Female leaders and the changing face of politics

The face of British and international politics is changing and the future looks to include many more women.

Recently, British politicians were thrown into disarray with the announcement that Britain had decided to leave the European Union. David Cameron, the current Prime Minister announced that he would be stepping down from his role. Since then, the leader of the Brexit campaign, Boris Johnson has thrown in the ‘leadership race’ towel and most recently, head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage has stepped down.

This disarray has led to the possibility that for the first time in history, women could hold the top political jobs in the UK. Theresa May is in the running to become the next Prime Minister

On a wider scale, Nicola Sturgeon is currently the female First Minister of Scotland and Arlene Foster is the First Minister of Northern Ireland. America is also set to make history with the first-ever female president, if Hillary Clinton beats Donald Trump in the elections.

In this article, WeAreTheCity take a glance at the influential women on the face of UK and global politics.

theresa may featuredTheresa May

As previously reported, Theresa May is amongst the bookies’ favourites to become the next Prime Minister.

The result of the EU referendum led to the current PM, David Cameron resigning from his position, leaving Conservative party members vying for a place at the top.

Throughout the EU campaign, May remained relatively impartial and although she eventually came out as in favour of remaining, she was careful not to alienate either side. According to reports, May has 60 per cent of the party’s support

May is currently appointed as the Home Secretary and has been a Conservative MP since 1997. She has held a variety of different roles within the party including Shadow Secretary of State for the Family from 2004 to 2005; and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women and Equalities from 2010 to 2012. Before embarking on her career in politics, May began her working life at the Bank of England.

“Like Indiana Jones, I don’t like snakes – though that might lead some to ask why I’m in politics.”

angela eagle 1 featuredAngela Eagle

Angela Eagle has recently made headlines by announcing that she will run against the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn if he doesn’t quit.

There has been an increased pressure for Corbyn to resign from his position after the result of the EU referendum. MPs within the Labour Party have passed a vote of no confidence within Corbyn, but he is yet to step down.

However, Eagle has said that she has enough support from fellow party members to challenge Corbyn and end the stalemate within the party.

Eagle was the Shadow First Secretary of State, but resigned from her position on 27 June this year. She has previously served as the Minister of State for Pensions and Ageing Society and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

“I have examined my conscience and I have made this personal decision. I think it is in the best interests of the Labour Party that Jeremy now examines his conscience and makes a decision to leave with dignity.”

Nicola Sturgeon featuredNicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon is currently the First Minister of Scotland and the leader of the Scottish National Party and has been in office since 2014.

Before her political career, Sturgeon graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in law and became a solicitor.

Sturgeon has recently hit the headlines over her demands for Scotland to remain in the EU despite Britain voting to leave. She has also called for a second Scottish independence referendum.

Sturgeon was recently ranked No. 50 in the 2016 Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list.

“Equality and prosperity shouldn’t be seen as enemies of each other, but as partners. One reinforces the other.”

Arlene Foster featured 1Arlene Foster

Arlene Foster is currently the First Minister of Northern Ireland, having been in office since January this year. She is also the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and is the first woman to hold either post.

Foster began her political career in 2003 holding a membership of the Northern Ireland Assembly. She has since served as the Minister of the Environment, Minister for Enterprise and Investment and Minister for Finance and Personnel.

“That’s not why our people elected us. They did so to provide a better future for us all. I will do all I can to change the political culture of this place but I can’t change that alone. We can only do it by working together.”

Hillary Clinton featured
Hillary Clinton provided by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Hillary Clinton

In June this year, Clinton became the first woman in 240 years to lead the US Presidential race for a major political party. She is also the first woman to be elected senator from New York; and the first ever former-First Lady to run for President, due to her marriage to the former president, Bill Clinton.

Clinton is currently in office serving as the Secretary of State under Barack Obama’s administration. Her time as First Lady from 1993 to 2001 was also full of firsts. At the time, she was the first lady to hold a postgraduate degree and to have her own professional career upon entering the White House.

Clinton was recently ranked second in the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list.

“We are on the brink of a historic, historic unprecedented moment but we still have work to do, don’t we?”

angela merkel featuredAngela Merkel

Angela Merkel has been Chancellor in Germany since 2005 and is the leader of the Christian Democratic Union; being the first woman to hold either of these positions.

She also became the second woman to chair the G8 summit, in 2007 as the President of the European Council.

Merkel was raised in East Germany and was a former research scientist. She became involved within politics in 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall, joining the new party, Democratic Awakening.

 In December 2015, Merkel was named TIME’s Person of the Year, becoming the first woman in 29 years. In June this year, she topped the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list.

“You could certainly say that I’ve never underestimated myself, there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious.”


About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.
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