Black women have always been underrated in the field of politics. Many people think that they are not good at handling issues of a country just because they lack the knowledge and may lose their strength very soon. But that’s not always true, as there are many Black women who have crossed all such boundaries and have set new examples of women in power.
Born on October 29, 1938, in Monrovia, Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a Liberian politician who is serving her country for around eleven years. Sirleaf is the very first Black female to be elected as the head of state in Africa and proudly became the first Black female president of Liberia. She did her graduation from College of West Africa at Monrovia and then got her Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the College of Madison Business. Later on, she completed her Masters of Public Administration degree from Harvard University, USA.
After completing her formal education, Ellen Sirleaf returned to Liberia and served as the Assistant Minister of Finance in the President William Tolbert’s administration. It was in 1985 when a military coup sent her to an exile, but she managed to return and spoke out against the tough military regime. Later on, she was deliberately forced to leave the country. She then travelled to Washington D.C. and once again returned to Liberia in 1997 and started working as an economist for the Citibank and World Bank in Africa.
Johnson Sirleaf, in 1990, supported Charles Taylor’s bloody rebellion against the President Samuel Doe which made her unsuccessful in the presidential elections against Taylor in 1997. After this, Sirleaf was subsequently bitter charged with treason by Taylor. But this didn’t break her aim and hopes, and in 2005, Johnson Sirleaf started a campaign against President Taylor and became the leader of the Unity Party. The same year, economic development took place that ended corruption and civil war in Liberia and elected Johnson Sirleaf as the President of the country. In 2006, Johnson Sirleaf, also popularly known as “Iron Lady”, became the first Black female president in the entire world and also Africa’s first female head of state. The same year, President Johnson Sirleaf submitted a special request to the Nigerian government for the extradition of Taylor and after five years received a Noble Peace Prize along with Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman for their struggle and participation in building peace and prosperity.