The world is full of so many empowering females that you couldn’t possibly count them all. There are illustrious female politicians, writers, artists, business professionals and reporters who have helped to change the role of women within society and break the “glass ceiling.” Although it would be great to write about ALL the female leaders in the world, HC decided to highlight five of them. So here are five females that we think all college girls should know about…
1. Angela Merkel
Her job: Chancellor of Germany
What her job means: Although the title may be different, Merkel has the same role as the President of a country. She is the head of the German government and of the Christian Democratic Union (her political party). Along with handling the political and social affairs of Germany (with the help of her cabinet of course), she is constantly meeting with other German and world leaders to discuss both domestic and international issues. Being the leader of any country brings a great deal of challenges, but Merkel confronts these challenges with a strong hand.
Why she rocks: Well, I think that being the FIRST female leader of Germany is a pretty huge deal. Don’t you? Merkel had to deal with some criticism in regards to her gender, but she did not let it impede her goals. Kate Bonacorsi, a junior at New York University, thinks, “Ms. Merkel is a strong-minded woman who, I believe, is doing a fantastic job of leading Germany towards a brighter future.”
2. Queen Rania of Jordan
Her job: Queen of Jordan
What her job means: Queen Rania is more than just the wife of a king—she’s a global figure who has devoted herself to a number of international causes. Her main focus has to give educational opportunities to children across the globe and alleviate poverty wherever it exists. She truly has become a champion of education reform and launched “Madrasati” which was a public-private initiative aimed at vastly improving Jordan’s school system. She is both a queen and a humanitarian!
Why she rocks: It’s such a great thing to see a queen who doesn’t just hold the title but actually works to make a difference. Rachel Cieri, a senior at Elon University and Her Campus contributing writer, says that she “loves” Queen Rania because she is a “child advocate, she's a mom of four, she looks like a super model and, well, she's a QUEEN! She also Tweets regularly and has her own YouTube channel.” What a Renaissance woman! For more information about Queen Rania check out her website, her twitter (QueenRania), and her own You Tube channel.
3. Hilary Clinton
Her job: Secretary of State of the United States
What this job means: Being the Secretary of State is no piece of cake. Other than the President, it is one of the most important positions in the U.S. cabinet. As Secretary of State, Clinton is responsible for dealing with foreign policy, foreign aid programs and other global initiatives (such as the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative). Her job also entails a great deal of global travel and meetings with practically every international world leader. Taking care of the U.S.’s foreign policy is no easy job, but somehow Hilary does it!
Why she rocks: She is only the third woman to hold the position of Secretary of State and the only former First Lady to do so as well. She has been involved in politics for a majority of her life (she served as a U.S. senator for two terms) and ran for President in 2008. Clinton is not a powerful female simply because of her political credentials, but rather because of her determination, her work ethic and her ambition which all carried her to the top of the political ladder.
4. Michelle Bachelet
Her job: the President of Chile
What her job means: Well, like Angela Merkel, Bachelet is the leader of her country and has her hands full every day of the week. During her presidency, she has worked towards providing free health care for older patients, reforming the social security system and implementing a universal state pension. Social protection is one of the major pillars of Bachelet’s presidential platform. Not only does she tackle the domestic affairs of Chile, but she also works her best to deal to achieve stable foreign relations with neighboring countries as well. What a woman!
Why she rocks: Bachelet was also the first female to be elected as the President of Chile. She has overcome many obstacles in her life to get to where she is today. She endured both torture and exile as a result of her father being charged with treason. After exile, Bachelet returned to Chile and became a pediatrician before entering politics. The suffering that she endured only made her stronger and gave her more reason to achieve her many goals (which she did!).
5. Helen Clark
Her job: Head of the United Nations Development Program
What her job means: Helen Clark holds the third highest position in the United Nations. The U.N. development program is a global development network that connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources in order to help people build a better life. As head of this program, Clark is responsible for implementing new programs and initiatives while meeting with government officials (within each country) to discuss reforms and changes. Before holding this position, she was the Prime Minister of New Zealand for three terms. Her resume certainly isn’t lacking!
Why she rocks: Clark was the first woman to become the head of the United Nations Development Program. She was also the head of the Labour Party in New Zealand from 1993 to 2008. After a long political career, Clark is still continuing to pursue her ambitions. I hope that at 59 years old, I can be doing the same! Annie Baer, a junior at New York University also agrees that Clark “is an inspiration to all young women who have dreams of pursuing their political and humanitarian passions.”
Please leave comments and let me know what you think about these powerful women, or if there are any others that you think deserve some attention!
Kate Bonacorsi, NYU ‘11
Rachel Cieri, Her Campus Contributing Writer, Elon ‘10