Ladies First: Female Heads of State

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  • Catherine Samba-Panza — Central African Republic
  • Portia Simpson-Miller
  • Joyce Banda
  •  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  • Park Geun-Hye
  • Yingluck Shinawatra
  • Dilma Rousseff
  • Laura Chinchilla
  • Pratibha Patil
  • Gloria Macapgal-Arroyo
  • Chandrika Kumaratunga
  • Corazon Aquino
  • Violeta Chamorro
  • Janet Jagan

Catherine Samba-Panza — Central African Republic

BET.com honors these women who were the first people “woman-enough” to take the helm as leader of their respective nations. — Naeesa Aziz

Catherine Samba-Panza was elected as the interim president of the Central African Republic in January 2014 and tasked to calm the violent divide between Christian and Muslim militias. She previously served as the mayor of Bangui, the nation's capitol. (AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERG)

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