In Celebration Of Hillary Clinton, Here's 5 Female Leaders You Should Know
Far away from the war of words that has erupted on your Facebook news feed between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters about emails, Armani jackets, and superdelgates, the entire course of American history was shifting. For the first time ever (and ninety-six years after women were granted the right to vote), Hillary Clinton became the first woman to become a major political party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Throughout her path to this historic moment, Hillary went from a lawyer and First Lady to Senator and finally, Secretary of State. Now, come November, she could become the President of the United States, joining other female leaders from around the world who have proved through their resilience, that bitches really do get shit done.
As Bernie Sanders soldiers on to gather as many votes as he can while his supporters question their next move, Hillary has pivoted away from the long, embattled fight with the Vermont senator, instead preparing for a long, ugly battle with Donald “Cheeto Puff Hitler” Trump for the presidency. Before the shit hits the star-spangled fan, it’s time to celebrate Clinton’s triumph, and look across the world to these five revolutionary women leading countries and kicking ass right now.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
This week, Angela was named the world’s most powerful woman by Forbes, which is cause enough for celebration, but it’s par for the course for her. Why? Because this is her sixth year in a row as the world’s most powerful woman. Oh yeah, and she was also named Time‘s Person of the Year last year for her unpreceded support and compassion for the refugees who’ve flooded into Germany. Eleven years ago, she became Germany’s first woman Chancellor and before that, she earned her doctorate in physical chemistry. There’s really nothing Angela can’t do, which explains why she is the most powerful woman around.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia
As the first woman elected to the head of state in an African country, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been on her grind since 2006. Five years after taking office, she won the Nobel Peace Prize, alongside with Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karmān, for her efforts to fight for women’s rights. When Liberia fell under a military dictatorship in the 80s, she was arrested twice due to her public critiques of the government. She’s been called the “Iron Lady,” and four years after she had taken office, she erased the country’s entire national debt.
Park Geun-hye, President of South Korea
The daughter of President Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea for almost two decades, Park is a woman who has been in the political sphere since birth. When she was elected in 2013, she became the first female president of South Korea, and the first female president of any country in Northeast Asia. After three years of being the president and dealing with the fuckboy antics of North Korea, she has shown a natural ease for running the nation. She feels that she’s married to her work, which goes against South Korean culture. All the single ladies, put your hands up for Park.
Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan
In January, Tsai made history when she became the first woman elected to the presidency of Taiwain. After working as a law professor for years, she transitioned into politics when former President Lee Teng-hui appointed her to a legal panel whose goal was to prove Taiwain wasn’t part of the People’s Republic of China. She has received law degrees from the National Taiwan University, Cornell University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, and has been called Taiwain’s Angela Merkel. Oh, and she also has two cats that’ve helped win her praise from the youth because, if the Internet taught us anything, it’s that cats are the key to young people’s hearts.
Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania
As if being a blackbelt in karate and taking on Vladmir Putin weren’t enough, she’s also Lithuania’s first female president, and the first person, period, elected to a second term in the European country. Like Park in South Korea, Dalia is also unmarried and doesn’t have children—instead focusing her time on her political career. Seven years after being inaugurated in 2009, she has become known as the “Iron Magnolia” and the Baltic “Iron Lady” for her stern governing style, which might explain why she has no qualms comparing Putin to Adolf Hitler and giving weapons to Ukraine to fight against Russians–despite the fact that her country is 40 times smaller than the behemoth. Fight on and knock Putin’s shirtless ass off his high horse for all of us.
Original imagery by Kathryn Chadason. Additional imagery via AP Photo, Free Media, Business Korea, YouTube, and Getty Images.
Stay tuned to Milk for more strong female leaders.