female heads of state

Today in 1952, Elizabeth Windsor became Queen Elizabeth II. After 65 years she is now the world’s oldest reigning monarch as well as Britain’s longest-lived. In 2015, she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, to become the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state in world history.

Methodology: The report’s Gender Gap Index ranks countries according to calculated gender gaps. The assumption is that women are strictly disadvantaged compared to men and as such, only measures where women are traditionally disadvantaged to men are used. Information about gender imbalances to the advantage of women is explicitly prevented from affecting the score.[1] So, for example, the indicator “number of years of a female head of state (last 50 years) over male value” would score 1 if the number of years was 25, but would still score 1 if the number of years was 50. Due to this methodology, gender gaps that favor women over men are reported as equality.

Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama travel abroad to promote ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative

On Monday, the first lady — who brought along her daughters, Sasha, 15, and Malia, 17, and her mother, Marian Robinson — landed in Liberia. “This is the special girl-power unit of the Obama household,” she said. “We left the president behind because he’s a boy.” The family was welcomed to the West African country with a red carpet and traditional dancers.

Following the announcement that the United States would be providing $27 million in aid for the expansion of the “Let Girls Learn” Peace Corps program in the country as well as a meeting with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa, the Obamas moved on to Morocco.

On the second leg of the first family’s tour, they were met by actresses Frieda Pinto and Meryl Streep for a panel discussion moderated by CNN’s Isha Sesay in Marrakesh and delivered even more money to help some of the 62 million girls worldwide who are lacking access to formal education.

The last part of the six-day trip will be in Spain, where Mrs. Obama will deliver a speech.

The message the first lady is trying to get across during this trip is: “You have the power, right now, to step up and be a champion for those 62 million girls who aren’t in school. You have everything you need right now to raise awareness about their stories and to support their efforts to get an education.” (Lauren Tuck/Yahoo Style)

Photos: (from top) Balkis Press/Sipa, AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images,  Francisco Gomez, AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Casa Real Pool Photo via AP, Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images

See more images of Michelle, Malia and Sasha on Yahoo News

Tarja Halonen (b. 1943) was the President of Finland from 2000 to 2012, serving as the country’s first female head of state. She is known for her very high approval ratings (88%) and advancement of human rights, particularly LGBT rights.

She has also served as a minister and member of parliament, and was the chairman of Seta, the main LGBT rights organization in Finland. Also thanks to her, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland now accepts female priests.


Who was the Oklahoma City Butcher?

On April 1st of 1976, 3 utility workers in between shifts decided to check out an abandoned house nearby in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. What they found inside was a severed thigh and a female human head inside a large popcorn bucket. The workers stated that the head was so beat up they could barely recognize it as human. Police later located a torso within the home and upon closer look, the head had been mutilated to have a bigger smile. It wasn’t until 1993 that the remains were positively linked by DNA to missing person Cathy Lyn Shakelford, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe. 

On April 19th, 1979, some children playing basketball noted a dog running down the street carrying a human head near the 300 block of NE 10th in Oklahoma City. When authorities investigated they discovered many parts of the same body scattered throughout the neighborhood, covered with newspaper or put in brown paper sacks. These remains included a hand, a woman’s pelvis, several pancake-sized portions of human skin, and some other tissues. Each was reportedly carefully cleaned by her killer. Pieces of the victim’s remains were found throughout the neighborhood for the next two weeks. A week after the body was first discovered, fingerprints positively identified the victim as Arley Killian, a woman with involvement in sex trafficking. Her family claimed to have seen her only hours before the first remains were recovered.

The final Oklahoma City victim was discovered March 6th, 1986. A woman’s torso and left leg were discovered behind a residence on 501 NE 1st street. Almost a week later the woman’s head was discovered by a homeless person in the garbage behind a garage at 507 Lindsay Avenue. The body’s tattoos linked her to missing person Tina Sanders.

Oklahoma City Police believe that the three murders are connected. There are several common threads between them, one of them being that all three victims are of Native American heritage. All of the women were living on the streets at the time of their death with at least two having possible connections to prostitution. All of the victims were completely dismembered, their body parts left where they could be discovered, and their sexual organs missing. The dismemberment were non-surgical, but crude and sloppy. It is believed that the killer wanted his victims found which is why he left their body parts in such public places.

A possible suspect was considered in Arley’s case– Henry Lee Lucas. Lucas was a known drifter who was eventually convicted of killing 11 people. No arrests have been made and all three murders remain unsolved. The killer has come to be known as the “OKC Butcher.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (b. 1938) is the current president of the African nation of Liberia. Currently serving her second term, she had become the first elected female head of state in Africa upon first assuming office in 2006.

In 2011 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her ‘non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights’. During her first days in office, she issued an order which made elementary school free and compulsory throughout the country. Also, in 2010, she signed the Freedom of Information Bill, becoming the first African country with such legislation.

It does seem a bit crazy when you think of it: When so many other nations have women presidents, why doesn’t the United States? Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister of Great Britain three times. Argentina, Iceland, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Finland, Ireland, Liberia, Chile, and South Korea have elected female heads of state. Yet the United States, presumably one of the most progressive countries in the world, lags dismally behind.

What Will It Take to Make a Woman President, Marianne Schnall

Elizabeth de Vere, Countess of Derby (1575-1627)

Art by Ari (tumblr 1, tumblr 2)

The daughter of a prominent Tudor family, Elizabeth de Vere married William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby in 1595.  Their marriage united two important families and the wedding was attended by Elizabeth I.   It has been suggested that William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream may have premiered as part of the wedding festivities.

In 1609, William was named Lord of Mann, giving him sovereignty over the Isle of Man.  Elizabeth soon took over many of the administrative duties associated with the Isle and in 1612 she was appointed the first female Lord of Mann.  She held this position as the Isle’s first female head of state until her death in 1627.

America’s president and Canada’s prime minister are both outspoken male feminists.
Britain on the other hand has both a female head of state and a female prime minister, yet neither are outspoken feminists.


Female Monarchs - Queen Elizabeth II

The Current Queen and Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms. The elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was born in 1926 and became Queen at the age of 25, and has reigned through more than six decades. She is the longest reigning Monarch in British History