Laura Chinchilla was elected the first woman president of Costa Rica
Laura Chinchilla was in 2010 elected the first woman president of Costa Rica.

Q24N- Hillary Clinton seems to be one step closer to becoming the first woman president of the United States. But more than 60 other countries, including Costa Rica, beat the U.S. to that milestone.

In Latin America (South and Central America and the Caribbean), a total of seven countries (Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Nicaragua, Panama and Argentina) elected its first female president

Here’s a list of ALL the countries that had a woman leader before the U.S.

The list is sorted by the date each country elected or appointed its first female head of state (president or prime minister). It does not include acting or interim leaders who were not later elected or confirmed.


  • Australia: Julia Gillard, 2010
  • Costa Rica: Laura Chinchilla, 2010
  • Kyrgyzstan: Roza Otunbayeva, 2010
  • Slovakia: Iveta Radičová, 2010
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Kamla Persad-Bissessar, 2010
  • Denmark: Helle Thorning-Schmidt, 2011
  • Kosovo: Atifete Jahjaga, 2011
  • Mali: Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé, 2011
  • Thailand: Yingluck Shinawatra, 2011
  • Malawi: Joyce Banda, 2012
  • Slovenia: Alenka Bratušek, 2013
  • Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus: Sibel Siber, 2013
  • Brazil: Dilma Rousseff, 2014
  • Mauritius: Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim, 2015
  • Namibia: Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, 2015
  • Nepal: Bidhya Devi Bhandari, 2015
  • Taiwan: Tsai Ing-wen, 2016


  • Finland: Tarja Halonen, 2001
  • Indonesia: Megawati Sukarnoputri, 2001
  • Senegal: Mame Madior Boye, 2001
  • São Tomé and Príncipe: Maria das Neves, 2002
  • Peru: Beatriz Merino, 2003
  • Macedonia: Radmila Šekerinska, 2004
  • Mozambique: Luísa Diogo, 2004
  • Germany: Angela Merkel, 2005
  • Ukraine: Yulia Tymoshenko, 2005
  • Chile: Michelle Bachelet, 2006
  • Jamaica: Portia Simpson-Miller, 2006
  • Liberia: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 2006
  • South Korea: Han Myung-sook, 2006
  • Moldova: Zinaida Greceanîi, 2008
  • Croatia: Jadranka Kosor, 2009


  • Ireland: Mary Robinson, 1990
  • Lithuania: Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, 1990
  • Nicaragua: Violeta Barrios Torres de Chamorro, 1990
  • Bangladesh: Khaleda Zia, 1991
  • France: Édith Cresson, 1991
  • Poland: Hanna Suchocka, 1992
  • Burundi: Sylvie Kinigi, 1993
  • Canada: Kim Campbell, 1993
  • Rwanda: Agathe Uwilingiyimana, 1993
  • Turkey: Tansu Çiller, 1993
  • Haiti: Claudette Werleigh, 1995
  • Guyana: Janet Rosenberg, 1997
  • New Zealand: Jenny Shipley, 1997
  • Latvia: Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, 1999
  • Panama: Mireya Elisa Moscoso Rodríguez, 1999
  • Switzerland: Ruth Dreifuss, 1999


  • Dominica: Eugenia Charles, 1980
  • Iceland: Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, 1980
  • Norway: Gro Harlem Brundtland, 1981
  • Malta: Agatha Barbara, 1982
  • Philippines: Corazon Aquino, 1986
  • Pakistan: Benazir Bhutto, 1988


  • Argentina: Isabel Perón, 1974
  • Central African Republic: Elisabeth Domitien, 1975
  • Portugal: Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo, 1979
  • United Kingdom: Margaret Thatcher, 1979


  • Sri Lanka: Sirimavo Bandaranaike, 1960
  • India: Indira Gandhi, 1966
  • Israel: Golda Meir, 1969

List from CNN Politics, update June 9, 2106. Click here for the original article at CNN.

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  • John smith

    They all ruined their countrys

  • Roberto

    CROOKED HILLARY!!! Chinchilla’s administration was scandalous, she visited Peru for a wedding on a drug dealers private jet…take a look at La Trocha Fronteriza; 4 yrs ago, 40 persons still under investigation and $32,000,000 missing.