The participation of women in politics, without discrimination of any kind, is established by the United Nations (UN). It urges countries to take measures to eliminate the exclusion of women in political and public life. In addition, the organization asks nations to encourage the participation of women in political processes.
Despite the efforts, reality indicates that women’s participation in politics is far from achieving the desired equality. As of January 2019, around the world, 10 women were heads of state, 10 were heads of government, and 55 were heads of parliaments. These numbers translate to less than 7% of the heads of state and government are held by women. As for the presidency of the parliament, less than 20% is occupied by women.
The women who have been elected to these positions have managed to reach high positions of power by defying obstacles and asserting their capacities. Some have a long history in politics, such as Angela Merkel (Germany). Others, like Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand)They amaze at the speed with which they have developed their career.
Many other women are working to excel in the political career, either holding public office, or working their way to win nominations and be elected.
Women in the presidency
Among the women who are currently in charge of their countries are:
- Angela Merkel (1954): She is one of the most outstanding women in politics and one of the most powerful people in the world. She has been the Federal Chancellor of Germany since 2005, has a Ph.D. in Physics and began in politics in 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
- Halimah Yacob (1954): She has been the president of Singapore since 2017, and is the first woman to hold office in her country’s independent history. She obtained the position in a controversial way, since she became first president without having made any elections. His story is inspiring. Belonging to the Malay ethnic group, traditionally the poorest in the country, she worked as a child in a food stall. Later, he studied law and made a career as a trade unionist and politician.
- Sheikh Hasina (1947): She is the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Recently, she was elected to the position for the third consecutive term. She has a political career of more than four decades, she is also president of the Awami League party.
- Ana Brnabić (1975): She is the Prime Minister of Serbia since 2017. He is a woman, he is openly homosexual and it is also not linked to any political party. He came to the position without political experience, before he was in managerial positions and founded the public-private association National Alliance for Local Economic Development.
- Jacinda Ardern (1980): This New Zealander became in 2017 the youngest woman in the world to hold a head of state. She has been involved in politics from a young age, she became an advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Her rise began in 2008 when she was elected as a member of parliament. The terrorist attacks in his country put his leadership to the test. He showed empathy and defended pacifism and inclusion as qualities of his country. As president and mother, she has also drawn attention for bringing her three-month-old baby to the UN General Assembly.
Other women in politics who are emerging in government positions include the vice presidents of Colombia, Marta Lucía Ramírez, and of Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell.
Ramírez, 64, is the first Colombian woman to serve as vice president. As well she was the first woman, and so far the only one, to be appointed as Minister of Defense. She is a lawyer, and stands out for promoting the empowerment of women politically, economically and emotionally.
The Costa Rican Campbell, 55, is the first black woman to become vice president of her country. She started in politics as a student leader, founded the Acción Ciudadana party, was a deputy and a presidential candidate.
Acquaintances and new women in politics
The american Hillary clinton it is undoubtedly one of the most recognized and influential policies in the world. She was the first woman to be nominated for the presidency by a major political party, but she failed in her bid to win the 2016 election. She served as secretary of state during the presidency of Barack Obama.
An old acquaintance among women in politics is the Chilean Michelle Bachelet, who has served as president of his country for two periods. Currently, she is in charge of a high position, of enormous impact and not a little controversy in the UN: she is the high commissioner for human rights.
Among the former presidents, it also stands out Laura chinchilla, who was the highest ruler of Costa Rica. Her political work has been recognized with the “Women of the Decade in Public Life and Leadership” award from the Women Economic Forum.
Women in politics who are standing out today:
- The Italian-Congolese Cécile Kyenge, became the black prime minister in Italy when she was in charge of the office of Integration and International Cooperation. Since 2014 she has been a member of the European Parliament.
- Alexandria Ocasio-CortezThe 29-year-old is the youngest woman to be elected as a member of Congress in the history of the United States. He is a member of the Democratic Socialist Organization of America.
- Chrystia freeland She has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada since 2017. She has stood out for her fierce defense of the interests of her country against her neighbor the United States.
- Maxine McClean was until 2018 and for ten years Minister of Foreign Affairs of Barbados.
- The american Nancy pelosi, from the Democratic Party, is the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
- Ilhan Omar She is an American-Somali politician, a member of the United States Congress. She was the first Muslim woman to win a seat in the House of Representatives.
- Argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner She was president of her country and has aspirations to be a presidential candidate again.
- The Spanish Ana Pastor she was the president of the Congress of Deputies. Another woman replaces her, Meritxell Batet.
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