Powerful Women in Politics
Powerful Women in Politics
Health care reform has been a battleground in Congress and will soon land in the Supreme Court, where its constitutionality will be determined. Among the justices who will hear the case are three powerful women. Read more about these and other powerful women in politics.
Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama  doesn’t hold a political office, but she has a highly visible role in both the national and international political spheres. Trained as a lawyer, she now works as an advocate and runs the most famous household in America.
Hillary Clinton
She may not be commander in chief, but Hillary Clinton  is one of the highest-ranking members of the United States government. She is charged with managing foreign affairs, which is no small task in today’s international political climate.
Julia Gillard
Julia Gillard is a woman of firsts. She is the first woman and non-native to hold her political position in Australia.  Her background and passion lie in education, which she holds central to her economic agenda. (What are her economic plans?)
Elena Kagan
Elena Kagan  is newly appointed to her position, most recently serving as a professor and dean of Harvard Law School, her alma mater. Her first opinion was filed in January 2011.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
The lone female leader in a continent run by men, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf  is known as Liberia’s "Iron Lady" . She accomplished a feat that most national governments have failed to do, erasing the country’s external debt.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg  has spent the majority of her distinguished career advocating for equal rights for men and women. Despite rumors of her retirement, she has not announced her intention to step down.
Mary McAleese
In a country divided, Mary McAleese was the first person elected to her position in Ireland who was born in Northern Ireland. Her two terms in office have been dedicated to building bridges. Named among the 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes magazine in 2009 , she is also a member of the Council of Women World Leaders.
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner  has been compared to Eva Peron, the former first lady of Argentina, which is the title de Kirchner held before being elected to her current position. She was one half of a presidential marriage with her husband and former president, who stayed active in her presidency until his death in 2010.
Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor  became a first for her position and has enjoyed a long career punctuated by highly visible rulings. She has been a champion for ethnic diversity and identity, and many of her speeches focus on these themes.
Angela Merkel
Trained as a physical chemist, Angela Merkel turned to politics after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She rose to the ranks of her current position in 2005, and her tenure has focused on health care reform and future energy development in Germany.
Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano  has been charged with keeping America safe from terrorism, or what she calls "man-caused disasters." Issues of national security range from airport security to border safety, and these issues have sparked controversy and criticism.