By Dianne Post
Recently, several glass ceilings have been broken and others wacked hard. Internationally, women are 29% of the UN peacekeepers. Five women lead peacekeeping operations. Three completely female units are in Haiti, Liberia and DR Congo. The UN has found that the presence of women helps reduce conflict and confrontation, protects local women and helps lift their status, and makes the peacekeepers more approachable.
On the political side, Theresa Mary May just became the second woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party. Margaret Thatcher was the first woman Prime Minster from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party. Angela Dorothea Merkel, a former research scientist, is the longest serving woman leader. She has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000. When Hillary Clinton is elected, three of the top four most powerful countries in the world will have women leaders. China will be the outlier.
In 2014, twenty-two women world leaders represented a new high. The longest serving is Merkel in Germany with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of Liberia, close behind since 2006 and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina since 2007. The newest were the appointed president Simonetta Somaruga in Switzerland and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic elected in Croatia in 2015. The countries where women rule range from European (6) and Eastern European countries (5) to Central and South American (5) to Africa (3), Asia (2) and the Mid-East (1). North America is conspicuously missing.