Thursday, September 29, 2011

10 Most Influential Female Leaders in the World Today

Women have come a long way when in terms of their involvement in politics. It's not uncommon nowadays to see female mayors and governors, but it's far less common to see women leading nations as presidents, prime ministers and chancellors. Those who have obtained such powerful, prominent positions have broken the mold for women around the world and helped pave the way for future female leaders. Here are the 10 most influential female leaders in the world today:

  1. Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton is known for much more than just being Bill Clinton's wife. This former first lady has made her own name in politics as a Senator for the state of New York from 2001 to 2009, and being a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. She is the current U.S. Secretary of State for the Obama administration, where she has put her diplomatic skills to good use. Clinton has helped strengthen U.S. foreign policy and improve America's alliances with the Middle East, China and Russia, while promoting economic growth at home. Clinton has also been a longtime leader in public service and national healthcare policies. She has devoted much of her political career to heading the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, as well as programs that assist women and children around the world.

  2. Michelle Obama

    Michelle Obama may be a style icon and a pretty face, but this first lady definitely takes her political responsibilities seriously. The current first lady is an avid supporter of healthy eating, specifically relating to the area of childhood obesity. Within the first year of her husband's presidency, Mrs. Obama got straight to work. She undertook an administration-wide initiative to reverse the trend of childhood obesity with a movement called "Let's Move!" In keeping with her healthy-eating initiative, the First Lady planted the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt. Michelle is also heavily involved in supporting military families and helping working mothers, as well as encouraging national service and promoting the arts and arts education.

  3. Queen Elizabeth II

    Queen Elizabeth II is more than a figurehead of England; she's an influential leader who has directed and united her people for almost 60 years. Although many of her duties are ceremonial, Queen Elizabeth II is in charge of reading letters from the public, reviewing official papers and briefing notes, and meeting with political ministers, presidents and ambassadors. The Queen has had a long history of participating and promoting charitable work around the world and is the patron of more than 600 charities and organizations. She uses her prestige and political power to bring awareness to various issues and promote certain causes.

  4. Angela Merkel

    Angela Merkel is not only one of the most influential female leaders in the world today, but she is also the first woman to lead a major continental European power. Merkel is the current chancellor of Germany and has held this position since 2005. Merkel's years of political experience and impressive negotiating talents have helped her reach new levels of power and influence. As Chancellor, Merkel has made dramatic improvements to Europe's slow-growing economy through hard work and by strengthening foreign relations. Merkel's unwavering ambition and strong work ethic has helped put Germany back in the driver's seat as one of the most influential countries in the world.

  5. Helle Thorning-Schmidt

    Helle Thorning-Schmidt is the current Prime Minister of Denmark and the first woman to ever hold this position. She is also the leader of the Danish Social Democrats and served as a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004. Thorning-Schmidt surprised the country when her left-wing bloc ousted the right-wing government from power after 10 years of control. As Prime Minister, Thorning-Schmidt has announced that she is committed to ending conservative austerity measures, raising taxes on wealthy Danes and banks and increasing spending to help revive the economy. Thorning-Schmidt clearly has a powerful influence on government and policy, and it'll be exciting to see what she does with her leadership in the coming years.

  6. Yingluck Shinawatra

    Yingluck Shinawatra is the newly elected Prime Minister of Thailand and the first female to ever hold this office. Even though Shinawatra is a novice in politics and critics say her only qualification is being the youngest sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister who was ousted in 2006, Yingluck has proved to be quite the influential leader. Before she stepped into the political ring, Shinawatra earned her degree in public administration at Kentucky State University and worked at a property business her brother, Thaksin, started. Her political career began when the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai Party selected her to be the leader and she helped the party win the majority of parliamentary seats. Last month, Shinawatra made her first policy statement to parliament that she plans to crack down on drugs and tax evasion, as well as raise the minimum wage and provide free public Wi-Fi. She is also determined to deliver her party's promises of constructing high-speed rail lines and providing free tablet computers to all elementary students. Although her political career is very new, there's no doubt that we'll see more from this sharp leader.

  7. Dilma Rousseff

    Dilma Rousseff is the current President of Brazil and the first woman to hold the office in that country's history. Before moving into her current position, Rousseff was the Chief of Staff of Brazil, where she worked closely alongside the former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Rousseff has had a prominent role in politics for many years. She and her partner, Carlos Araújo, founded the Democratic Labour Party, and she served as the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Energy of Rio Grande do Sul under the Collares and Olivio Dutra administrations. As President, Rousseff has honed in on advocating women's rights and choice, including reproductive and sexual health rights. She has also urged parents to encourage their daughters and help them fulfill their dreams.

  8. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

    Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is the current President of Argentina and one of the most recognizable faces in politics. Since her election victory in 2007, President Kirchner has lead her nation through political turmoil and helped foster a stronger and more efficient economy. One of her biggest political and personal challenges was bearing the grief of a nation when her husband and former Argentina President, Néstor Kirchner, died suddenly. Since succeeding her husband, Cristina has dealt with a four-month tax revolt by farmers that made her popularity ratings fall below 30%. Argentina's strong economy has allowed her to address any economic problems by creating jobs, increasing wages and extending government welfare programs. Cristina has faced many hard times during her presidency, but never failed to overcome these hurdles to put her country back on top.

  9. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is one of the most influential female leaders in the world. Sirleaf is not only an experienced politician, but a major force in Liberia's finances. Prior to becoming president, Sirleaf served as Liberia's Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 to 1980, and then worked at several financial institutions. Since her election victory in 2005 that made her the first and only elected female president in Africa, Sirleaf has helped dramatically reduce the national debt, which made Liberia eligible to participate in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative in 2008 and receive major debt relief. Sirleaf is also praised for strengthening relations with other nations and bringing much-needed peace, justice and motherly sensitivity to Liberia and the rest of Africa.

  10. Julia Gillard

    Julia Gillard is the current Prime Minister of Australia. She is also the first woman and first foreign-born person to hold this position since Billy Hughes (1915-1923). Before moving into her new role as president, the Welsh-born leader was serving as deputy leader of the ruling Australian Labor Party when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ousted from his position, and the job was handed over to Gillard on June 24, 2010. While in office, Gillard has rebuilt support for her party and formed a minority government that supports an Australian Greens minority party and three independent parties. One of Gillard's main focuses is improving healthcare by increasing emergency doctors and nursing scholarships over the next 10 years, as well as funding suicide-prevention programs and revising the original health funding reforms. Her strong political positions and progressive policies have made her stand out as a strong-willed and powerful leader.

Taken From Online Degree

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