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    79 Countries That Have Already Had Their First Female Leader

    Just sayin'.

    This list includes heads of government and heads of state, not including monarchs or governors appointed by monarchs. (Sorry, queens!) Where it says "acting", it usually means someone was the vice president or deputy prime minister who took over from a president or prime minister, sometimes for a short amount of time. Also, this list includes some ONLY PARTIALLY RECOGNISED countries and LEADERS YOU MAY CONSIDER BAD, but chill, that's not the point.

    1. Pakistan

    DOUGLAS E. CURRAN/AFP / Getty Images

    Benazir Bhutto was prime minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990, and again from 1993 to 1996.

    2. Ceylon/Sri Lanka

    Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
    Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

    Sirimavo Bandaranaike was prime minister of Ceylon from 1960 to 1965, making her the first elected female head of government in the modern world, and served again from 1970 to 1977 (during which time the country was renamed Sri Lanka). Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was prime minister of Sri Lanka in 1994, and then president from 1994 to 2005.

    3. Jamaica

    Philippe Huguen / AFP / Getty Images

    Portia Simpson-Miller was prime minister of Jamaica from 2006 to 2007, and again from 2012 to 2016.

    4. Ireland

    Patrick Riviere / Getty Images
    Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

    Mary Robinson was president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and Mary McAleese was president from 1997 to 2011.

    5. India

    Tim Graham / Fox Photos / Getty Images
    Chris Jackson / Getty Images

    Indira Gandhi was prime minister of India from 1966 to 1977, and again from 1980 to 1984. Pratibha Patil was president from 2007 to 2012.

    6. Bangladesh

    Munir Uz Zaman / AFP / Getty Images
    Carsten Koall / Getty Images

    Khaleda Zia was prime minister of Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996 and 2001 to 2006, and Sheikh Hasina was prime minister from 1996 to 2001 and from 2009 onwards.

    7. The Philippines

    Mikami / AFP / Getty Images
    Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

    Corazon Aquino was president of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was president from 2001 to 2010.

    8. Ukraine

    Viktor Drachev / AFP / Getty Images

    Yulia Tymoshenko was prime minister of Ukraine for most of 2005, and again from 2007 to 2010.

    9. Central African Republic

    Elisabeth Domitien was prime minister of the Central African Republic from 1975 to 1976.

    10. Turkey

    Mannie Garcia / AFP / Getty Images

    Tansu Ciller was prime minister of Turkey from 1993 to 1996.

    11. Norway

    Miguel Medina / AFP / Getty Images

    Gro Harlem Brundtland was prime minister of Norway from 1986 to 1989 and again from 1990 to 1996, and Erna Solberg has been prime minister since 2013. (Also, Anne Enger Lahnstein was acting prime minister briefly in 1998.)

    12. United Kingdom

    Leonard Burt / Central Press / Getty Images
    Jack Taylor / Getty Images

    Margaret Thatcher was prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, and Theresa May has been prime minister since July 2016. Also, Nicola Sturgeon has been first minister of Scotland since 2014, and Arlene Foster has been first minister of Northern Ireland since January 2016.

    13. Senegal

    Seyllou / AFP / Getty Images
    Seyllou / AFP / Getty Images

    Mame Madior Boye was prime minister of Senegal from 2001 to 2002, and Aminata Touré was prime minister from 2013 to 2014.

    14. Iceland

    Sean Gallup / Getty Images / Creative Commons

    Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was prime minister of Iceland from 2009 to 2013, and Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was president from 1980 to 1996 – also, Iceland has just elected a new prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

    15. Lithuania

    Petras Malukas / AFP / Getty Images
    PETRAS MALUKAS / AFP / Getty Images
    Jack Taylor / Getty Images

    Kazimira Prunskiene was prime minister of Lithuania from 1990 to 1991, Irena Degutienė was acting prime minister twice, briefly, in 1999, and Dalia Grybauskaitė has been president since 2009.

    16. Portugal

    Keystone / Getty Images

    Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo was prime minister of Portugal from 1979 to 1980.

