The opinion that women have nothing to do in politics has become stereotyped. Men believe that the weaker sex should sit at home and raise children. Great achievements must be left to the second half, more powerful. Nevertheless, history regularly refutes this thesis. It turns out that for hundreds of centuries women regularly came to power, exerting at times a considerable influence on the destinies of states.
And it does not matter that politics is considered a game without rules, that the strongest survive here. “Weak” women can show steel will, faithfulness to principles, foresight and cunning. We are not surprised today by women premieres, women chancellors and women presidents. But here are the names of those ladies who left the most significant mark in politics, skillfully showing themselves in public office.
In 51 BC. Pharaoh Ptolemy XII died. According to his will, the power in the country passed to his daughter Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIV. The boy at that time was only 9 years old, for his sister immediately married in order to have the right to reign. In history, Cleopatra has remained, as a beautiful, educated and intelligent woman. She managed to become a real legend. Cleopatra knew how to charm people, which helped her in the struggle for power. She managed to persuade Gaius Julius Caesar to return her throne, in return, giving the Roman his love. Soon Caesar would be killed, and Cleopatra chose Mark Antony as her new patron and lover. The love of this woman was next to her struggle for power. The quiet reign was hampered by constant intrigues in her entourage. The Emperor Octavian persuaded Cleopatra to abdicate his throne, promising to preserve the rights of her children. However, the proud queen refused. Speaking with her beloved against Rome, she lost the fight. Antony committed suicide, an inconsolable widow died of a bite brought to her servants by a snake. Several centuries have passed, but Cleopatra remains a legendary politician. The woman mixed her feelings and relations of powerful powers, she fought for her throne and freedom of her country, failing. This made her image so tragic and memorable.
This great princess (in Elena’s baptism) ruled Kievan Rus after her husband’s death, Prince Igor Rurikovich, was lost. Olga herself was born either from the Pskov region, from an ignorant Varangian family, or from a rich Slavic family. The chronicle says that in 945 Prince Igor died, charging a tribute from the Drevlyans. His son, Svyatoslav, at the time was just three years old. So the actual ruler of Kievan Rus was Olga. She was famous for her cruelty. So, for the death of her husband the princess took revenge on the Drevlyans four times, by force suppressing any attempts at resistance. Having come to power, Olga pursued a policy of strengthening the power of Kiev among the Slavic tribes. The ruler laid the foundation for the stone town planning in Russia. In 947, the ruler replaced the former polyudye with an established tribute to the Drevlyans and Novgorodians – the cemeteries were created. There the collectors stopped and collected tribute. According to the chronicles in 957, Princess Olga was baptized in Constantinople. As a result, she is revered as a saint. After all, she became the first Russian ruler to accept Christianity, even before the Baptism of Rus. The cemeteries created by her became the basis for the first temples. Olga died in 969 and was buried according to the Christian rite. In the annals preserved her image, as the forerunners of Christianity in Russia, she shone like the moon in the night among the Gentiles.
In 1178, at the age of 12, Tamara was crowned as a co-ruler of her father, George III. The tsar did not have an heir and the situation in the country was heated. After the death of the ruler, Tamar was crowned again, in 1184. First of all, the tsarina began to establish order in the church life and in the government of the country. The bureaucrats and bishops who abused their position were dismissed, the fate of the peasants was alleviated, duties from the church were removed. Tamara went down in history as a wise, beautiful woman.She was hardworking and religious. With her motto the queen chose the words: “I am the father of the wicked and judge widows.” She managed to bring peace inside the country, for her reign there was not a single instance of corporal punishment or the death penalty. Together with her husbands Tamara led an active offensive foreign policy, winning in wars. Providing domination of the country in Asia Minor, Tamara gathered at her court a circle of writers who developed the Georgian language. Contemporaries wrote about the queen laudatory odes, extolling her talents. After Tamara’s death in 1209-1213, the local church ranked her as a saint.
Joan of Arc.
