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Famous Female Politicians

Many people think of politics as a male dominated field, but history shows that many women have been active in shaping the political environment worldwide for many years. Women have been responsible for landmark firsts, creating important policies, and redefining the gender roles of the field.


Hillary Clinton

Women have been responsible for many political firsts. Jeanette Ranking (R-Montana) was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives in 1916, and was the only one to vote against the U.S. entering each World War.

In 1933 and 1977, historical precedence happened when Frances Perkins and Patricia Roberts Harris were appointed the first female and first black female respectively, to serve in the President's Cabinet.

Sandra Day O'Connor, Madeleine Albright, and Nancy Pelosi are also recognized for their appointments of Supreme Court, Secretary of State, and Speaker of the House, respectively. As Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright was appointed in 1996, and was the highest ranking woman in US government, later replaced by Nancy Pelosi in 2007, as Speaker of the House.

Condoleezza Rice served in the Bush administration in 1989, and went on to become the National Security Adviser in 2001, and was later named Secretary of State in 2005. Rice had experience with the Soviet and East European Affairs, the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and the Iraq war.


Condoleezza Rice

The political justice system has also seen its share of female influence. From 1993-2001, Janet Reno served as the second longest attorney general of the United States. Reno supervised many captures and convictions crucial to national security, from Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. In 2009, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court Justice, and Sotomayor became the first Hispanic justice, and it's third female.

Former first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton has been extremely influential in her time in politics, which is expected to continue as she attempts to become the first female President of The United States. She ran for the democratic nomination in 2008, but lost, albeit narrowly, to Barack Obama. In 2000, Clinton became the first female senator from New York.

Going all the way back to Abigail Adams, wife of the second President, John Adams, some famous women in politics never actually held positions, but played active roles in shaping the future of politics. President Adams often consulted with his wife before making crucial decisions, and Abigail is considered a pioneer for women's advocacy, as she was often reminding her husband to consider the female perspective.


Susan B. Anthony

In 1872, activist Susan B. Anthony, known for her tireless fight for equal rights in the suffragist movement, became the first woman to vote in a presidential election. She was arrested for illegally voting, but she continued to campaign for women's suffrage until her death. Another activist for the movement, Victoria Woodhull attempted to run for president in the 1872 election, but her bid was considered illegal.

Women throughout history have played an important role in shaping politics worldwide, and have brought an interesting dynamic to the field.


 

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