    17. France

    Lionel Bonaventure / AFP / Getty Images

    Édith Cresson was prime minister of France from 1991 to 1992.

    18. Israel

    Evening Standard / Getty Images
    ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP / Getty Images

    Golda Meir was prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974, and Dalia Itzik was acting president in 2007.

    19. Canada

    Christopher Ruppel / Getty Images

    Kim Campbell was prime minister of Canada for 132 days in 1993.

    20. Mongolia / Creative Commons

    Nyam-Osoryn Tuyaa was very briefly the acting prime minister of Mongolia in July 1999, and SĂŒkhbaataryn Yanjmaa was acting chair of the Presidium of the State Great Khural from 1953 to 1954.

    21. Dominica / Creative Commons

    Dame Eugenia Charles was prime minister of Dominica from 1980 to 1995.

    22. Haiti

    Thony Belizaire / AFP / Getty Images, / Creative Commons,, Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty Images

    Claudette Werleigh was prime minister of Haiti from 1995 to 1996, Florence Duperval Guillaume was acting prime minister from 2014 to 2015, Ertha Pascal-Trouillot was acting president from 1990 to 1991, and MichĂšle Pierre-Louis was prime minister from 2008 to 2009.

    23. Poland

    Janek Skarzynski / AFP / Getty Images
    Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

    Hanna Suchocka was prime minister of Poland from 1992 to 1993, Ewa Kopacz was prime minister from 2014 to 2015, and Beata SzydƂo has been prime minister since 2015.

    24. Burundi

    Sylvie Kinigi was prime minister of Burundi for 109 days in 1993, and was also acting president from 1993 to 1994.

    25. Rwanda / Creative Commons

    Agathe Uwilingiyimana was prime minister of Rwanda from 1993 to 1994.

    26. Bulgaria

    Reneta Indzhova was acting prime minister of Bulgaria from 1994 to 1995.

    27. Guyana

    Harry Benson / Getty Images

    Janet Jagan was prime minister of Guyana in 1997, then president from 1997 to 1999.

    28. New Zealand

    Phil Walter / Getty Images
    Taylor Hill / Getty Images

    Jenny Shipley was prime minister of New Zealand from 1997 to 1999, and Helen Clark was prime minister from 1999 to 2008.

    29. São Tomé and Príncipe

    Maria das Neves was prime minister of São Tomé and Príncipe from 2002 to 2004, and Maria do Carmo Silveira was prime minister from 2005 to 2006.

    30. Finland

    Kimmo Mantyla / AFP / Getty Images
    ERIC PIERMONT/AFP / Getty Images
    PEKKA SAKKI/AFP / Getty Images

    Anneli JÀÀtteenmÀki was prime minister of Finland in 2003, Mari Kiviniemi was prime minister from 2010 to 2011, and Tarja Halonen was president from 2000 to 2012.

    31. Peru

    Jaime Razuri / AFP / Getty Images / Creative Commons / Creative Commons

    Beatriz Merino was prime minister of Peru in 2003, Rosario FernĂĄndez was prime minister in 2011, and Ana Jara was prime minister from 2014 to 2015.

    32. Mozambique

    Alex Wong / Getty Images

    Luisa Dias Diogo was prime minister of Mozambique from 2004 to 2010.

    33. Macedonia

    Vasileios Filis / / Creative Commons

    Radmila Sekerinska was acting prime minister twice in 2004.

    34. Germany

    Sean Gallup / Getty Images

    Angela Merkel has been chancellor of Germany since 2005. (Also, Sabine Bergmann-Pohl was president of the People's Chamber of East Germany in 1990.)

    35. South Korea

    Jung Yeon-je / AFP / Getty Images
    Getty Images
    Patrick Hamilton / G20 Australia via Getty Images

    Han Myeong-Sook was prime minister of South Korea from 2006 to 2007, and Chang Sang was acting prime minister for 20 days in July 2002. Park Geun-hye has been president since 2013.

