Female Heads of State and Government Currently in Office

2010-03-07
THISDAY Newspaper

1952- Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, Paramount Chief of Fiji and Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis

Until 1953 her title was Queen of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Overseas Dominions. She is head if state in 15 countries apart from Great Britain and as Head of the Commonwealth she is the front person of the organization of many other former British colonies and territories. Her reign takes place during a period of great social change, she has carried out her political duties as Head of State, the ceremonial responsibilities of the Sovereign and an unprecedented programme of visits in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and overseas. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is the mother of three sons and a daughter. Married to Phillip Mountbatten, former Prince of Greece. (b. 1926-).



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1972- Queen Margrethe 2 of Denmark, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Head of the Evangelican-Lutheral Church

The Rigsfælleskab - or Commonwealth of the Realm - includes the external territories of The Faero Islands and Greenland. She has engaged in translation work and made her mark artistically in several genres. She has made a point of knowing and reaching out to all parts of the realm, and the Faeroe Islands and Greenland are favourite destinations. The Queen has also succeeded in giving her traditional New Year Message a strongly personal touch, which has helped to consolidate her popularity.
She succeeded her father, Frederik 9, and married to Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, Prince Henrik. Margrethe Alexandrine þorhildur Ingrid is mother of two sons. (b. 1940-)



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1980-Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard is also Princess van Oranje-Nassau, Princess van Lippe-Biesterfeld etc, etc, etc. The Kingdom of The Netherlands includes the external territories of Aruba and The Nederlandse Antillen. She succeeded upon the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana, and she closely follows affairs of government and maintains regular contact with ministers, state secretaries, the vice-President of the Council of State, the Queen's Commissioners in the provinces, burgomasters, and Dutch ambassadors etc. She meets the Prime Minister every Monday. Much of her work consists of studying and signing State documents. She regularly receives members of parliament, as well as other authorities on social issues. Married to Prince Claus of the Netherlands, Jonkheer von Amfeld (1926-2002), and mother of 3 sons. (b. 1938-).



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1997- President Mary McAleese, Ireland

She was Professor of Law and 1993-97 Pro-chancellor of University of Belfast. The eldest of nine children, she grew up in Northern Ireland and her family was one of many adversely affected by the conflict. She is an experienced broadcaster, having worked as a current affairs journalist and presenter in radio and television with Radio Telefís Éireann. She has a longstanding interest in many issues concerned with justice, equality, social inclusion, anti-sectarianism and reconciliation but never engaged in party politics. During the 1997-elections 5 candidates were female and there was only one token male candidates finishing a distant last. (b. 1951-).



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1997- Governor-General Hon. Dr. Dame C. Pearlette Louisy, St. Lucia
A former civil servant, she a non-political appointee. (b. 1946-)



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2000- President Tarja Halonen, Finland

Social Democrat member of Parliament 1979-2000, 1984-87 Chairperson of the Social Affairs Committee and Member of the Presidium of the Parliament, 1987-1990 Second Minister of Health and Social Affairs (Health Minister) and 1989-1991 Minister of Nordic Co-operation, 1989-91 Co-leader of Soumen Sosialidemokraattinen Pulolue, The Social Democrats. 1990-1991 Minister of Justice, 1995-2000 Minister of Foreign Affairs. (b. 1943-).



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2001- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, The Philippines (20.1-)

As executive GMA is also Head of the Cabinet. 1987-1989 she was Assistant Secretary and 1989-92 Undersecretary of Trade and Industry and Senator 1992-98. Vice-President 1998-2001 and Secretary of Social Development and Welfare 1998-2000 and charged with the leadership of the Cabinet Meetings. In 2001 the parliament sacked President Estrada because of corruption and she was sworn in as his successor. 2002 Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 2003 and 206-07 of Defence. Does not belong to a party but has formed her own block of parliamentarians. (b. 1947-).



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2005- Governor-General Michaëlle Jean, Canada

She is daughter of Haitian immigrants who fled the Duvalier regime in 1968, former university literature professor, social activist and veteran CBC broadcaster from Quebec, and non-political. Married to French-born Jean-Daniel Lafond, and mother of Marie-Eden (b. 1999). She is (b. 1957-).



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2005- Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany

1990 Deputy Spokesperson of the Government of the DDR, 1990-98 Deputy Chairperson of CDU, 1991-94 Federal Minister Women and Youth and 1994-98 Federal Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Reactor Safety, 1993-2000 Chairperson of CDU in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 1998-2000 Federal Secretary General and since 2000 Federal Chairperson of CDU and 2002-05 also Parliamentary Leader. Bundeskanzlerin in a Grand Coalition between CDU/CSU and SPD. Née Kasner and married secondly to Joachim Sauer, no children. (b. 1954-).



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2006- President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia

1972-73 and 1977-79 Secretary of State of Finance, 1979-80 Minister of Finance, 1980 President of the National Bank, 1980-85 worked for the World Bank, 1985-86 in house arrest after her return, 1990-92 Leading member of exile-government of Amos Sawyer in United States of America, 1992-97 African Director of the UNDP (United Nations Development Program). From 1997 Leader of the Unity Party. Presidential Candidate in 1997, Candidate for the Chairmanship of the National Transitional Government in 2003 and finally won the presidential elections in November 2005. She is divorced, mother of a number of children, and grandmother. (b. 1938-).



