Women Currently Helm 20 Nations Worldwide

July 15, 2016
By Wang Gang, Li ShixiangEditor: Eileen Cheng

As Theresa May, the second ever female prime minister of the UK, took office on Wednesday, the number of incumbent women national leaders and state heads has reached 20, Legal Evening News reports.

There have been a total of 182 female leaders globally, with the 90s having witnessed the greatest array of emerging women politicians, according to statistics.

Over the past six years, the number of top stateswomen in office, either currently or at some point during that time, reached 49, 19 more than from 2001-2006.

So far, 80 countries and regions in the world have welcomed women head of states, among which the southern European micro-nation of San Marino has seen the highest at 17, while Switzerland and New Zealand have both had seven.

In the G7 countries, however, there is only one female national leader figure – that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It is anticipated by some British media that the German head will attend the next year's summit in Italy along with Theresa May of the UK and Hillary Clinton, should Clinton win the upcoming U.S. election.

It has been commented on by British reporters that the three women are all of the same type – powerful, resilient and demonstrating great reliability in times of chaos.

Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University, said "It's not crazy. It's a landmark moment. Honestly, two women candidates have run ahead in elections, and they're high likely to win; it is a historic time, truly extraordinary. Nothing similar has ever happened or even been possible before, let alone become a reality."

Should three or more women leaders attend the G7 Summit next year, it may change conceptions on whether women have equal chances of winning global leaderships, Walsh suggested.

"It might break our stereotype as to who will become global leaders of the highest rank," she said.

(Source: Legal Evening News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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