sylvie Kinigi  Burundi Acting President 27 October 1993 5 February 1994 0 years, 101 days
Sükhbaataryn Yanjmaa  Mongolia Acting Chairperson of the Presidium of the State Great Khural 23 September 1953 7 July 1954 0 year, 287 days
Tarja Halonen  Finland President 1 March 2000 1 March 2012 12 years, 0 days
Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga  Latvia President 8 July 1999 8 July 2007 8 years, 0 day
Valeria Ciavatta  San Marino Captain Regent 1 October 2003 1 April 2004 0 year, 183 days
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir  Iceland President 1 August 1980 1 August 1996 16 years, 0 days
Violeta Chamorro  Nicaragua President 25 April 1990 10 January 1997 6 years, 260 days

List of female representatives of heads of state

  Denotes incumbent representative of head of state

pink. Asia-Pacific region

  • Italics denotes acting representative of head of state
Name Country Office Mandate start Mandate end Term length
Elmira Minita Gordon  Belize Governor-General 21 September 1981 17 November 1993 12 years, 57 days
Jeanne Sauvé  Canada Governor General 14 May 1984 29 January 1990 5 years, 260 days
Nita Barrow  Barbados Governor-General 6 June 1990 19 December 1995 5 years, 196 days
Catherine Tizard  New Zealand Governor-General 13 December 1990 21 March 1996 5 years, 99 days
Pearlette Louisy  Saint Lucia Governor-General 17 September 1997 Incumbent 14 years, 292 days
Adrienne Clarkson  Canada Governor General 7 October 1999 27 September 2005 5 years, 324 days
Sian Elias  New Zealand Acting Governor-General 22 March 2001 4 April 2001 0 years, 13 days
Silvia Cartwright  New Zealand Governor-General 4 April 2001 4 August 2006 5 years, 122 days
Ivy Dumont  Bahamas Governor-General 11 November 2001 30 November 2005 4 years, 19 days
Monica Dacon  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Acting Governor-General 3 June 2002 2 September 2002 0 year, 91 days
Michaëlle Jean  Canada Governor General 27 September 2005 1 October 2010 5 years, 4 days
Sian Elias  New Zealand Acting Governor-General 4 April 2006 23 August 2006 0 year, 141 days
Emmanuelle Mignon  Andorra French Representative of Andorra 6 June 2007 24 September 2008 1 year, 110 days
Louise Lake-Tack  Antigua and Barbuda Governor-General 17 July 2007 Incumbent 4 years, 354 days
Quentin Bryce  Australia Governor-General 5 September 2008 Incumbent 3 years, 304 days
Sian Elias  New Zealand Acting Governor-General 23 August 2011 31 August 2011 0 year, 8 days
Sylvie Hubac  Andorra French Representative of Andorra 15 May 2012 Incumbent 0 year, 51 days
Sandra Mason  Barbados Acting Governor-General 30 May 2012 1 June 2012 0 year, 2 days
 

Historic firsts for women in government

  • Sukhbaataryn Yanjmaa, Mongolia (1953–1954): World's first female (acting) president
  • Isabel Peron, Argentina (1974–1976): World's first female (non-acting) president
  • Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Iceland (1980–1996): World's first female elected president, and first female world leader who did not have a father or husband who was also leader at one time
  • Mary McAleese, Ireland (1997–2011):First time that a female president directly succeeded another female president
  • Sri Lanka (1994–2000): First time that a nation possessed a female prime minister (Sirimavo Bandaranaike) and a female president (Chandrika Kumaratunga) simultaneously. Sri Lanka in 1994 also marked the first time that a female prime minister directly succeeded another female prime minister.
  • Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland (2009- ): World's first openly lesbian world leader, first female world leader to wed a same-sex partner while in office

Current women leaders of national governments

The following women leaders are currently in office as the either the head of their nation's government or the head of state (as of May 2012):

pink. Asia-Pacific region

Date term began Title of office Name Country
22.11.2005 Chancellor Angela Merkel Germany
16.01.2006 President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Liberia
25.07.2007 President Pratibha Patil India
10.12.2007 President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Argentina
03.12.2008 Leader of the Government Antonella Mularoni San Marino
06.01.2009 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed Bangladesh
01.02.2009 Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir Iceland
12.07.2009 President Dalia Grybauskaitė Lithuania
08.05.2010 President Laura Chinchilla Miranda Costa Rica
26.05.2010 Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar Trinidad and Tobago
24.06.2010 Prime Minister Julia Gillard Australia
10.10.2010 Prime Minister Sarah Wescott-Williams Sint Maarten (Self-governing Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
29.10.2010 Premier Paula A. Cox Bermuda (British Dependent Territory)
01.01.2011 Executive President Dilma Rousseff Brazil
07.04.2011 President Atifete Jahjaga Kosovo
08.08.2011 Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Thailand
03.10.2011 Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt Denmark
01.01.2012 President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf Switzerland
05.01.2012 Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller Jamaica
31.03.2012 (Acting) President Monique Ohsan Bellepeau Mauritius
05.04.2012 (Acting) President Slavica Đukić Dejanović Serbia
07.04.2012 President Joyce Banda Malawi

See also

External links

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Dated: March 04, 2009