First Female President


Japan’s central bank just appointed its first woman executive director in 138 years.

Tokiko Shimizu, a 55-year-old banker, was appointed as part of a sweeping reshuffle at the Bank of Japan, becoming one of a team of six executives responsible for running the central bank’s daily operations.

Women make up 47% of the central bank’s workforce but only 13% of senior managerial posts and just 20% of expert positions dealing with legal affairs, payment systems and bank notes, according to the bank’s own data.
Women have been represented on its policy board — the highest decision-making body responsible for setting monetary policy —since it was established in 1998. But only one of the board’s nine members is a woman, and the bank has never had a woman governor, unlike the Federal Reserve or European Central Bank.
Over the past decade, demographic challenges and the growing number of women in higher education has slowly begun to change Japan’s male-dominated management structures.
But while women account for 51% of the Japanese population, according to 2018 World Bank data, the country is ranked 121 out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum’s latest global gender gap index.
The country also ranks at the bottom among the G7 countries for gender equality, according to the WEF, despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to empower working women through a policy called “womenomics.”

Shimuzu started working for the Bank of Japan in 1987. She took up roles in the financial markets division and in foreign exchange operations, and was general manager for Europe and chief representative in London between 2016 and 2018.


Credit: CNN


66-year-old Salome Zurabishvili has emerged as the first female President of Georgia.

Ms Zurabishvili was born in Paris in the year 1952 after her parents fled Georgia in 1921 to escape the Bolshevik regime.

She attended some of the most prestigious French schools, such as Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), and began a master’s program at Columbia University in New York in the academic year of 1972–1973.


Zurabishvili abandoned her studies and joined the French foreign service in 1974, becoming a career diplomat with jobs in Rome, the United Nations, Brussels, Washington, etc. The first time Zurabishvili visited Georgia was in 1986 during a break from her job at the French Embassy in Washington.

In 2003, she was posted to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, as ambassador. The following year, President Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia nominated her as Minister of Foreign Affairs making her the first female to be appointed to this post in Georgia.

Political career

In November 2005 Zurabishvili set up the organization Salome Zurabishvili’s Movement. In January 2006 she announced the establishment of a new political party Georgia’s Way, criticizing the country’s “de facto one-party system.”

On 12 November 2010, Zurabishvili announced her withdrawal from the leadership of Georgia’s Way. She was succeeded by Kakha Seturidze.

After a two-year leave from politics, she publicly endorsed Georgian Dream ahead of the 2013 presidential elections. Shortly after, Georgia’s Central Election Commission refused to register her as a presidential candidate due to her dual Georgian-French citizenship.

In August 2018, Zurabishvili announced that she would participate in Georgian presidential elections.  Zurabishvili won the 2nd round of the 2018 Georgian presidential election, becoming President elect. She will be inaugurated as the first female President of Georgia on 16 December 2018.

Personal life

Salome Zurabishvili was married to the Georgian journalist Janri Kashia (1940–2012). She has two children, Ketevan and Teimuraz, from her first marriage.


Credit: Fab Woman

Ethiopian members of parliament have elected Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s first female president, making her Africa’s only female head of state.

(Photo: BBC)

President Sahle-Work, at her swearing-in ceremony, promised to work hard to make gender equality a reality in Ethiopia, and promote peace in the country:

“I urge you all, to uphold our peace, in the name of a mother, who is the first to suffer from the absence of peace.”

She was voted in after the unexpected resignation of her predecessor, Mulatu Teshome. President Sahle-Work has previously served as an ambassador for Ethiopia in Senegal and Djibouti. She has also held a number of UN positions, including head of peace-building in the Central African Republic and, most recently, the UN representative at the African Union.