I am not counting Dynasties. If first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had a son, that person would have become PM too. I am also counting the executive head and not the ceremonial one. Like the President of India is a ceremonial head. So how many “self-made” and non-dynastic women have been elected as heads of states of the world’s largest populations?
1. China = NONE (Empress Dowager Cixi who died in 1908, was the closest to controlling China)
2. India = NONE (Indira Gandhi was a dynast)
3. America = NONE (Kamla Harris could become President if Joe Biden retires on health grounds, but that would be an elevation and not a proper election)
4. Indonesia = NONE (Megawati Sukarnoputri was a dynast)
5. Pakistan = NONE (Benazir Bhutto was a dynast)
6. Brazil = Dilma Rousseff (Highest debut on this list, but interestingly she was impeached)
7. Nigeria = NONE
8. Bangladesh = NONE (Both Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina were dynasts)
9. Russia = NONE
10. Mexico = NONE
11.Japan = NONE
12. Ethiopia = NONE
13. Philippines = Corazon Aquino (Her husband was a Senator-Governor, so she did not inherit the post of President from him. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was a dynast.)
14. Egypt = NONE
15. Vietnam = NONE
16. DR Congo = NONE
17. Iran = NONE
18. Turkey = NONE
19. Germany = Angela Merkel (Probably the most powerful in this list considering she ruled for 15+ years)
20. France = NONE (Strange, considering the fact that Europe has had so many women leaders)
If you look at the largest economies, then UK is the best performing with Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.
But overall we really have a very long way to go.