Have there ever been any female dictators?
Plenty, although your definition of what defines a dictator might limit who gets on or stays off that list.
There were plenty of female monarchs who held absolute power, but that wasn’t the same thing as a modern dictatorship given the vastly differing cultural contexts of what is power and what is government. Theodora held the regency for the Byzantine Empire while Justinian was down with plague, though she may or may not have been co-emperor (sources differ). Catherine the Great was an autocrat and sole ruler of Russia, but again, the context of power matters. We should probably restrict ourselves to the early modern era or later, and really after enlightened absolutism fell out of fashion.
Best example I can think of for a modern female dictator would be Empress Dowager Cixi, who ruled China for 47 years up until 1908, she was a de facto dictator. However, if you want a dictator in the Roman sense of the word, Indira Gandhi ruled as a dictator in India in the 70′s under state of emergency laws.
Thanks for the question, Anon.
SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King