    36. Moldova

    Afp / AFP / Getty Images
    VESA MOILANEN/AFP / Getty Images

    Zinaida GreceanĂźi was prime minister of Moldova from 2008 to 2009, and Natalia Gherman was acting prime minister briefly in 2015.

    37. Croatia

    Jean-christophe Verhaegen / AFP / Getty Images
    ELVIS BARUKCIC / AFP / Getty Images

    Jadranka Kosor was prime minister of Croatia from 2009 to 2011, and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has been president since 2015.

    38. Madagascar

    CĂ©cile Manorohanta was acting prime minister of Madagascar very briefly in 2009.

    39. Trinidad and Tobago

    Andrew Burton / Getty Images

    Kamla Persad-Bissessar was prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago from 2010 to 2015.

    40. Australia

    Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

    Julia Gillard was prime minister for Australia from 2010 to 2013.

    41. Slovakia

    Sean Gallup / Getty Images

    Iveta Radičová was prime minister for Slovakia from 2010 to 2012.

    42. Mali

    Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

    Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé was prime minister of Mali from 2011 to 2012.

    43. Panama

    Teresita Chavarria / AFP / Getty Images

    Mireya Moscoso was president of Panama from 1999 to 2004.

    44. Indonesia

    Choo Youn-kong / AFP / Getty Images

    Megawati Sukarnoputri was president of Indonesia from 2001 to 2004.

    45. Thailand

    Lukas Coch-Pool / Getty Images

    Yingluck Shinawatra was prime minister of Thailand from 2011 to 2014.

    46. Slovenia

    Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images

    Alenka Bratusek was prime minister of Slovenia from 2013 to 2014.

    47. Kyrgyzstan

    Vyacheslav Oseledko / AFP / Getty Images

    Roza Otunbayeva was president of Kyrgyzstan from 2010 to 2011.

    48. Liberia

    Ellen Johnson Sirlead has been president of Libera since 2006. Before her, Ruth Perry was the interim chairwoman for the Council of State of Liberia (making her the head of state) from 1996 to 1997.

    49. Denmark

    Henning Bagger / AFP / Getty Images

    Helle Thorning-Schmidt was prime minister of Denmark from 2011 to 2015.

    50. Guinea-Bissau

    Adiato DjalĂł Nandigna was acting prime minister of Guinea-Bissau in 2012, and Carmen Pereira was acting president very briefly in 1984.

    51. The Bahamas

    Cynthia Pratt, also known as "Mother", was acting prime minister of the Bahamas from May to June 2005. Before that, she was deputy PM for five years.

    52. Myanmar

    Suzanne Plunkett / Wpa Pool / Getty Images

    Aung San Suu Kyi has been state counsellor (the de facto head of government) of Myanmar since April 2016.

    53. Latvia

    Thierry Charlier / AFP / Getty Images
    Leigh Vogel / Getty Images for Concordia Summit

    Laimdota Straujuma was prime minister of Latvia from 2014 to 2016, and Vaira VÄ«Ä·e-Freiberga was president from 1999 to 2007.

    54. San Marino

    Twitter: @joumanagebara

    Maria Lea Pedini-Angelini was captain regent (the head of state) of San Marino in 1981, at age 26. Gloriana Ranocchini was captain regent in 1984 and from 1989 to 1990, Edda Ceccoli from 1991 to 1992, Patrizia Busignani in 1993, Rosa Zafferani in 1999, Maria Domenica Michelotti in 2000, Valeria Ciavatta from 2003 to 2004, Fausta Morganti in 2005, Rosa Zafferani in 2008, Assunta Meloni from 2008 to 2009, Maria Luisa Berti in 2011, Denise Bronzetti from 2012 to 2013, Antonella Mularoni in 2013, Anna Maria Muccioli from 2013 to 2014, Valeria Ciavatta in 2014, and Lorella Stefanelli from 2015 to 2016.

    (Shout-out to San Marino.)

    55. Namibia

    Hildegard Titus / AFP / Getty Images

    Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has been prime minister of Namibia since 2015.

    56. Greece

    Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP / Getty Images

    Vassiliki Thanou was acting prime minister briefly in 2015.

