Meet 34-year-old Sanna Marin, world's youngest PM, and other women leaders

Updated: Dec 11, 2019, 09:17 | Sherlin Rajan
  • Woman leaders in the world

    Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland

    Finland's parliament chose Sanna Marin as the country's new prime minister, making the 34-year-old the world's youngest sitting head of government on December 10. Marin is heading a five-party, center-left coalition. The four other parties in the coalition are headed by women. She had also served as the country's Minister of Transport and Communications.

    Picture courtesy/AFP

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

    Jacinda Ardern was elected prime minister on October 26, 2017, making her the country's third woman to hold the post at the age of 37. Known as the most powerful leader in the southern hemisphere, she describes herself as a socialist, progressive and a feminist.

    Picture courtesy/AFP

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

    Angela Merkel has been the chancellor of Germany since 2005. Known as the 'leader of the free world' she started out as a member of the parliament in 1990. She has held various ministerial posts and has also been the leader of opposition before being elected as chancellor four times from 2005 to 2017.

    Picture courtesy/AFP

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway

    Erna Solberg has been serving as the prime minister since 2004. Known as 'Iron Erna, inspired by former British Prime minister Margaret Thatcher's 'Iron Lady' nickname, she started her political innings in 1979 as the member of the city council, and was elected to the parliament five times. She also served as minister local government and regional development before being elected as prime minister. Being a former chairperson to the Norweigian delegation of the NATO, she has been a champion of transatlantic security and values.

    Picture courtesy/AFP

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Bidhya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal

    Bidhya Devi Bhandari is the first woman of her country to hold the president post since 2013. She started her political journey as a leftist leader in 1980. Since then she was elected into the parliament twice in 1994 and 1999 and has also served a defence minister.

    Picture courtesy/All India Radio News-Twitter

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar

    Daughter of General Aung San, the father of modern-day Myanmar, Suu Kyi was put under house arrest for different time periods from the 1989 military junta till 2010. Known for her non-violent struggle during this period, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. She became the foreign minister and the state counsellor in 2016, but has often been criticised for her stand on the Rohingya immigrant issue.

    Picture courtesy/AFP

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh

    Sheikh Hasina is the daughter of the first president of the country, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. Leader of the Bangladesh Awami League since 1981, Hasina has held the post of the leader of the opposition apart from being the longest served prime minister of the country. She is often praised for the economic growth of Bangladesh under her tenure.

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, President of Croatia

    Before being elected the 4th president of the country in 2015, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has served many portfolios in the Croatian parliament, including the minister of foreign affairs and European affairs, since the beginning of her political career in 1992.

    Picture courtesy/United Nations-Youtube

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore

    Halimah Yacob was born to an Indian Muslim father and a mother of Malay descent. Before joining politics, she was working as a legal officer for a local trade union. He became an MP in 2001 after which she has been a minister holding various portfolios till she was elected president in 2017.

    Picture courtesy/Halimah Yacob-Facebook

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Tsai Ing-Wen, President of Taiwan

    Tsai Ing-Wen is the first woman president of Taiwan. A law and international trade graduate, Tsai was a professor before venturing into politics in 1993. She has served various postions in the WTO and has held ministerial portfolios such as minister of mainland affairs council and as vice president and vice-premier in various governments. She was elected president in 2016.

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of Namibia

    Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is the first woman prime minister of Namibia and was elected into the position in 2015. An economics graduate, she started her political innings as a desk officer under the Office of the President, after which she became the director general of the planning commission in 1995 and finance minister in 2003. She is a champion of gender equality and has often spoke of the issue in various summits.

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Sahle Work-Zewde, President of Ethiopia

    Sahle Work-Zewde is the first woman president of Ethiopia and was unanimously elected to the position in 2018. She has held various positions with the United Nations and has served as ambassador to Djibouti and France.

    Picture courtesy/AFP

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Zuzana Caputana, President of Slovakia

    Zuzana Caputana is the first woman president of the country. Before entering politics in 2017, she worked with non-profit organisations such as Open Society Foundation and Greenpeace.

    Picture courtesy/United Nations-Youtube

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia

    Kersti Kaljulaid is the first woman president of the country and has had an established business career, working as economic advisor in the government, before joining politics in 2001. She holds liberal values on LGBTQ issues and immigration.

    Picture courtesy/United Nations-Youtube

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  • Woman leaders in the world

    Katrin Jacobsdottir, Prime Minister of Iceland

    Katrin Jacobsdottir was a journalist and worked for the media between 1999 to 2006 and also worked as a lecturer at the University of Iceland between 2006-2007. She was also the chairperson of the Left-Green movement, an eco-socialist party, before becoming the prime minister in 2017.

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About The Gallery

Finland's 34-year-old Sanna Marin was elected the youngest prime minister of the world on Tuesday. Here's a look at other women leaders of the world who run countries either as president or prime minister.