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2006- Minister-President Emily de Jongh-Elhage, Nederlandse Antillen (Self-governing Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

Commissioner of Public works and Public Housing of Curaçao 1998-99, Commissioner of Education, Sport and Cultural Affairs 1999-2002, Minister of Education and Culture of the Nederlandse Antillen 2002-03 and Commissioner of Public Enterprises and Public Housing 2004-05 of Curaçao. From 2005 Leader of De Partido Antia Restrukturá (PAR). Also Minister of General Affairs and External Relations.



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2007- President Pratibha Patil, India
Deputy Minister 1967-72 and Cabinet Minister 1972-83 and Congress Leader and Leader of the Opposition 1979-80 in Maharastra, Deputy Chairperson of the Union Upper House, the Rajya Sabha 1986-88, Governor of Rajasthan 2004-07. Married to Devisingh Shekhawat, a former Mayor of Amravati. (b. 1934-).


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2007- President Cristina E. Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina

Won the first round of the presidential elections in October 2007 as candidate for Partido Justicalista. She was Member of the Assembly of Santa Cruz 1989-95 and 1. Vice-President of the Assembly in 1990, National Senator 1995-97 and again since 2001, National Deputy 1997-2001. President of the Senate Committee of Contitutional Affairs since 2001. Her husband, Nestor Kirchner was President until 2007.. Mother of 2 children. (b. 1953-).


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2007- Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack, Antigua and Barbuda

A former nurse and magistrate from 1995. (b. 1944-).

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2007- President Borjana Kristo, The Federation of Bosnia (Bosnia-Hercegovina)

2003-07 Minister of Justice of the Bosniak-Croat Federation an entity in The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The former Vice-President of the Parliament, Spomenka Micic, was elected one of the 2 Vice-Presidents of Federation. (b. 1961-)


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2007- Premier Viveca Eriksson, Åland (Finish External Territory)

Chairperson of the Liberal Parliamentary Group 1999-2001, Member of the Speaker's Conference 1999-2000, Chairperson of the Finance Committee 1999-2001, first Vice-speaker 2000-01 and 2005-07, Speaker 2001-05 and Party Chairperson from 2004. (b. 1956-).



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2008- Governor-General Dr Quentin Bryce, Australia
Former lawyer, academic and human rights advocate, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, founding chair and Chief Executive Officer of the National Childcare Accreditation Council and Governor of Queensland 2003-08. (b. 1942-)


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2008- Leader of the Government Antonella Mularoni, San Marino

As Secretary of Foreign and Political Affairs she also functions as Leader of the Government even though the Captain Generals are both Heads of State and Government. She was Political Secretary to the Minister of Finance 1986-87, Director of the Office for relations with the associations of San Marino citizens living abroad 1987-90, Deputy Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, 1989-90, Barrister and public notary in the Republic of San Marino 1991-2001, Member of the General Grand Council 1993-2001 and again from 2008, and Judge of the European Court of Human Rights 2001-08. (b. 1961-).



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2009- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh

President of the Awami Leauge from 1981, Opposition Leader 1986-87 and 1991-96 and 2001-06 and Prime Minister 1996-2001. Also in charge of a number of other portfolio's including that of Defence during both of her tenures as chief of Government. (b. 1947-).



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2009- Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland
Johanna Sigurdardsottir was Deputy Chairperson of the Social Democrats 1984-93, Chairperson 1994-99 of the National Revival Party until she rejoined the Social Democrats, becoming it's leader in 2009. Vice-President of the Lower Chamber 1979 and 1983-84 and Vice-Chairperson of the the Alþing 2003-07, Minister of Social Affairs And Health 1987-91 and Minister of Social Affairs 1991-94 and 2007-09. First married to Þorvaldur Steinar Jóhannesson with whom she has got 2 sons and since 2002 she lives in a civil partnership with the author Jónína Leósdóttir, who is mother of 1 son. (b. 1942-).


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2009- Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, Croatia
Vice-President of the Sabor 1995-2000 and Deputy Chairperson of HDZ 1995-97. Minister of War Weterans from 2003, Minister for Family and Inter-Generation Solidarity 2003-08 and responsible for Foreign Policy and Human Rights. Presidential Candidate 2005. (b. 1953-).


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2009- President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuania
1994-1995 Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister at the Lithuanian Mission to the EU and Deputy Head Negotiator for the Europe Agreement with EU, 1996-1999 Plenipotentiary Minister at the Embassy in USA, 1999-2000 Vice-Minister of Finance and 2000-01 Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Head of the EU Accession negotiations, 2001-04 Minister of Finance and 2004 EU-Commissioner of Financial Programming and Budget 2004-09. Won 69% of the votes in the presidential elections. Unmarried and no children. (b. 1956-).


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2010- President of the Confederation Doris Leuthard, Switzerland

Member of the Assembly in Aargau 1997-2000, Vice-President of Christian Democratic Party, CVP 2001-04, President of CVP Schweiz 2004-06 and Federal Councillor of Economic Affairs from 2006 and Vice-President in 2009. (b. 1963-).








 

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