Image Credit: Tsai Ing-wen, the first female president of Taiwan. 

March is Women’s History Month, and we are highlighting global female success in a series of posts. Asia is our third in the series, after U.S. American women, and South American women.

How much do you know about successful women in Asia? Asia is a diverse continent where women have ruled, been honored, and at times been restricted by ideology, and social structures. Several Asian countries have had female presidents. Today, women continue to successfully make their mark in growing economies, governments, and international outreach programs.

  1. In South East Asia women account for 32% of the region’s tech sector workforce, compared to 28% on average around the globe.
  2. Indira Gandhi, daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru- India’s first Prime Minister, was sworn in as India’s first female Prime Minister on January 24, 1966.
  3. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, was named by Forbes as one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2020.
  4. Her Excellency Tsai Ing-Wen, the first female president of Taiwan, is the only Asian woman to lead a nation without being related to a former male political figure or head of state.
  5. In Mongolia, a law requires political parties to have a minimum of  30 percent women among their candidates.
  6.  In India the number of drinking water projects in areas with women-led councils is 62 per cent higher than in those with men-led councils
  7. Sri Lanka’s Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the world’s first female prime minister in 1980.
  8. At just 30 years old, Soyeon Yi of South Korea beat out some 36,000 applicants to become the first Korean in space.
  9. Natsuko Higuchi (pen name: Ichiyo Higuchi) was a prominent female writer during the Meiji period and her portrait is on the face of the 10,000 Japanese yen bill. 
  10. The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle is an organization that raises private capital to rapidly respond to threats and challenges facing women in Asia.

Answer key: (She became Prime Minister in 1960)  8.9.F (Her portrait is on the face of the 5,000 Yen bill)  10.T

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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