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The first female prime minister
26

ArabellaScott · 21/11/2020 17:21

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 · 21/11/2020 18:31

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

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ArabellaScott · 21/11/2020 19:22

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 · 21/11/2020 19:26

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.

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glasshalfsomething · 21/11/2020 19:27

@mischance - that is v.cool.

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tattooedmummy1 · 21/11/2020 19:30

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

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Quaagars · 21/11/2020 19:37

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

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ArabellaScott · 21/11/2020 19:43

Mischance, that's really sweet. Smile

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HecatesCats · 21/11/2020 19:52

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?

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aliasundercover · 21/11/2020 19:58

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

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vesuvia · 22/11/2020 13:06

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

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nosswith · 22/11/2020 15:19

It is worth marking the anniversary in my opinion.

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SophocIestheFox · 22/11/2020 16:23

@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.
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vesuvia · 22/11/2020 16:49

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.

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ArabellaScott · 22/11/2020 22:09

1991?! 199 fucking 1.

Unbelievable.

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

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Fabuleuse · 22/11/2020 22:11

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

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Mischance · 22/11/2020 22:23

Fabuleuse - great little minds think alike!

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deydododatdodontdeydo · 23/11/2020 09:22

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.

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SebastianTheCrab · 23/11/2020 14:36

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

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Quaagars · 23/11/2020 15:02

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

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highame · 23/11/2020 15:15

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.

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HecatesCats · 23/11/2020 16:04

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.

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Gibbonsgibbonsgibbons · 23/11/2020 16:33

@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
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Abhannmor · 24/11/2020 13:51

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

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ArabellaScott · 24/11/2020 14:16

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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NonnyMouse1337 · 24/11/2020 14:49

Thanks for sharing this. Really interesting to read about her life. Smile

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