Meet the Women Leaders of the World
Since 1960, women heads of state have grown in number and influence.
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-- As far as powerful women go,
Hillary Clinton has been one of the most discussed in recent months.
In her concession speech Wednesday, she said, "To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams."
Even though a woman has never held the highest office in the U.S., there appear to be a number of bright spots on the domestic and international stages. The U.S. Senate has the most women ever elected to it, including the second ever black woman to serve, Kamala Harris, and the first ever Thai-American woman, Tammy Duckworth.
From the election of first woman head of state Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike in 1960, names like Theresa May and Benazir Bhutto have reshaped world history and changed the way that government and gender equality can function. Here are all of the world's current women heads of state or heads of government, many of whom are the first in their countries.
Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, reacts during a news conference following an immigration summit at the Chancellery in Berlin, Nov. 17, 2015. In office since Nov. 22, 2005 Appointed United Kingdom: Prime Minister Theresa May Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May launches her leadership bid for Britain's ruling Conservative Party in London, June 30, 2016. In office since July 13, 2016 Elected Liberia: President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Washington, May 30, 2016. In office since Jan. 1, 2006 Elected Myanmar State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi attends a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 4, 2016. In office since 2015 Elected South Korea: President Park Geun-hye President Barack Obama gestures to members of the media during his meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, Oct. 16, 2015, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. In office since Feb. 25, 2013 Elected Lithuania: President Dalia Grybauskaite Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania, arrives for a reception at Buckingham Palace for Heads of State and Government attending the Olympics Opening Ceremony, July 27, 2012, in London. In office since July 12, 2009 Elected First woman to hold office Norway: Prime Minister Erna Solberg Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg talks during a joint press conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (unseen), Jan. 21, 2015, at the EU Headquarters in Brussels. In office since Oct. 16, 2013 Elected Chile: President Michelle Bachelet Chilean President Michelle Bachelet applauds during an official ceremony at the Culture Palace in Guatemala City, Jan. 30, 2015. In office since March 11, 2014 Elected First woman to hold office Nepal: President Bidhya Devi Bhandari Nepalese president Bidhya Devi Bhandari waits to receive Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nov. 2, 2016.
Mukherjee is in Nepal for a three-day official visit. / AFP / PRAKASH MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images) In office since Oct. 29, 2015 Elected First woman to hold office Malta: President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, of Malta, addresses the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, Sept. 27, 2015, at United Nations headquarters. In office since April 7, 2014 Elected Poland: Prime Minister Beata Szydlo Prime Minister of Poland, Beata Szydlo during the press conference at Chancellery of the Prime Minister in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 27, 2016. In office since Nov. 16, 2015 Elected Switzerland: Swiss Federal Council Members Doris Leuthard and Simonetta Sommaruga Doris Leuthard is seen here. | Simonetta Sommaruga is seen here during a press conference. In office since August 2006 and November 2010 respectively Elected Croatia: President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 21, 2016. In office since Feb. 18, 2015 Elected First woman to hold office Estonia: President Kersti Kaljulaid President of Poland Andrzej Duda speaks with the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, Nov. 3, 2016, in Warsaw, Poland. In office since Oct. 10, 2016 Elected First female head of state since Estonia's 1918 independence St. Lucia: Governor General Pearlette Louisy Governor General of Saint Lucia Dame Pearlette Louisy arrives for a London 2012 Olympic Games reception, hosted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in London, July 27, 2012. In office since Sept. 17, 1997 First woman to hold this office Mauritius: President Ameenah Gurib A portrait of the president of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib Fakim, Sept. 26, 2015. In office since 2015 Elected First woman elected as president Marshall Islands: President Hilda Heine Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands, addresses the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 22, 2016. In office since 2016 Elected First woman to hold office Bangladesh: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh's prime minister, attends a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellory, Oct. 25, 2011, in Berlin. In office since Jan. 6, 2009 Elected Grenada: Governor General Cecile La Grenade Governor General of Grenada, Dame Cecile La Grenade, holds her Insignia of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George after she was awarded Dame Grand Gross by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace, London, July 11, 2014. In office since 05/07/2013 Appointed First woman to hold office Bahamas: Gov. General Marguerite Pindling Marguerite Pindling, Feb. 26, 2007, during the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Alanta, Georgia. Pindling became the Governor-General of the Bahamas, July 8. 2014. In office since 07/09/2014 Appointed Namibia: Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa Prime Minister of Namibia Saara Kuugongelwa delivers a speech during the Midterm Review of the Istanbul Program of Action at Titanic Hotel in Antalya, Turkey, May 27, 2016. In office since 2015 First woman to hold office since Namibian independence Taiwan: President Tsai Ing-wen Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a press conference at the Taipei Guest House, Aug. 20, 2016.
In office since 05/20/2016 Elected First woman to hold office New Zealand: Governor General Patsy Reddy Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy makes a speech during a state dinner at Government House, Nov. 7, 2016, in Wellington, New Zealand. In office since 2016 Appointed