This woman managed to become the national heroine of France, saving the country from conquest. The Orleans maiden was born in 1412 in the village of Domremi, in the northeast of France. At 13, the girl heard the voices of the saints, and then she saw them. They told Jeanne that she was destined to remove the siege from the city of Orleans, to elevate to the throne of the king and expel the invaders from the territory of the country. At the age of 17 she went to perform the intended. The girl was able to convince the Dauphin that she had been sent to him by the heavens. As a result, Charles VII gave her troops and appointed commander-in-chief. Joan of Arc quickly defeated the British at Orleans, which seemed impossible. After a series of victories, Charles VII was crowned in Reims in the presence of the Maid of Orleans. The southwest of France was liberated from the invaders. The course of the hundred-year war has completely changed. In 1430 Joan of Arc fell into captivity to the British. The fictitious court accused the girl of witchcraft and on May 30, 1431, she was burned at the stake. Despite a short life, Joan of Arc did much. Even her death did not help the British – France rallied and in 1453 finally expelled the invaders, ending the Hundred Years War. Subsequently, Joan of Arc was officially justified, becoming one of the most significant characters in the history of the country.
Anastasia Lisovskaya was born in Rogatin in 1506. Her fate was sad and quite ordinary until that time. The Tatars kidnapped the girl and sold the slave to the Turks. So Anastasia was in the harem to Prince Suleiman. In 1520 he entered the throne, and the sultan made his beloved wife and even lived with her in a monogamous marriage, which became a unique event for the dynasty of the Osmanians. Roksolana was named Hurrem, which means “cheerful”. Through intrigue, she got rid of her rivals, essentially becoming a sultan’s co-ruler. Sam Suleiman spent most of his time in military campaigns, the country was ruled by his wife, completely immersed in public affairs. Historians remember that Roksolana was an educated person, she accepted ambassadors, responded to letters from other rulers, patronized the arts. The woman appeared on an open-face society, however, the figures of Islam considered her orthodox Muslim. Thanks to Roksolana, new mosques have appeared in Istanbul. The woman gave birth to the Sultan 6 children, her son Selim, thanks to the intrigues of his mother, became heir to the throne. About Roksolana written a lot of novels, filmed television movies, staged plays and written music. A cunning female politician managed to achieve unprecedented influence in a conservative state.
It so happened that the golden age in the history of England is associated with a woman politician. Elizabeth became the last representative of the Tudor dynasty on the throne of the country. She was born in 1558, being crowned at the age of 25 years. By the time Elizabeth decided never to marry, because the behavior of her father forced the girl to treat the men in a peculiar way. So she eventually went down in history as a virgin queen. Despite her detachment from the struggle for power, Elizabeth ascended the throne – the rest of the heirs died. At that time it was a woman in her prime, looking younger than her years and not exhausted by numerous births and miscarriages. One of the first decrees of the new queen was the “Uniformity Act”, which reconciled Catholics and Protestants and helped to avoid a civil war.Under Elizabeth, England was finally turned into a great sea power. With the blessing of the Queen, English pirates robbed Spanish ships. England founded its first colony in North America. During the reign of Elizabeth the Unbeaten Armada was defeated. The Queen has established close relations with Russia, this is the only woman with whom Ivan the Terrible corresponded. By the decree of Elizabeth, the East India Company was created, which helped colonize India and the eastern countries. The Queen patronized the arts, with her creating Bacon and Shakespeare, the Royal Troupe was created. Elizabeth the First died in 1603, remaining in the history of England the greatest ruler.
Catherine the Great.
The nativity of Sofia Frederick Augusta Anhalt-Zerbstskaya was born in 1729. At the age of 15 she was betrothed to the heir of the Russian throne, Peter Fedorovich, who was nephew of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. Despite its origin, Catherine actively opposed the pro-Prussian course of her husband, Emperor Peter III. In 1762, a coup d’etat led by Catherine’s lover, Count Orlov, was carried out. Peter III was arrested and soon died. So his wife was proclaimed empress Catherine II. She remained in the history of the country the greatest ruler. Thanks to this outstanding woman, Russia has become an important power. The country pursued a policy of enlightened absolutism. Catherine herself was an educated and intelligent woman, corresponded with Voltaire, actively participated in all matters. Under this empress, the country received a million new citizens, Poland, Lithuania, the Crimea, and Courland joined the country. Russia finally confirmed its influence on the Black Sea. The army doubled, and state revenues quadrupled. Domestic policy played an important role. So, in the country there were private printing houses, in 1783 the Academy of Russian Literature was founded, the first book store was opened, the population began to receive medical help. The country grew culturally, science and national literature made a sharp leap. Catherine II died in 1796. For 34 years in power, she managed to make Russia a great and influential power.
