US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (File Photo/AP)
US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (File Photo/AP)

Kamala Harris to take oath as US VP: List of some prominent women leaders

Harris will be sworn-in as the first woman Vice President of the US on January 20.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Karan Manral
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:37 PM IST

Kamala Harris will on Wednesday be sworn-in as the 49th Vice President of the United States of America, alongside Joe Biden, who will take oath as the 46th President. Before Harris, who is of Indian-origin, no woman has been the US President or Vice President. Previously, Hillary Clinton has been a presidential nominee, and lost to Donald Trump in 2016, while Sarah Palin was the running mate of John McCain in 2008, when they lost to Barack Obama and Biden.

As Vice President, Harris will be the first in the line of presidential succession. Here’s a look at some prominent female leaders, current and former:

1. Angela Merkel (Germany): Consistently ranked as the most powerful woman in the world, and also among its most powerful leaders, Merkel has been the Chancellor of Germany since November 2005. Currently in her fifth term, Merkel will step down this year.

2. Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand): Currently in her second term as prime minister, Ardern is among the youngest heads of government in the world. Praised for her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in her country, Ardern is the third female New Zealand PM, after Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark, respectively.

3. Sheikh Hasina (Bangladesh): The daughter of the country’s first President, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Hasina is also its longest-serving prime minister. Currently in her fourth term, Sheikh Hasina has been Bangladesh’s PM since 2009, having first held office between 1996 and 2001.

4. Tsai Ing-wen (Taiwan): The first female President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen is also the seventh holder of the office. She first won in 2016 and repeated the feat four years later.

5. Indira Gandhi (India): The first, and thus far only female prime minister of India, Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first PM. She was the third prime minister, and the second longest-serving PM after her father.

6. Margaret Thatcher (UK): Dubbed as the “Iron Lady,” Thatcher was the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom. She was three-term prime minister, from May 4, 1979 to November 28, 1990.

7. Theresa May (UK): The second female prime minister of her country, May took office after the resignation of David Cameron in 2016. As PM, she carried out Brexit negotiations with the European Union (EU). She resigned in 2019 and was succeeded by the incumbent Boris Johnson.

8. Golda Meir (Israel): Born in what is present-day Ukraine, Meir was her country’s fourth prime minister and the first woman to hold that office. She was dubbed as the “Iron Lady” of Israel.

9. Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan): The first female head of government of a Muslim-majority nation, Bhutto was a two-term prime minister of Pakistan. The daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a former President and PM of Pakistan, she was the first and thus far, the only female PM of her country.

10. Michelle Bachelet (Chile): Currently serving as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bachelet was a two-term President of Chile, the first woman to hold that position.

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