Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Portia addresses a rally in Jamaica.

We've discovered another important event that you might have missed in this most glorious of years, 2012.  For the first time ever, Jamaica has a female prime minister!  PORTIA SIMPSON-MILLER joins a small, but growing, elite club of women who have become global leaders...and role models as well.  To celebrate, we here at the DUNER BLOG would like to countdown the TOP SEVEN MOST IMPRESSIVE WOMEN LEADERS.  Note: This list only includes current elected* leaders.  (Sorry, Margaret Thatcher!)

#7. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.  Even though Iceland's GNP is tiny (it ranks #114), its current prime minister makes our list because not only is Johanna a woman but she's also openly gay!  In her four years in office, she's championed equal rights and even managed to officially legalize gay marriage.  In fact, she and her partner participated in one of the first ever legal ceremonies on the island nation...when they got hitched!

#6. Yingluck Shinawatra.  At 44 years old, Yingluck is the youngest person on our list.  At first, her rapid rise to the top of politics was largely attributed to her older brother, THAKSIN.  A former PM, he is serving an unpopular exile after being thrown out by a military coup.  Last year, she officially stepped out from his shadow and gained the respect of her people with her strong and capable response to the worst floods in Thailand in 50 years.  

#5. Sheikh Hasina.  Although Bangladesh doesn't have a large economy, it does have a huge population.  The South Asian nation is now the world's ninth largest, with more people than Japan or Mexico.  With so many other Islamic nations in a constant state of war, Ms. Hasina has helped peaceful Bangladesh become one of the few places where the faith and a secular government can actually coexist.

Cristina: The glamorous president.
#4. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.  The wife of former Prime Minister Nestor Kirchner succeeded him as party chair and prime minister.  Like Shinawatra, she was initially branded a poor substitute by the media and opposition parties, but proved to be a strong leader...she even got re-elected!  We here at the DUNER BLOG love her taste in fashion...Cristina is by far the most stylish lady on our list.

#3. Julia Gilliard.  Julia is so bad ass that she doesn't just rule over a large nation...she rules over an entire continent: Australia!  In a land known for such tough guys as Paul "Crocodile Dundee" Hogan and Steve "Shark Wrestler" Irwin, its amazing Aussies would have a tall, skinny redhead as Prime Minister.  But don't be fooled by her feminine demeanor...she's a huge fan of Australian Rules Football.

#2. Dilma Rouseff.  The Senhora Presidente of Brazil is not only the first woman to hold this title, but...more importantly...the first economist as well.  The enormous, resource-rich nation is struggling to find a balance between industry and the environment.  So far, Dilma has proved to be the right woman to guide the world's seventh-largest economy and fifth-largest population to new heights.

Don't mess with Merkel.
#1. Angela Merkel.  It's not just the DUNER BLOG that thinks the German Chancellor is impressive: Forbes Magazine ranked her as the fourth most powerful person in the world...regardless of gender.  As the head of Europe's largest economy, the Hamburg native as emerged as a calm, stable, reassuring leader who has accomplished the unthinkable: She's managed to get neighboring nations to trust Germany again.
*There are no female dictators. 

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