This woman was born in 1917. She twice held the post of prime minister, in 1966-1977 and 1980-1984. This wise politician was nicknamed the conscience of the nation. Indira was the only daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the leader of the nation and the first prime minister of the country. After the death of his father, Indira got into parliament from his party, the Indian National Congress. After the death of Lala Shastri, the country’s second prime minister, Indira Gandhi heads the party and becomes head of state. After the split of the INC, the woman headed an independent party, having defeated her in the elections in 1971 under the slogan of combating poverty. During the years of Indira Gandhi’s rule, she pursued a policy of rapprochement with the USSR, the banks were nationalized, and industry developed at an accelerated pace. The first nuclear power plant was launched in Maharasht. In agriculture, under Gandhi, the “green revolution” was realized – the country got rid of the need to procure food. Thanks to the women-politics, the intensity of interreligious conflicts decreased, but it also had to resort to unpopular measures – pressure on the opposition, forced sterilization of the population. Due to political scandal, Indira lost power, soon after returning to her post. The second term of the prime minister’s administration was overshadowed by her confrontation with the Sikh people. Those managed to take revenge on their offender – on October 31, 1984 Indira Gandhi was killed by her own bodyguards.
This person has become a classic woman politician, serving for many an ideal. Margaret was born in 1925. She was educated chemist, and then a lawyer. At 34, a woman goes to parliament, and in 1970 she becomes Minister of Education and Science.In 1975, Thatcher became the leader of the Conservative Party, this is the first time in the history of the country when one of the main parties was headed by a woman. After winning the 1979 election, Thatcher became prime minister. At her post, the woman faced many problems. She believed that Britain was in decline. So, in the social field, in health care and education, there was a clear division into people of the first and second grade. Voters did not appreciate the rise in unemployment with stagnation in the economy, but in 1982 the country waged a victorious war in the Falklands. The growth of the economy allowed Thatcher to be re-elected in both 1983 and 1987. However, a strict tax policy and views on the place of England in the European Union did not find understanding in their own party. As a result, in 1990 Margaret Thatcher resigned her post. Its tough line with regard to the European Union put England on the brink of international isolation. After that Thatcher characterized an authoritarian style that did not in any way correspond to the classic skillful and quirky British diplomacy. However, the manner of doing business of an iron lady is envious today, trying to imitate. Margaret Thatcher led a sharp criticism of the Soviet regime, embodying a number of conservative measures, which became part of its policy, “Thatcherism.” A classic manifestation of her character was the strike of miners in 1984-1985. Thatcher foresaw this situation, having prepared for it. Coal reserves were accumulated, and a possible import of fuel into the country was prepared. When the strike began, the authorities held a firm stand. 11 million British, trade union members, hated the premier for not wanting to negotiate. However, the iron lady did not flinch, and the strikers were forced to return to work.
This woman is the latest and classic example of how difficult the ladies are in modern and “male” politics. She managed to become the first in modern history head of the government of a conservative Muslim country. Benazir was born in Karachi in 1953, from childhood she was given freedom unthinkable for Pakistan – they allowed not wearing a veil, they gave an opportunity to get a good education. Benazir returned from America to the country in 1977, her father by that time had time to visit both the president and the prime minister. It was planned that the woman would become a diplomat, but she decided to help her father in his political career. During the coup the family was arrested. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed, and Benazir herself went into exile. In 1988, the People’s Party of Pakistan led by Bhutto won, she herself became prime minister, largely due to the popularity of her father in the country. The Prime Minister was able to increase spending on health and education, but in the scandal with bribes from her husband, the Minister of Finance, was forced to leave her post. In 1993, Benazir Bhutto won again in the elections. The woman promised to defeat corruption and poverty. Again, the situation repeated. Illiteracy was reduced by one third, poliomyelitis was finally defeated, water and electricity appeared in the villages. Investments increased manyfold, the economy of the country grew rapidly. In 1996, the woman was named the most popular politician of the year, she was awarded the honorary doctorate of Oxford. However, corruption flourished even more in the country. After her resignation and emigration, Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan. She was not afraid of the threats of radicals from Al Qaeda and the Taliban to kill her. In December 2007, a brave woman committed two attempts, the second became fatal. The murder of the former prime minister shocked the world public. Even the UN Security Council adopted a special resolution condemning the murder of a prominent politician.