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Margaret Thatcher, 1925-2013

 

Margaret Thatcher, the first and only female Prime Minister of England, died on Monday, at the age of 87.  

The “Iron Lady” (portrayed by Meryl Streep in the 2011 movie of the same name) had held the Prime Minister’s office for over eleven years, longer than any other British politician of 1900s.  Her conservative politics coupled with her steely willpower did not always make her popular.  Nonetheless, by the time she left office in 1990, she was at the very least respected, even by people who did not agree with her policies.

Born in 1925, Mrs. Thatcher grew up at a time when women were not taken seriously in most walks of life, when gender discrimination was institutional even in the Western world.  As a college student, she was barred from joining the Oxford Union debate society, which did not allow women until 1963; even as a major Conservative Party leader in the seventies, she was not granted membership into the exclusive Carlton Club, which all male party leaders were traditionally a part of. However, she managed to demolish the ubiquitous glass ceilings for women in high-level politics, and became Prime Minister in 1979.

I won’t pretend to understand the complex history and dynamics of Great Britain’s politics, nor can I make judgements on whether or not but few would dispute that Mrs. Thatcher is, was, and will be an inspiring role model for generations to come.

 

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04…

 

Image source: http://img.timeinc.net/time/magazine/archive/covers/1979/1101790514_400.jpg

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