As we prepare for a second female Prime Minister to enter Number Ten, we celebrate the other trailblazing women in powerful positions around the world #MoreWomen
Out of the 196 countries in the world, there are currently 22 with an elected female leader. Whilst this is still by far a minority, these are some of the women paving the way for a more equal society, all the way to the top.
For our #MoreWomen ELLE Feminism campaign last year, we made this film to show the need for more women in positions of power and influence. The film went viral around the world and had a phenomenal response.
Theresa May's appointment as our new PM is a step in the right direction. Here, we celebrate her achievement and shine a spotlight on the other women around the world you need to know about.
Theresa May is set to become the second female Prime Minister in Britain. May calls herself a feminist, and was the Minister for Women and Equality for two years, supporting the Equality Act 2010 as well as trying to get more representation for women and ethnic minorities in parliament.
In 2002 and 2003, May was the first female Chairman of the Conservative Party, and encouraged the party to modernise. Her position as Home Secretary has given many people confidence that May will be able to navigate Britain's exit from the EU. Her negotiating skills have been widely acknowledged, although her relationship with the LGBTQ+ community has been rocky. May showed incredible support for same-sex marriage, but voted against greater adoption rights for gay couples and against lowering the age of consent, which was being called for by the LGBTQ+ community.
Hillary Clinton is the democratic nominee for the American presidency this year. The result of the elections will be announced on November 8th, with a new president sworn in on January 20th.
However before Clinton ran for president, she held various positions in government, including senator for New York in 2000. She was the only first lady to ever pursue a career in elective politics, and was the Secretary of State during the first stint of Obama's administration. Forbes has named Clinton as the 2nd most powerful woman in the world for two consecutive years.
Virginia Raggi is the current Mayor of Rome. Raggi is particularly significant as not only does she represent the only woman to ever occupy the position of mayor in Rome, but she is also the first from the anti-corruption Five Star Movement (M5S) movement to be elected.
Nicola Sturgeon is the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP (Scottish National Party). This year Forbes names Sturgeon as the 2nd most powerful woman in Britain, and the 50th most powerful in the world.
Sturgeon has condemned Trident, opposing its renewal very vocally, and criticising the Conservative government's austerity economics.
Angela Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany and has been since 2005. Before Merkel assumed this position, in 1991 Merkel was appointed as the Minister for Women and Youth.
Her success in German politics has been unrivalled, and in 2013, Merkel won with a landslide victory. Her policy towards both the economic crisis and refugees have been widely applauded both nationally and internationally. She was named as the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes this year.
Dilma Rousseff is the 36th President of Brazil, and the first woman to ever hold the position. Before becoming President, Rousseff was the chief of staff for her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Currently, the President has been suspended for six months as she awaits the results of an impeachment trial.
During her youth, Rousseff fought against the military dictatorship in Brazil, and actually spent two years in jail after being tortured for standing up for her views.
Federica Mogherini is a high representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy In For The European Union. She was named the 19th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, and had a significant role, for which she has been praised, in brokering a historic missile agreement between Iran and six world superpowers.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi is the State Counsellor of Myanmar. She won 81% of the seats in Parliament, during the 1990 elections, but was kept under house arrest for 15 years by the military, becoming one of the world's most significant political prisoners. She is the 26th most powerful woman in the world, and would've been named President had there not been a small clause preventing her from becoming so.
Regardless, Suu Kyi created and assumed the position of 'state counsellor' which is analogous to President. She has won the Nobel Peace prize, among various other accolades for peacekeeping and political activism.