by Andrea González-Ramírez and Desiree Mathurin

The first female head of state in the modern era not to inherit the title was Khertek Anchimaa-Toka. In April of 1940 she became president of the Tuvan People’s Republic, a former state of the Soviet Union now known as the Tyva Republic of the Russian Federation.

Today, 75 years later, a record of 22 countries around the world have had female presidents, prime ministers and heads of state.

The U.S. is not part of that list.

On April, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her candidacy for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

We believe this is a good moment to reflect on the women before her that have blazed a path toward the White House and to look at what’s the chance of a woman taking the oath of office in the next couple of years.

This story would look at historical data of the relationship between women and politics in the United States, comparing it to other countries that have had female heads of state since a long time ago.  After all, the question that remains to be answered in the next 18 months is clear: is America ready for a female president?


We’re going to use:

  •  This list and this one to create a explanatory timeline of women in politics through history— including female candidates for the vice-presidency and presidency.
  • These results of polls on the general question of how Americans feel towards a woman being a presidential candidate.
  • This resource to show women in leadership around the world and how it compares to the U.S.
  • Other sources.

Possible sources:

  1. Susan J. Carroll – professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University and senior scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) of the Eagleton Institute of Politics.
  2. Jill S. Greenlee – associate professor of Politics at Brandeis University who specializes in women and politics.
  3. Jennifer Lawless – professor of at the Department of Government in the School of Public Affairs of American University and director of the Women and Politics Institute of said institution.