We have seen many powerful women in modern history and their stories have inspired and taught the world a lesson: leadership and success can come to anyone who is willing to work and fight for their dreams, regardless of gender, class or race. And that even includes running an entire country, reinventing economic policies, attracting foreign investments, and building a stronger nation as a whole.
Let’s learn a thing or two from today’s most influential women-leaders who managed to break the glass ceiling with their courage, brilliance, and wisdom.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Perhaps anyone in the modern world has heard of the name Angela Merkel. As a woman leader of one of the world’s superpowers, Merkel’s influence is not to be underestimated. She has a doctorate in Physics and it was the focus of her career before she decided to finally enter politics and become the first female Chancellor of Germany.
Branded as last stronghold of Western liberal power and is currently on her fourth term, she guided Germany through an economic recession and her influence helped maintain a solid European front in the height of Brexit.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia
Julia Gillard was one of the most prominent figures behind the successful 2010 coup that overthrew Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Gillard was later on elected and became Australia’s very first female Prime Minister.
Just three weeks in the office, she called for snap elections in order to rebuild the deteriorating support for her party and victoriously guarded a 76-74 majority in parliament that gave her the power to form a minority government.
Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s three-time premier lived a life of courage and survival before she was first elected in 1996. A coup d’état in 1975 tells of one of the most tragic stages of her life when 17 of her family members including her parents and three brothers were killed by assassins. Hasina later on survived an assassination attempt from a grenade blast that ended the lives of over 20 people.
A 2001 Transparency International report, however, led to her ousting after Bangladesh was named the most corrupt country in the world. Nonetheless, Hasina found herself back in power after getting 230 out of 299 parliamentary seats in 2009. Currently, Hasina is on Forbes’ ranking, securing the 36th spot among the world’s most powerful women.