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Women in Politics
Laura Chinchilla Miranda
President of Costa Rica May 8, 2010 – Present Laura is the first female President of Costa Rica. She was one of Óscar Arias Sánchez's two Vice-Presidents and his administration's Minister of Justice. She is the sixth woman to be elected president of a Latin American country.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
President of Argentina December 10, 2007 – Present In the October 2007 general election, Kirchner obtained 45.3% of the vote and a 22% lead over her nearest rival, avoiding a runoff election. She was inaugurated in December 2007, becoming the first directly elected female president of Argentina. A Justicialist, Fernández served one term as National Deputy and three terms as National Senator for both Santa Cruz and Buenos Aires provinces.
8th President of Ireland November 11, 1997 – November 10, 2011 In 1975, McAleese was appointed Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College, Dublin and in 1994, she became the first female Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University.
Member of the Swiss Federal Council January 1, 2008 – Present Widmer-Schlumpf is the daughter of former federal councillor Leon Schlumpf. She is the second federal councillor whose father had held the same office, after Eugène Ruffy, and the sixth woman to be elected to the Swiss Federal Council.
Governor-General of Canada September 27, 2002 – October 1, 2010 Jean was a refugee from Haiti who moved to Canada in 1968. After receiving a number of university degrees, Jean worked as a journalist & broadcaster for Radio-Canada & the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), as well as undertaking charity work, mostly in the field of assisting victims of domestic violence. In 2005, she was appointed governor general by Queen Elizabeth II, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Paul Martin
Dame Quentin Bryce
25th Governor-General of Australia September 2008 until March 2014. She was the first woman to hold the position, and was previously the Governor of Queensland from 2003 to 2008. Quentin attended the University of Queensland, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws, becoming one of the first women accepted to the Queensland Bar.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
24th President of Liberia January 16, 2006 – Present Sirleaf is the first elected female head of state in Africa. She served as Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d'état, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions. She won the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006, and she was a successful candidate for re-election in 2011.
President of South Korea February 25, 2013 – Present Geun-hye is the first woman to be elected as President in South Korea. She also is the first woman head of state in modern history of Northeast Asia. Prior to her presidency, she was the chairwoman of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP) from 2004- 2006 and from 2011- 2012. Park was also a member of the Korean Nation Assembly & served four consecutive parliamentary terms as a constituency representative between 1998 - 2012.
4th President of Iceland August 1, 1980 – August 1, 1996 Finnbogadóttir served as the fourth President of Iceland from 1980 to 1996. In addition to being both Iceland and Europe's first female president, she was the world's first democratically elected female head of state. With a presidency of exactly sixteen years, she also remains the longest-serving, elected female head of state of any country.
Lidia Gueiler Tejada
President of Bolivia 1979 to 1980 Tejada was Bolivia's first (and thus far, only) female Head of State, serving in an interim capacity from 1979 to 1980. She was also the second women president in Latin American history (the first was Isabel Perón in Argentina between 1974 and 1976).
4th President of Malawi April 7, 2012 – Present Banda has been the President of Malawi since April 2012. She is the founder and leader of the People's Party, created in 2011. An educator and grassroots women's rights activist, she was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and Vice President of Malawi from May 2009 to April 2012.
President of Chile 2006 – Present Bachelet is the first woman to become President of Chile. She is a licensed physician who has studied military strategy, and served as Health Minister and Defense Minister under her predecessor, President Ricardo Lagos.
12th President of India July 25, 2007 – July 25, 2012 In 1962, at the age of 27, Patil was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the Jalgaon constituency. Thereafter she won in the Muktainagar (formerly Edlabad) constituency on four consecutive occasions between 1967 and 1985, before becoming a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha between 1985 and 1990. In November 2004 she was appointed as the 24th Governor of Rajasthan becoming the first woman to hold that office.
Member of Swiss Federal Council April 1, 1993 – December 31, 2002 Dreifuss was the 100th member elected to the Swiss Federal Council on 10 March. She is the second woman to be elected to the council. She was the President of the Confederation in 1999, the first woman to hold this position.
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