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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

Institutionalizing Trumpism

Protesters supporting Donald Trump march down Fifth Avenue in March. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

Republican officials are rendering an unequivocal verdict: They want to cement former President Trump's politics and policies into the foundation of the GOP for many years to come.

Why it matters: The debate over Trump's post-election hold on the GOP is over — it has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Epic's long game against Apple

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Epic's Apple lawsuit is costing the company dearly, but the game developer has its eye on a valuable long-term goal: prying tomorrow's virtual worlds loose from the grip of app store proprietors like Apple.

Between the lines: Epic isn't spending a fortune in legal fees and foregoing a ton of revenue just to shave some costs off in-app purchases on today's phones. Rather, it's planning for a future of creating virtual universes via augmented and virtual reality — without having to send a big chunk of their economies to Apple or Google.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact.

Why it matters: The U.S. aims to at least partially vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4, a move expected to accelerate the current drop of new infections here. But variants are the wild card, and in a global pandemic where only about 8% of all people have received one dose, the virus will continue mutating unabated.