    57. China

    Pictorial Parade / Getty Images

    Ching-ling Soong, also known as Madame Sun Yat-sen, was the acting co-chair of China (the head of state) from 1968 to 1972, and was named "honorary president" in 1981.

    58. Argentina / Creative Commons
    DANIEL GARCIA / AFP / Getty Images

    Isabel Martínez de Perón was president of Argentina from 1974 to 1976 – and the first female president anywhere in the world. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was president of Argentina from 2007 to 2015.

    59. Bolivia / Creative Commons

    Lidia Gueiler Tejada was acting president of Bolivia from 1979 to 1980.

    60. South Africa / Creative Commons

    Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri was acting president of South Africa for approximately 14 hours in 2008...which is still more time with a female head of state than certain countries have had.

    61. Malta / Creative Commons
    ARMEND NIMANI / AFP / Getty Images

    Agatha Barbara was president of Malta from 1982 to 1987, and Marie Louise Coleiro Preca has been president since 2014.

    62. Switzerland / Creative Commons
    TIM CLARY/AFP / Getty Images / Creative Commons

    Elisabeth Kopp was the first female member of the Swiss Federal Council from 1984 to 1989, a seven-member council that serves as the country's joint head of state, which Ruth Dreifuss also served on from 1993 to 2002, Ruth Metzler-Arnold from 1999 to 2003, Micheline Calmy-Rey from 2003 to 2011, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf from 2008 to 2015, Doris Leuthard since 2006, and Simonetta Sommaruga since 2010. Shout-out to Switzerland for being ~a little bit different~.

    63. Nicaragua

    Paolo Bosio / AFP / Getty Images

    Violeta Chamorro was president of Nicaragua from 1990 to 1997.

    64. Ecuador / Creative Commons

    RosalĂ­a Arteaga Serrano was the acting president of Ecuador for two days in 1997. (It still counts!)

    65. Georgia

    ALEXANDER TARAN / AFP / Getty Images

    Nino Burjanadze was acting president of Georgia from 2003 to 2004, and again from 2007 to 2008.

    66. Austria

    Dieter Nagl / AFP / Getty Images
    DIETER NAGL / AFP / Getty Images

    Barbara Prammer was co-acting president of Austria for two days in 2004, and Doris Bures has been co-acting president since July 2016.

    67. Chile

    Sean Gallup / Getty Images

    Michelle Bachelet was president of Chile from 2006 to 2010, and has been the incumbent again since 2014.

    68. Gabon


    Rose Francine Rogombe was acting president of Gabon in 2009.

    69. Costa Rica

    Yuri Cortez / AFP / Getty Images

    Laura Chinchilla was president of Costa Rica from 2010 to 2014.

    70. Brazil

    Mario Tama / Getty Images

    Dilma Rousseff was president of Brazil from 2011 to 2016.

    71. Kosovo

    Jp Yim / Getty Images

    Atifete Jahjaga was president of Kosovo from 2011 to 2016.

    72. Mauritius

    SIMON MAINA / AFP / Getty Images

    Monique Ohsan Bellepeau was acting president of Mauritius in 2012, and Ameenah Gurib has been president since 2015.

    73. Serbia / Creative Commons

    Slavica Đukić Dejanović was acting president of Serbia in 2012.

    74. Malawi

    AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP / Getty Images

    Joyce Banda was president of Malawi from 2012 to 2014.

    75. Central African Republic

    Emmanuel Dunand / AFP / Getty Images

    Catherine Samba-Panza was acting president of the Central African Republic from 2014 to 2016.

    76. Marshall Islands

    Dominick Reuter / AFP / Getty Images

    Hilda Heine has been president of the Marshall Islands since January 2016.

    77. Nepal

    Prakash Mathema / AFP / Getty Images

    Bidhya Bhandari has been president of Nepal since 2015.

    78. Taiwan

    Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images

    Tsai Ing-wen has been president of Taiwan since May 2016.

    79. Estonia

    Raigo Pajula / AFP / Getty Images

    Kersti Kaljulaid has been president of Estonia since October 2016.

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