CHOICE OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC TITLE 2015
Do women national leaders represent a breakthrough for the women’s movement, or is women’s leadership weaker than the numbers imply? This unique book, written by an experienced politician and academic, is the first to provide a comprehensive overview of how and why women in 53 countries rose to the top in the years since World War II. Packed with fascinating case studies detailing the rise to power of all 73 female presidents and prime ministers from around the world, from 1960 (when the first was elected) to 2010, the motives, achievements and life stories of the female top leaders, including findings from interviews carried out by the author, provide a nuanced picture of women in power. The book will have wide international appeal to students, academics, government officials, women’s rights activists and political activists, as well as anyone interested in international affairs, politics, social issues, gender and equality.
Torild Skard is a senior researcher in women’s studies at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo, specialising in women in politics. A pioneer in the women’s movement nationally and internationally, she was formerly an MP and the first woman president of the Norwegian Upper House. She has also been director for the Status of Women in UNESCO Paris, regional director in UNICEF West and Central Africa and director general in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has written numerous books and articles on women’s issues, particularly women in politics, and travels widely, studying and promoting the status of women.
Breakthrough on several continents;
Women in politics;
Western industrial countries I;
‘Roaring she-tigers’ in South Asia;
Equilibrists in East Asia;
Machism, marianism, modernism in Latin America;
Lopsided democracies in the Caribbean;
‘Big Chiefs’ in sub-Saharan Africa;
Eastern Bloc from communism to capitalism;
Western industrial countries II;
Where women rose to the top;
When women made it.
"Women of Power is a valuable resource to those who seek an insight into the struggle women have faced in becoming leaders in their own right." LSE Review of Books
"From the outset, it is clear that this book, in its study of the transformative potential of women leaders, has an intrinsic power to transform." The Tribune
“The empirical data in Power of Women inspire further research on women, politics and power: To what extent do women top leaders represent a new type of politician, new policies and new methods of exerting political power? With the slow increase in the number of female prime ministers and presidents (50/50 in 200 years) it will continue to be of interest to study how women rise to the top and which factors play a role, for a long time to come ... 'Power of Women' will remain a great work within the study of female political leadership and politics.” translation from review in Internasjonal Politikk
"This fascinating book on Women of Power is the first comprehensive overview of how and why women made it to the top of political leadership in the years after World War II till 2010." Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights
"This is the essential reference on women in power, covering a half-century of women at the political helm of democracies as both presidents and prime ministers." Choice
“Skard describes the development of feminist breakthroughs in top leadership roles…she argues female subordination is a cultural product that can be subject to change with a certain amount of political will. The book represents an excellent academic source for both students of gender studies and international relations.” Croation International Relations Review.
"Skard takes on an enormously ambitious project in her recent book. Organized both chronologically and geographically, Skard includes over 70 leaders in 50 countries, and uncovers a variety of paths to power, regional patterns and variation, and fascinating individual stories." New Books in Political Science
"It is important that we learn lessons from those who went before" Mary Robinson, President of Ireland 1990 - 1997
"A compelling major work on powerful women in international politics in our time... recommended as a comprehensive and exciting work in global woman`s studies during the last 50 years." Professor Dr Öyvind Foss, Academy of Sciences/University of Stavanger, Norway