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African Views

African Views


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There have always been female rulers. Egyptian Queens are believed to have governed from around 3000 BCE and the first to be named by the sources without any doubt is Ku-baba, who ruled the Mesopotamian City-State of Ur round 2500 BCE..

However, it was not until during and just after the World War I that the first few women became members of the revolutionary governments in Ukraine, Russia, Hungary and Ireland. Nina Bang, Danish Minister of Education 1924-26, was the first woman to be minister in democratically elected parliamentary government. First female Prime Minister and President in 1960 are  Sirivamo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka became the world's first female elected Premier Minister and in 1974 Isabel Perón of Argentina became the first woman President - one woman had been Acting Head of Government and two women Acting Heads of State before that.

Nevertheless, development was slow and it was not until the end of the 20th century that female ministers stopped being unusual, though a number of countries don't have women in their governments at the moment. Sweden became the first country to have more female ministers than male in 1999. With 11 women and 9 men and in 2007 the Finish government had 60% women. And, in 2009 Monaco became the last country in the world to have its first female member of government. The United Nation has had 8 Secretaries-General since its inception in 1945. The Secretary-General acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations. The Secretary-General role was envisioned by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a "world moderator," but the office was defined in the UN Charter as the organization's "chief administrative officer" (Article 97). Nevertheless, this Secretary-General role is not restricted to a specific gender and does has not prevented the office holders from speaking out and playing important roles...