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Tawakkol Karman

by Veronica Strong-Boag

Tawakkol (spelling varies) Karman was born into a prominent political family in Yemen and is married and the mother of three children. She has an undergraduate degree in commerce and a graduate degree in political science. Karman is a prominent Yemini human rights activist, journalist, and co-founder of Women Journalists without Chains (2005).

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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

by Veronica Strong-Boag

Ellen Johnson was born to an ethnically mixed family in difficult circumstances in Monrovia. She studied economics and accounting at the College of West Africa and completed a Master of Public Administration at Harvard in 1971. She married at age 17 and has four sons. In the 1970s she worked for the Liberian government in a period of great political turbulence.

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Margaret Thatcher

by Veronica Strong-Boag

In 2011, the film, “The Iron Lady,” directed and written by and starring a woman, reignited longstanding controversy about Britain’s first female prime minister. Once again feminists wondered what to make of her and the social and print media went wild with debate.

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Kim Campbell

by Genevieve LeBaron

Canada’s first and only female prime minister, in office for only four months (June 25, 1993 to November 4, 1993), Kim Campbell has long been a subject of feminist debates about representation, gender, and politics in Canada. She was also its first female Minister of Justice, Attorney General, and Minister of National Defence, in the latter case a first in NATO as well. As the first woman to have held office in all three levels of government (municipal, provincial, and federal), Campbell is often heralded as trailblazer for women. When Campbell appeared before her volunteers after being elected leader of the Conservative Party, they started chanting “Four more years!” Campbell shook her head and yelled “Ten more years!”—reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher’s promise to take the British Conservative Party into the next millennium.

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Hilary Rodham Clinton

by Genevieve LeBaron

In the late 1990s, many in the United States loved to hate then First Lady Hillary Clinton. Indeed, after her husband Bill had been president for four years, scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote in 1996 that “Hillary-hating has become one of those national pastimes which unite the elite and the lumpen.” The same year, historian Garry Wills noted, “Hillary Hate is a large-scale psychic phenomenon. At the Republican convention there was a dismemberment doll on sale. For twenty dollars you could buy a rag-doll Hillary with arms and legs made to tear off and throw on the floor” (as quoted in Kohrs 1998: 1). Talk shows were full of speculation about Clinton’s purported lesbianism and drug use andThe Nation declared, early in her husband’s presidency, that the country had a “quasi-pornographic obsession” with Hillary (17 May 1993). Clinton’s U.S. Senate election campaigns in 2000 and 2006 brought little relief from the onslaught.

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Prisoners and the Right to Vote in the United States

by Genevieve LeBaron

The United States bars nearly 5.3 million American citizens from the vote on the grounds that they committed a crime: only 25% are in prison or jail and 75% are either on probation or parole or have completed their sentences (ACLU 2006: 3). Indeed, while it may not come as a surprise that 48 states and the District of Columbia prohibit inmates from voting while incarcerated for a felony offense, lesser known is that even after the terms of punishment expires, some states deny the right to vote for a period ranging from a number of years to the rest of one’s life.

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