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Women's History Month

Women Rulers of the World

Women's History Month

Throughout history and around the world, many women have ruled their countries. There are also many women leaders today. In many cases, the queens alive and in power today do not actually rule their countries; they are symbolic rulers only and are not listed here. Instead, here is a list of actual female rulers, the countries in which they rule or ruled, and the dates they reigned.

Country Name Reign
Argentina President Isabelita Perón 1974-1976
Lesser Armenia Queen Zabel 1219-1226
BangladeshKhaleda Zia1991-1996
BermudaPremier Pamela Gordon1997-1998
BermudaPremier Jennifer Smith1998-present
Bolivia Prime Minister Lidia Gueiler 1979-1980
Burundi Prime Minister Sylvie Kinigi 1993-1994
Byzantium (Roman Empire) Empress Theodora 1055-1056
Cambodia Queen Kossamak (joint ruler) 1955-1960
Canada Prime Minister Kim Campbell 1993 (4 months)
Central African Republic Prime Minister Elizabeth Domitien 1974-1976
China Empress Wu Chao 655-705
China Empress Tsu-Hsi 1875-1879
China Empress Tsu-Hsi 1898-1908
Dominica Prime Minister Mary Eugenia Charles 1980-1995
Denmark Queen Margaret 1387-1412
Denmark Queen Margrethe II 1972-present
Egypt Queen Hatshepsut 1501-1498 b.c.
Egypt Queen Eje 1351-1350 b.c.
Egypt Queen Arsinoe II (joint ruler) 279-270 b.c.
Egypt Queen Berenice 81-80 b.c.
Egypt Queen Cleopatra VII 51-50 b.c.
Ethiopia Empress Waizero 1916-1930
France Prime Minister Edith Cresson 1991-1992
Great Britain Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) 1553 (9 days)
Great Britain Queen Mary I 1553-1558
Great Britain Queen Elizabeth I 1558-1603
Great Britain Queen Mary II (joint ruler) 1689-1702
Great Britain Queen Anne 1702-1714
Great Britain Queen Victoria 1837-1901
Great Britain Queen Elizabeth II 1952-present
Great Britain Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher 1979-1990
GuyanaPresident Janet Jagan1997-present
Haiti Provisional President Erita Pascal-Trouillot 1990
HaitiPrime Minister Claudette Werleigh1995-1996
Hungary Queen Mary 1382-1387
Hungary Queen Elizabeth 1439-1440
Hungary Queen Maria Theresa 1740-1780
Iceland President Vigdis Finnbogadóttir 1980-1996
India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi 1966-1977
India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi 1980-1984
Ireland President Mary Robinson 1990-1997
IrelandPresident Mary McAleese1997-present
Israel and Judah Queen Athaliah 842-837 b.c.
Israel and Judah Prime Minister Golda Meir 1969-1974
Italy Queen Theodelinda 590
Italy Queen Joanna I of Naples 1343-1381
Italy Queen Maria of Sicily 1377-1402
Italy Queen Joanna II of Naples 1414-1435
Japan Empress Suiko Tenno 593-628
Japan Empress Kogyoku 642-645
Japan Empress Jito 686-697
Japan Empress Gemmyo 703-724
Japan Empress Koken (abdicated) 749-758
Japan Empress Shotuku-Koken 764-770
Lithuania Prime Minister Kazimicra Prunskiene 1990-1992
Madagascar Queen Ranavalona I 1828-1861
Madagascar Queen Rasoaherina 1863-1868
Madagascar Queen Ranavalona II 1868-1883
Madagascar Queen Ranavalona III (deposed) 1883-1896
Netherlands Queen Wilhelmina (abdicated) 1890-1948
Netherlands Queen Juliana 1948-1980
NetherlandsQueen Beatrix1980-present
New ZealandPrime Minister Jenny Shipley1997-present
Nicaragua President Maria Liberia Peres 1984-1985
Nicaragua President Violeta Barriosde Chamorro 1990-1997
Norway Queen Margaret 1387-1412
Norway Prime Minister Groharlem Brundtlandt 1981 and 1986
Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto 1988-1990, 1993-1996
Philippines Maria Corazon Aquino 1986-1992
Poland Queen Hedwige 1384-1399
Poland Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka 1992-1993
Portugal Queen Maria I 1777-1816
Portugal Queen Maria II 1826-1828
Portugal Queen Maria III 1834-1853
Portugal Prime Minister Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo 1979 (149 days)
Roman Empire Empress Irene 797-802
Russia Queen Tamara 1184-1212
Russia Empress Catherine I 1725-1727
Russia Empress Anna Ivanovna 1730-1740
Russia Empress Elizabeth Petrovna 1741-1762
Russia Empress Catherine II (The Great) 1762-1796
RwandaPrime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana1993-1994
St. LuciaGovernor-General Pearlette Louisy1997-present
Scotland Queen Mary Stuart (executed) 1542-1567
Seminole Nation Betty Mae Jumper 1960-1969
Spain Queen Dona Urraca 1109-1126
Spain Queen Juana I 1274-1307
Spain Queen Juana II 1328-1349
Spain Queen Dona Blanca 1425-1441
Spain Queen Isabel I (joint ruler) 1474-1504
Spain Queen Catalina de Albret 1481-1512
Spain Queen Isabel II 1833-1868
Sri Lanka Queen Anula 47-42 b.c.
Sri Lanka Queen Sivali 35 b.c.
Sri Lanka Queen Lilavati 1197-1200
Sri Lanka Queen Kalyanavati 1202-1208
Sri Lanka Queen Lilavati (restored) 1209-1212
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike 1960-1965
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike 1970-1977
Sri LankaPresident Chandrika Kumaratunga1994-present
Sweden Queen Christina (abdicated) 1632-1654
Sweden Queen Ulrica Eleonora (abdicated) 1718-1720
Tonga Queen Salote Tubou III 1918-1965
Turkey Prime Minister Tansu Çiller1993-1996



Did you know? For more than a billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a "month of blessing" marked by prayer, fasting, and charity.