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Women Presidents Who Have Made History

In recent years, several women have made history by becoming heads of state of different countries. We tell you who are the most relevant.

The Woman Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Women are an essential part of politics. According to the UN Women report, in 2021 there will be 5.9% of women serving as heads of state. This measurement was carried out by following 152 countries, in 9 of which women occupy the highest positions. That is, little by little, more and more women overcame prejudices and managed to take the reins of many countries.

Regardless of ideology, we selected women who became presidents of countries. In all cases, they overcame prejudice and became the first women to achieve this political position in the country. 

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was one of the leading women in Latin American politics in the previous decade. Currently, she is the vice president of Argentina, since she was elected in 2019 when she decided to accompany Alberto Fernandez in the formula. Her period of government occurred between 2007 and 2015.

In 2007, she became Argentina's first woman to become president by popular vote, but she was not the first to hold that office. Between 1974 and 1976, María Estela Martínez de Perón, Argentina's vice president in Juan Domingo Perón's last term, had held the post, albeit after her husband's death.

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner achieved historic re-election in 2011 when she garnered 53% of the vote. Loved by many and hated by others, she changed the history of Argentina as the leader of "Kirchnerism," a social movement that remains extremely popular to this day. 

Michelle Bachelet

We continue in Latin America. In this case, we move to Chile. Like Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, she was the first woman president of her country. She also had two terms in office, although they were not consecutive. The first occurred between 2006 and 2010. 

After Sebastián Piñera's triumph, politician Bachelet ran in the 2014 elections and served until 2018. She was the first woman to be president pro tempore of UNASUR. Bachelet was also the first director of UN Women. Currently, she also holds various honorary positions.

Among them, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the presidency of the World Health Organization's Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health stand out. Like Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, both have a progressive orientation.  

Also read: HAS THE PANDEMIC GENERATED CHANGES IN CORRUPTION IN LATIN AMERICA?

Tarja Halonen

Of Finnish origin, she became the first female president of this country. She held this office from 2000 to 2012, in two consecutive terms. Halonen was an extremely popular president, to the point that she achieved an approval rating of 88% in December 2003. 

Much of her political work focused on human rights issues. For example, Halonen always fought for women's rights and issues related to globalization. In 2009, Forbes magazine listed her as one of the 100 most powerful women on the planet. 

Halonen is currently a member of the Council of Women World Leaders. It is an international organization of current and former female presidents and prime ministers. They seek to have women implement gender equality policies. 

Halimah Yacob

Finally, here is a very particular story. Halimah Yacob is a representative of one of Singapore's minority ethnic groups (she is Malay). In her early days, she was a poor woman, as she used to clean tables. Over the years, she made an incredible political career in a right-wing party. By 2017, she was elected as president, although not by the ballot box.

Due to a 2016 law that amended the Constitution to allow all ethnic minorities to come to power, Yacob was the only candidate who met the conditions to assume that position. The explanation is simple: She seeks alternation between the different ethnic groups. 

In other words, that was the year it was the ethnic Malay's turn, as the last ethnic Malay president was Yusof Ishak, elected in 1965. All the others had either had one term in office or did not meet other requirements, such as having held an important public office or being an executive of a company valued at about $370 million. 

We hope you liked these stories of the world's greatest female presidents!

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