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.
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
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
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.
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.