Taiwanese politician and academic, Tsai Ing-wen, is currently serving as the seventh president of the Republic of China (Taiwan). She has been in office since 2016. She is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party and the first female president of Taiwan. As the president, she has taken steps to fund green energy initiatives and supports LGBTQA+ rights.
Liberian politician, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. She was the first elected female head of state in Africa. An alumnus of the Harvard University, she began her political career in the 1970s and rose through the ranks with time. She is the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.
Singaporean politician and former lawyer Halimah Yacob is the eighth and incumbent President of Singapore. She ran for the 2017 presidential election as an independent and won an uncontested election thus becoming the first female President of Singapore. She earlier served as Member of Parliament during 2001-17 as member of People's Action Party and also as parliament Speaker during 2013-17.
Zuzana Čaputová is a Slovak politician, environmental activist, and lawyer. In 2019, Čaputová became the first woman to be elected as the President of Slovakia. She also became the youngest Slovak president of all time as she was 45 years old when she was elected. In 2020, Zuzana Čaputová was included in Forbes magazine's World's 100 Most Powerful Women list.
Park Geun-hye is a former politician from South Korea. In 2013, Park became the first woman to serve as the president of South Korea. She also became the first president from South Korea to be born after the establishment of the First Republic of Korea. In 2014, Park Geun-hye was named in Forbes magazine's world's most powerful people list.
A seasoned lawyer and a Harvard and Trinity College alumna, politician Mary Robinson has also taught law at Trinity. The Labour Party member later rose to be Ireland’s first female president. She was also a founding member of the global group of peacekeepers and leaders The Elders.
The first lady president in the world, Argentine cabaret dancer-turned-politician Isabel Martínez de Perón had taken over the presidency after her husband, President Juan Perón’s death. After being ousted by the military in 1976, she was under a 5-year house arrest. She now lives in a secluded villa near Madrid.
Brazilian economist and politician Dilma Rousseff served as the president of Brazil from 2011 to 2016, becoming the first Brazilian woman president. She has also served as former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Chief of Staff earlier and has been part of various energy-conservation groups.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is a Filipino politician and academic. From 2001 to 2010, Arroyo served as the president of the Philippines. Before serving as the president, Arroyo served as a senator and as the vice president of the Philippines. She later served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2018 to 2019.
Megawati Sukarnoputri is an Indonesian politician who became the first female president of the country in 2001. An important political leader, Sukarnoputri also served as the Vice President of Indonesia from 21 October 1999 to 23 July 2001. Megawati Sukarnoputri is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Star of the Republic of Indonesia award.
Dalia Grybauskaitė became the first female president of Lithuania and the first to be re-elected. Popularly known as Lithuania’s Iron Lady and often compared to Margaret Thatcher, she has also been the UN Commissioner of the Year. A black belt in karate, she has mastery over four languages.
Chandrika Kumaratunga is a Sri Lankan politician who became the first female president when she was elected as the president of Sri Lanka in 1994. Having served as the president from 1994 to 2005, Kumaratunga is the only female Sri Lankan president to date. She also served as the head of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party from 1994 to 2006.
Sahle-Work Zewde is an Ethiopian diplomat and politician. In 2018, she became the first woman to be elected to the president's office in Ethiopia and has been serving as the president of Ethiopia since then. Sahle-Work Zewde has been featured on Forbes magazine's World's 100 Most Powerful Women list.
Kersti Kaljulaid is an Estonian politician best known for her service as the President of Estonia from 10 October 2016 to 11 October 2021. Not only is she the first female president of Estonia since its independence in 1918, Kersti Kaljulaid was also the youngest president as she was just 46 years old at the time of her election.
Pratibha Patil served as the president of India from 2007 to 2012 and was the first and only woman to have held the position. The INC member had also been the governor of the Indian state of Rajasthan earlier. She had started her political career as an MLA from Jalgaon.
Apart from being a qualified barrister, Mary McAleese also taught criminal law at the Trinity College and also worked as a journalist. She later joined Fianna Fáil and soon became Ireland’s second female president. She has also written several books, including an autobiography. She is known as a prominent LGBT activist.
Finland’s 11th president, Tarja Halonen was also the first Finnish female politician to hold the post. Initially a lawyer at the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions, she stepped into politics as the parliamentary secretary of Finnish prime minister Kalevi Sorsa. She has also been Finland’s minister of justice and foreign affairs.
The only woman to ever serve as the president of Nicaragua, Violeta Chamorro, was born to an affluent cattle rancher and was mostly educated in the U.S. She was married to La Prensa heir Pedro Joaquim Chamorro Cardenal and later took over the operations of the paper.
Biljana Plavšić is a Bosnian Serb retired politician. She is best known for her service as the President of Republika Srpska from 1996 to 1998. She played an important role during the Bosnian War and was later indicted for crimes against humanity during the war. Prior to entering politics, Biljana Plavšić worked as a professor at the University of Sarajevo.
Bidya Devi Bhandari is a Nepalese politician and the current president of Nepal. An important politician, Bidya Devi Bhandari previously served as the minister of environment and population from March 1997 to October 1997. She also served as the minister of defence from 2009 to 2011. In 2016, she was included in Forbes magazine's world's 100 most powerful women list.
The first female president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, had worked as an NGO consultant in Africa and Latin America before stepping into politics. The National Liberation Party member has earned several honorary doctorates and now teaches public policy at Georgetown University. Though an LGBT sympathizer, she opposes same-sex marriages.
The 9th president of Republika Srpska, which is a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zeljka Cvijanovic has also headed the region as its 11th prime minister. The Alliance of Independent Social Democrats member also teaches English language and literature and has a master’s degree in law.
Mireya Moscoso is a Panamanian politician who became the first female president of Panama in 1999. Previously married to three-time president Arnulfo Arias, she assumed control of his political party, the Arnulfista Party (PA), after his death. Her tenure as the president was marred by corruption scandals, and she was succeeded by Martín Torrijos in 2004.
Maria Fernanda Espinosa is an Ecuadorian diplomat and politician. She is best known for her service as the Minister of Foreign Affairs on two occasions; from January 2007 to December 2007 and again from May 2017 to June 2018. An influential political leader, Maria Fernanda Espinosa also served as the Minister of National Defense from November 2012 to September 2014.
Initially a lawyer and the first female justice at the Supreme Court of Haiti, Ertha Pascal-Trouillot later rose to be Haiti’s first provisional female president. Her main task as the provisional president was to prepare Haiti for the elections, while coordinating with the 19-member Council of State.
The 39th president of Ecuador, Rosalía Arteaga had been an acting president for a couple of days in 1997 and thus also scripted history as Ecuador’s first woman to hold the post. Initially a lawyer and educator, she stepped into politics as a councilwoman in Cuenca.
Anne Malherbe Gosselin is a Belgian teacher and wife of Ecuadorian politician and economist Rafael Correa. While Correa served as the President of Ecuador from 2007 to 2017, Anne Malherbe Gosselin served as the First Lady of Ecuador. She currently lives in Belgium with her husband.
Ecuador’s 49th vice-president, Maria Alejandra Vicuna has also led the country as its Minister of Urban Development and Housing. The PAIS Alliance member also co-founded the Ecuadorian Commission on Education, Science, Technology, and Communication. She has also spent a year in prison for receiving money illegally.