At-a-glance: Women Prime Ministers

Australia has just got it's first female prime minister, but having a woman leader is not such a novelty in other countries across the globe. 

Australia has just got it's first female prime minister, but having a woman leader is not such a novelty in other countries across the globe.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike become the first woman prime minister on July 21 1960. She ruled until March 1965, and then again from 29 May 1970 to 23 Jul 1977 and from 14 Nov 1994 to 10 Aug 2000.

Indira Gandhi has been the prime minister of India twice, from 19 Jan 1966 to 24 Mar 1977 and from 14 Jan 1980 to her assassination on 31 Oct 1984.

Golda Meir was prime minister of Israel from 17 Mar 1969 to 3 Jun 1974 and third woman in the world to reach that post behind Sri Lanka's Sirimavo Bandaranaike (1960) and India's Indira Gandhi (1966).

Elisabeth Domitien was Africa's first woman prime minister and the first black woman ruler of an independent State.

Margaret Thatcher was prime minister of the United Kingdom from 4 May 1979 to 28 Nov 1990. She was the first woman to be elected head of state in Europe.

Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo was prime minister of Portugal from 1 Aug 1979 to 3 Jan 1980.

Mary Eugenia Charles was prime minister of Dominica from 21 Jul 1980 to 14 Jun 1995. She was the first Caribbean female premier.

Gro Harlem Brundtland is a Norwegian politician, diplomat, and physician, and an international leader in sustainable development and public health. She is a former Prime Minister of Norway, and has served as the Director General of the World Health Organization.

Milka Planinc
was federal prime minister of former Socialist Yugoslavia from 16 May 1982 to 15 May 1986. The only (and probably the last) woman premier of a communist country in history.

Benazir Bhutto has been prime Minister of Pakistan twice, from 2 Dec 1988 to 6 Aug 1990, and again from 19 Oct 1993 to 5 Nov 1996. The first woman prime minister of a muslim country, she was assassinated in Rawalpindi on 27 Dec 2007.

Kazimiera Danutë Prunskienë
was prime minister of Lithuania from 17 Mar 1990 to 10 Jan 1991.

Khaleda Zia was prime minister of Bangladesh from 20 Mar 1991 to 30 Mar 1996 and again from 10 Oct 2001 to 29 Oct 2006. She is the widow of the late dictator Ziaur Rahman, assassinated in 1981.

Edith Cresson was prime minister of France from 15 May 1991 to 2 Apr 1992.

Hanna Suchocka was prime minister of Poland from 8 Jul 1992 to 26 Oct 1993.

Kim Campbell was prime minister of Canada from 25 Jun to 5 Nov 1993. First woman ruler in North America.

Tansu Çiller was Prime minister of Turkey from 25 Jun 1993 to 7 Mar 1996.

Sylvie Kinigi was prime minister of Burundi from 10 Jul 1993 to 11 Feb 1994.

Agathe Uwilingiyimana
was prime minister of Rwanda from 18 Jul 1993 to her death on 7 Apr 1994. When the hutu radicals began a massive killing of tutsi people and moderate hutus, she was killed by the armed militias.

Chandrika Kumaratunga was prime minister of Sri Lanka from 19 Aug to Nov 1994

Reneta Indzhova was Interim prime minister of Bulgaria from 16 Oct 1994 to 25 Jan 1995.

Claudette Werleigh was Prime minister of Haiti from 7 Nov 1995 to 27 Feb 1996.

Sheikh Hasina Wajed was prime minister of Bangladesh twice, from 23 Jun 1996 to 15 Jul 2001 and again since 6 Jan 2009.

Janet Jagan was prime minister of Guyana from 17 Mar 1997 to December 19, 1997

Jenny Shipley was prime minister of New Zealand from 8 Dec 1997 to 10 Dec 1999. Shipley was not only the first woman ruler in New Zealand, but also in an independent state in South Pacific and Oceania.

Helen Elizabeth Clark became the second consecutive woman prime minister of New Zealand, succeeding Jenny Shipley, in December 1999. She left office on 19 Nov 2008.

Mame Madior Boye was prime minister of Senegal from 3 Mar 2001 to 4 Nov 2002.

Maria das Neves Ceita Baptista de Sousa was Prime minister of São Tomé and Príncipe from 7 Oct 2002 to 16 Jul 2003, when was deposed, together with president Fradique de Menezes, in a military coup.

Anneli Tuulikki Jäätteenmäki was prime minister of Finland from 17 Apr to 24 Jun 2003.

Beatriz Merino Lucero was prime minister of Peru from 28 Jun to 15 Dec 2003.

Megawati Setiawati Sukarnoputri served as the President of Indonesia from 23 July 2001 to 20 October 2004 and was the country's first female President. She is also the first Indonesian leader to be born after independence. Megawati is the daughter of Indonesia's first president, Sukarno.

Luísa Dias Diogo was prime minister of Mozambique from 17 Feb 2004 to 18 Jan 2010.

Yuliya Tymoshenko was prime minister of Ukraine twice, from 24 Jan to 8 Sep 2005 and from 18 Dec 2007 to 3 Mar 2010.

Maria do Carmo Silveira was prime minister of São Tomé and Príncipe from 8 Jun 2005 to 21 Apr 2006.

Angela Merkel has been the Federal Chancellor of Germany from 22 Nov 2005.

Portia Simpson-Miller was Prime inister of Jamaica from 30 Mar 2006 to 11 Sep 2007.

Han Myung Sook was prime minister of South Korea from 19 Apr 2006 to 7 Mar 2007.

Zinaida Greceanii was prime minister of Moldova from 31 Mar 2008 to 14 Sep 2009.

Michèle Pierre-Louis
was prime minister of Haiti from 5 Sep 2008 to 11 Nov 2009.

Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir was prime minister of Iceland since 1 Feb 2009.

Jadranka Kosor has been prime minister of Croatia since 6 Jul 2009.

Cécile Manorohanta was prime minister of Madagascar from 18 to 20 Dec 2009.

Roza Otunbayeva
has been the head of the interim Government of Kyrgyzstan from 7 April 2010.

Kamla Persad-Bissessar has been prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago since 26 May 2010.

Maria Gloria Arroyo is the fourteenth and current president of the Philippines and is also the Representative-elect for Pampanga's 2nd district. Arroyo is the country's second female (after Corazón Aquino) and second longest serving (after Ferdinand Marcos) president.

Verónica Michelle Bachelet is a moderate socialist politician who was President of Chile from 11 March 2006 to 11 March 2010—the first woman president in the country's history.

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is the current President of Argentina. She was sworn in on 10 December 2007.

Julia Gillard was sworn in as prime minister of Australia on June 24, 2010 after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stood down.

Source: SBS

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch