For so long, men have dominated politics, nationally and across the globe, but finally we see more challengers to the tired, “boys club” ways. This makes the following political mavericks and their accomplishments all the more impressive. GRAVITAS has tracked the biggest current political mavericks and has put together a quick list of the top 10. Take a look at the world’s most powerful women:
Tsai Ing-Wen, President-elect of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
On January 16th, 2016, the former professor of law and leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) broke ground as the first female president to be elected in Taiwan.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Holding the title of Chancellor since 2005, Merkel is now the European Union’s longest-serving head of government.
Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmarese Opposition Politician and Leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD)
After time spent in prison and a 15 year house arrest, “The Lady” as she’s known, led her party to a majority win in Myanmar’s first openly contested election in 25 years last November.
Park Geun-hye, President of South Korea
Born to former South Korean President Park Chung-hee, Park began her political career early on and in 2013 became the first female elected to the leadership position.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia
The former Minister of Finance and Nobel Peace Prize recipient made history in 2005 when she won the presidential election making her the first elected female head of state in Africa.
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius
The Mauritian biodiversity scientist has earned many international awards for her work in medical and nutritious implications of indegenious plants and now holds the honor of being the country’s first female president.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of the Republic of Croatia
Previously serving as foreign minister, Ms. Grabar- Kitarović became Croatia’s first female President.
Bidhya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal
As a longtime politician and member of the Communist Party of Nepal (UML), Bhandari became the newly formed republic’s second President and first woman elected to the position.
Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile
Not only is this Chilean politician the first female president of Chile, in 2006, she became the first popularly elected South American president whose political career was established independently of her husband. President Bachelet is now serving her second, non-consecutive term.
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Former Prime Minister of Iceland
Pushing boundries not only as Iceland’s first female Prime Minister but also as the world’s first openly gay head of government…ever.