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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. has yet to break the presidential glass ceiling, 57 countries worldwide have been led by women since 1960.

The big picture: That year, former Sri Lankan prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the modern world's first female head of state. Finland and New Zealand have led the way in electing women since, with three women leaders each.

  • However, over a third of the 71 women leaders to take power since 1960 were "acting in a temporary capacity, or they replaced previously-elected leaders and were never re-elected in their own right," according to Statista.
  • There have never been more than 18 women heads of state in a single year, per Statista.
  • 15 women were heads of state in UN countries at the start of 2020, but that number has since dropped to 13.

Where things stand: There are few women at the top table among the world's most powerful nations. Germany's Angela Merkel is the only woman to lead a G20 country, while Ursula von der Leyen represents the EU as president of the European Commission.

  • China, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia and Saudi Arabia have not had a female leader in modern times, along with the U.S.
  • Canada and France have each seen one woman take power and hand it over within a year, while Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri was briefly acting president in South Africa.
  • Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey have each had one female leader, serving between 3 and 5 years.
  • The U.K. has been led by women twice, including 11 years under Margaret Thatcher.
  • Argentina has had two female presidents, both of whom succeeded their husbands.
  • India's only female prime minister, Indira Gandhi, served twice for a total of 16 years.
  • Angela Merkel's 14-year tenure makes her the longest-serving woman currently in office, and the longest-serving leader of any liberal democracy. She has said she'll step aside in 2021.

What to watch: Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s departure from the 2020 presidential race means the U.S. won't have a woman president before 2025 at the earliest, though if a woman is elected vice president that would itself be unprecedented.

Go deeper: Female protesters often lead to effective mass movements

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

The latest: Kyaw Moe Tun told Reuters later on Saturday, "I decided to fight back as long as I can."

1 hour ago - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," Axios co-founder Mike Allen interviews White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond.

  • Catch the full interview and much more on Sunday, February 28 at 6 pm. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.
2 hours ago - World

Italy tightens COVID restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants

Health workers prepare vaccine doses in Iseo, Italy. Photo: Stefano Nicoli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Italy on Saturday announced it was tightening restrictions in five of the country's 20 regions in an effort curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The announcement comes as health experts and scientists warn of the more transmissible coronavirus variants, per Reuters.