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The first female prime minister

(27 Posts)
ArabellaScott Sat 21-Nov-20 17:21:45

Interesting clip on the BBC.

'Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected the modern world's first female head of government in 1960 when she became prime minister of Sri Lanka'

www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-55002773

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HecatesCats Sat 21-Nov-20 18:31:20

I'll stick that on while I make dinner, thanks Arabella

ArabellaScott Sat 21-Nov-20 19:22:53

1960 struck me as quite early - I think some countries in Europe women didn't even get the vote til the 70s?

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Mischance Sat 21-Nov-20 19:26:23

When John Major was elected I was driving one of my DDs home from school; and when it came over the news she said "Can a man be Prime Minister?" There had been a woman PM for the whole of her life. It made me smile.

glasshalfsomething Sat 21-Nov-20 19:27:52

@mischance - that is v.cool.

tattooedmummy1 Sat 21-Nov-20 19:30:58

I admit I came here thinking this was going to be about Thatcher grin

Quaagars Sat 21-Nov-20 19:37:46

I admit I came here thinking this was going to be about Thatcher

Same, didn't realise already had been one! blush grin

When John Major was elected I was driving one of my DDs home from school; and when it came over the news she said "Can a man be Prime Minister?" There had been a woman PM for the whole of her life. It made me smile

Brilliant, love it grin

ArabellaScott Sat 21-Nov-20 19:43:14

Mischance, that's really sweet. smile

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HecatesCats Sat 21-Nov-20 19:52:50

I'd never heard of her. What an interesting woman. Some more detail here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/20/newsid_2784000/2784527.stm

Can anyone recommend there good reads on Asian female leaders, there were several heads of state in the 20th century in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan etc. I'd love to understand more about the context, given the state of women's rights in those countries re femicide, VAWG, reproductive rights. Is it a class thing?

aliasundercover Sat 21-Nov-20 19:58:15

Indira Ghandi and Golda Meir were also elected as leaders pre-Thatcher.

vesuvia Sun 22-Nov-20 13:06:30

List of elected and appointed female heads of state and government:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_elected_and_appointed_female_heads_of_state_and_government

nosswith Sun 22-Nov-20 15:19:03

It is worth marking the anniversary in my opinion.

SophocIestheFox Sun 22-Nov-20 16:23:22

ArabellaScott

1960 struck me as quite early - I think some countries in Europe women didn't even get the vote til the 70s?

Swiss women didn’t have the vote until 1970 (one canton held out until 1991! Though some cantons allowed it earlier).

Will have a listen to the clip, it’s a remarkable achievement.

vesuvia Sun 22-Nov-20 16:49:16

Jenni Murray's book "A History of the World in 21 Women" includes biographical chapters on Bandaranaike, Meir, Bhutto and Merkel. I learned a lot and I recommend the book.

ArabellaScott Sun 22-Nov-20 22:09:10

1991?! 199 fucking 1.

Unbelievable.

Thanks for the book rec, I will add it to the list!

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Fabuleuse Sun 22-Nov-20 22:11:02

@Mischance I was 6 then and asked my dad exactly the same thing!

Mischance Sun 22-Nov-20 22:23:12

Fabuleuse - great little minds think alike!

deydododatdodontdeydo Mon 23-Nov-20 09:22:04

There had been a woman PM for the whole of her life. It made me smile.

A whole generation (myself included) grew up with a female prime minister. I was 5 when she took power, but don't remember her not being PM, and 16 when she left.
There must have been millions like me who thought having a female PM was no big deal.
Plus we had (and still have) the Queen as head of state, which most British people alive won't remember any different.

SebastianTheCrab Mon 23-Nov-20 14:36:58

I feel the same about the idea of having a King once the Queen goes.

Quaagars Mon 23-Nov-20 15:02:48

It will be really weird having a King, even people who are going on for 70 will only have ever really known a Queen.

highame Mon 23-Nov-20 15:15:03

I read something years ago about caste systems and the higher the caste you are born into, the more equal women are. That's why there have been lots of Asian women leaders.

HecatesCats Mon 23-Nov-20 16:04:43

Britain has had two female Prime Ministers in three hundred years. The Labour Party has never had a female leader, but yeah something, something The Queen (whose role retains symbolic importance but who doesn't govern). All sorted then.

Gibbonsgibbonsgibbons Mon 23-Nov-20 16:33:37

Mischance

When John Major was elected I was driving one of my DDs home from school; and when it came over the news she said "Can a man be Prime Minister?" There had been a woman PM for the whole of her life. It made me smile.

I grew up thinking that a Prime Minister was the title for a female leader & President the title for a male leader grin

Thanks for the link OP & thank you PP I’ve added the Jenni Murray book to my list

Abhannmor Tue 24-Nov-20 13:51:40

Mrs Bandaranaike first came to my attention when she made a statement about sending the Tamils back to India.

ArabellaScott Tue 24-Nov-20 14:16:41

Thanks, Abhannmor, I found an obituary with a bit more detail on her life and politics.

www.theguardian.com/news/2000/oct/11/guardianobituaries

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