Presidential and Prime Ministerial Women in the Americas: A List with Interpretations

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones


Abstract


The Americas and Latin America in particular are sharply in advance of the global norm when it comes to the incidence of female presidential and prime ministerial leadership. One reason is the relatively high and increasing incidence of democracy on the two continents. Another is that the Americas are more progressive than other parts of the world. The relatively peaceful state of the region over the last half century is an additional factor, for women favor peace and force works to their disadvantage. The theory that dynastic advantages account for the prominence of female leadership in the Americas is erroneous. United States has lacked female leadership because of a countervailing male culture that blocks women’s aspirations, and because the nation has been on a near-permanent war footing. In an appendix, the arguments are supported by a table listing the world’s “Women Prime Ministers and Presidents 1960-2010.”


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