Women Leaders and Transformation in Developing Countries
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Women Leaders: Past, Present, and Emerging

Compiled for Soc 171a, Fall 1998 Professor Dessima M. Williams

Name Position, Year Elected, party Nation
Part 1: Elected Heads of Government, Presently in Office Fall 1998
1.1 Developing Countries
Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, 1960-5, 1970-7, 1994- Sri Lanka Freedom Party Sri Lanka
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga President, 1994- Sri Lanka Freedom Party Sri Lanka
Aun Sung Suu Kyi Prime Minister, 1990- (elected but not allowed to serve) Myanmar
Janet Jagan President, 1997- Guyana
*Sheikh Hasina Wasid Prime Minister, 1997- Bangladesh
Jenny Shipley
Prime Minister, 1997-
New Zealand
Jennifer Smith
Premier, 1998-
1.2 Industrial Countries
Mary McAleese President, 1997- Ireland
Ruth Dreifuss President, 1998- Switzerland
Part 2: World Elected Heads of Government Who Served but are no longer in office
2.1 Developing Countries
Indira Gandhi Prime Minister, 1966-77 Congress Party India
Isabel Martinez de Peron President, 1974-76 Argentina
Lidia Gueiler President, 1979-1980 Bolivia
Eugenia Charles Prime Minister, 1980- Dominica
Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Prime Ministers, 1981-85 Portugal
Corazon Aquino President, 1986-1992 People's Power Movement Philippines
Benazir Bhutto Prime Minister, 1988-90, 1993- Pakistan
Violeta Chamorro President, 1990- Nicaragua
*Khaleda Zia Rahman Prime Minister, 1991-96 Bangladesh National Party Bangladesh
Ertha Pascal-Trouillot President, 1991 Haiti
Sylvie Kinigi Prime Minister, 1993 Burundi
Agathe Uwilingiyimana Prime Minister, 1993-94 Rwanda
Kahlifa ibn Sulman Al-Kahlifa Prime Minister Bahrain
Lien Chan Prime Minister Taiwan
Lansana Conte Prime Minister Guinea
Elizabeth Domitien Prime Minister, 1975-6 Central African Republic
Janez Dmovsek Prime Minister Slovenia
Lidia Guilder Interim President, 19- Bolivia
Bikenibeu Paeniu Prime Minister Tuvalu
Isabel Peron President, 1974-6 Argentina
Maria Pintasilgo Prime Minister, 1979 (5mths) Portugal
Milka Planinc Prime Minister, 1982-6 Yugoslavia
Kazimiera Prunskiene Prime Minister, 1990-1 Lithuania
2.2 Developed Countries
Golda Meir Prime Minister, 1969-74 Israel
Margaret Thatcher Prime Minister, 1979-90 United Kingdom
Vigdis Finnbogadottir President, 1980- Iceland
Milka Planinc President, 1982-86 Yugoslavia
Maria Liberia-Peters Prime Minister, 1984-5, 1988- National People's Party Netherland Antilles
*Mary Robinson President, 1990- Ireland
*Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland Prime Minister, (1981,'86-89) 1990- Labour Party Norway
Edith Cresson Prime Minister, 1991-92 France
Hanna Suchocka Prime Minister, 1992-93 (Premier 1992) Poland
Tamsu Ciller Prime Minister, 1993- Turkey
Patricia Busignani Captain's Regent, 1993- San Marino
Kim Campbell Prime Minister, 1993-1994 Conservative Party Canada
SimoneVeil President, EEC France
Part 3: Appointed Heads of Government, Developing Countries, Recent Past and Present
3.1 Developing Countries
Nita Barrow Governor General, 1989- Barbados Democratic Labour Party Barbados
Hilda Gibbs-Bvnoe Governor General Grenada
Elvira Gordon Governor General Belize
Catherine Tizard Governor General, 1993 New Zealand
3.2 Industrial Countries
Part 4: Up-incoming Leaders: Prominent Ministers, Heads of Opposition Parties, Other
4.1 Developing Countries
Megawati Sukarnoputri Leader, Indonesian Democratic Party Indonesia
Margaret Alva Minister of State Parliament Affairs for Personal, Public Grievances India
Juliette Banhorungore Minister Civil Service and Adimister of Modernization Burkina Faso
Danielle Boni-Claverie Minister of Communication Cote D’lvoire
Janet Bostwick Minister of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Immigration Bahamas
Maureen Clank Minister of Government and Politics Costa Rica
*Khaleda Zia Rahman Leader of Opposition, former PM 1991-93. Bengladesh
*Sheikh Hasina Wasid Former Opposition Leader, PM 1997- Bangladesh
Josefina Bilbao Director, National Women's Service Chile
Domitila Barrios de Chungara Leader, Bolivian Women's Movement Bolivia
Christine Kwabea Debra Chair, Environmental Protection Council Ghana
Chee Yoke Ling Secretary General, Malaysia's Friends of the Earth Malaysia
Wangari Maathai Head of the Green Belt Movement Kenya
Zephanie Mothopeng Founder of Pan Africanist Congress, 1959 South Africa
Alberlina Sisulu Transvaal President of United Democratic Front South Africa
Mother Teresa Catholic Missionary, Nobel Peace Prize Recipient India-Italy
4.2 Developed Countries
Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment, Labour Party Canada
Jean-Marie Cherestal Minister of Planning, External Cooperation and Public Administration Haiti
Adriana Del Piano Minister for Natural Resources Chile
Part 5: Women Leaders in the United Nations and the United Nations System
5.1 Developing Countries
Angela King
Assistant Secretary General, Special Advisor on Gender Issues, 1997-
Dr. Nafis Sadik Executive Director of UN Population Fund, 1987- Pakistan
Gertrude Mongella Secretary General of the 4th World Conference on Women, in Beijing Tanzania
5.2 Industrial Countries    
Louise Frechette
Deputy Secretary General, 1998-
Margaret Joan Anstee
Former UN Secretary General
Great Britain
Gillian Martin Sorensen
Assistant Secretary General for External Relations
Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Under Secretary General and former Executive Director, UN Environment Programme, 1992-98.
Sadako Ogata
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1990-
*Mary Robinson
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1997-
Carol Bellamy
Executive Director, UNICEF, 1995-
Director General, World Health Organization, 1997-
Catherine Bertini Executive Director, UN World Food Programme, 1992- USA
Karin Sham Poo Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, 1987- Norway
Seiko Takahashi Acting Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Japan
Joanne Fox-Przeworski Former Director, Regional Office for North America, UN Environment Programme USA
Part 6: World Heads of State (Queens)
6.1 Developing Countries
Dzeliwe (Indlovukazi) Queen, 1982- Swaziland
6.2 Industrial Countries
Queen Beatfix Queen Netherlands
Queen Elizabeth Queen Great Britian
Queen Margrethe Queen Denmark
Part 7: Women leaders in national and international civil society (very select)
7.1 Developing Countries
Rigoberta Menchu Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Human Rights Activist Guatemala
Wangazi Maathai Director, The Green Beef Movement Kenya
Jael Mbogo Secretary General Freedom From Hunger Campaign Kenya
Peggy Antrobus Former Director, DAWN Barbados
7.2 Industrial Countries
Charlotte Bunch President of Women's Caucus for the Human Rights Conference in Vienna Director of Center for Women's Leadership at Rutgers University USA