Political Powerhouses: Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland

Gro Harlem Brundtland has had a long and varied career. She began as a doctor before entering politics. She went on to serve three terms as Prime Minister of Norway before turning her focus to environmental issues. She earned her medical degree from the University of Oslo in 1963 and two years later she graduated with a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. She then went on to work in the public school health service in Oslo. Her interest in politics began at a young age when her parents signed her up as a member of the Norwegian Labour Movement in the children’s section....

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Political Powerhouses: Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi served as the third Prime Minister of India for a total of 13 years. She is also the only woman, as of today, to hold the position. She was born in 1917 and her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, would go on to become the first Prime Minister of India. She was educated in India, England and Switzerland and at a young age had to deal with the loss of her parents (her father endured numerous terms in prison as one of the leaders in the India Independence Movement and her mother died when Indira was 19). When her father became Prime Minister of India in 1947 she would go on to become his...

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Political Powerhouses: Tansu Ciller

Tansu was born in Istanbul and was educated in Turkey and the United States. She studied economics, earning her PhD from the University of Connecticut. She completed her post-doctoral research at Yale University before lecturing at universities in the United States and in Turkey. At the age of 36 she became Turkey’s youngest full time professor. She went on to become the President of Istanbul Bank. She entered politics in 1990 after joining the True Path Party and was elected to the Turkish parliament the following year. She was named the economics minister in this parliament. She...

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Political Powerhouses: Nicola Sturgeon

Last week Nicola Sturgeon met with Theresa May to discuss the issue of Brexit before the enactment of Article 50. The two women were discussing the impact Britain’s exit from the EU will have on the people of Scotland. They also discussed how they would work together to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone. It was a significant meeting as it’s been documented that Nicola Sturgeon does not want to leave the EU as she doesn’t think it’s best for Scotland. The next day the Daily Mail newspaper ran with the story on the front page. Instead of mentioning what...

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Political Powerhouses: Anne Anderson

The CV of Anne Anderson reads like a list of firsts. She graduated with a degree in history and politics at the age of 19. After this she entered politics, when she began working at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland in 1972. In 1976 she moved to Geneva where she worked as the First Secretary to Ireland’s UN Ambassador. During this time she had a six month assignment in Belgrade. In 1983 she joined the Irish embassy in Washington D.C. as the economic attaché, a post that she would hold for two years but which had a major impact on the rest of her career. She became involved in...

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Political Powerhouses: Angela Merkel

As the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel is not only one of the most powerful people in Europe, but the entire world. Later on this year she faces into an election campaign in the most turbulent times in modern history. In the next few months the EU will have to deal with the fallout from Britain leaving the Union as well as the political situation in the United States. In her own country she is still dealing with the issue of mass immigration. Angela earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Leipzig in 1978. After completing her doctorate she worked at the Central Institute...

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Political Powerhouses: Samantha Power

The majority of posts in this series have been about politicians many people would have heard about. There are many women in politics that aren’t household names and yet have contributed much to the political world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of diplomacy. Diplomats work the world over to maintain positive relations between counties. Samantha Power is one of these people. Samantha Power spent the first nine years old her life in Ireland before she moved to Pittsburgh with her mother and brother. She graduated from Yale in 1992, after which she began interning at...

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Political Powerhouses: Elizabeth Dole

The saying ‘behind every good man is a great woman’ is very appropriate for Elizabeth Dole. Her husband ran for President a number of times but she herself had a very long and successful career in politics. She studied political science at Duke University, where she served as student body president. She went on to study at Harvard where she earned a Master’s degree in education before moving onto Harvard law school. In her graduating class of 500 she was one of only 25 women to leave with degree. Following her graduation she moved to Washington D.C. She worked in a private law firm...

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Political Powerhouses: Mary-Pat Hector

At just 19 years of age Mary-Pat Hector already has an impressive political CV. She has worked throughout her home city of Atlanta to try and reduce gun violence, she is a youth leader in the National Action Network, and now she is aiming to run for city council in Atlanta. Mary-Pat’s activism began at a young age; when she was just 13 years old she launched the Just Think Twice campaign. This was her attempt to work with young people to reduce gun violence. The campaign involved her having billboard installed around Atlanta as well as speaking to thousands of children around the United...

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Political Powerhouses: Shirley Chisholm

Becoming President of the United States of America has proven to be the ultimate glass ceiling. Hillary Clinton came close to shattering it last year, but Shirley Chisholm was one of the first women to put a crack in it. In 1972 she became the first African-American woman to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for the Presidency. Shirley was born in Brooklyn, New York and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooklyn College. During her time in college she won a number of prizes for her debating skills. She earned a MA in elementary education and went on to become director of a...

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