Worldly Women

Elizabeth Tudor and Catherine the Great notwithstanding, “women in world affairs” was – until recently – an oxymoron. The last 100 years have changed all that. See if you can give the name and nationality of these mighty matrons of modern times.

1. She was the first woman in her country to address a national convention, write a syndicated column, work the lecture circuit and hold regular press conferences. “A woman is like a teabag,” she once said. “You never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” She fought to end child labor and race discrimination, establish a minimum wage and worker protections, and secure passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

2. She baffled the male establishment with her militancy in the pursuit of women’s suffrage, resorting to arson, window smashing, picture slashing and hunger strikes. At 54, she went to jail 12 times to win the right to vote. “We are here,” she told one court, “not because we are lawbreakers; we are here in our efforts to become lawmakers.”

3. Nicknamed the “Iron Lady with a Smile,” she was until recently the secular-leaning prime minister of an Islamic nation. She set her sights on a top government post as a child; at 17, she persuaded her bridegroom to take her surname. The author of nine books on economics, she was her country’s first female political leader and remains the opposition party’s parliamentary chief.

4. The daughter of a shopkeeper, she was a major catalyst behind such global political developments as the triumph of capitalism, the collapse of Soviet imperialism and the downsizing of government. A chemist who embarked on a second career in politics, she became her country’s longest-serving prime minister since 1827.

5. Born in Kiev and reared in Milwaukee, she went on to found a new nation – signing its declaration of independence. “We only want that which is given naturally to all people of the world, to be masters of our own fate,” she once said. She was an ambassador to Russia, a member of parliament, a labor and foreign minister and – at the age of 72 – her nation’s fourth prime minister.

6. A trained physician, she left doctoring to become the dominant figure in her nation’s political life, serving as prime minister intermittently over 15 years. A crusader for preventive medicine, she was the first woman to head the World Health Organization.

7. She won her country’s presidency promising “the hand that rocks the cradle can rock the system,” then proceeded to redefine the job’s primarily ceremonial status. A Catholic married to a Protestant, she embodies many of the conflicts of her homeland. She resigned the presidency to become a U.N. high commissioner. (For extra credit, name her presidential successor, also a woman.)

8. A Catholic from a Buddhist land, she des-cends from a long line of diplomats. Last year, this outspoken U.N. high commissioner chided the Security Council for its double standard in neglecting Africa while pumping billions of dollars into Kosovo. A few years ago, she criticized governments for “closing their doors in panic, while racist and xenophobic attitudes are dangerously on the rise.”

9. Daughter of a nationalist leader, she was groomed for politics and served four terms as her country’s prime minister. Gracious and soft-spoken, she could also be ruthless – jailing her political enemies, implementing grim measures such as large-scale sterilization, even ordering a civilian massacre. She was assassinated by her own bodyguards.




Contest Rules
1. We are looking for both the name and the nationality of the worldly woman described in each clue.

2. Send your answers by no later than June 15 to:

The Last Word
c/o USC Trojan Family Magazine
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2538

Submissions by fax (213-821-1101) and email are also welcome. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

3. We will award up to five $30 gift certificates from Borders Books and Music to contestants who correctly identify each forceful female. If more than five correct entries are received, winners will be drawn by lot.

Visit your neighborhood Borders Books and Music store for over 200,000 book, music and video titles in stock, plus special orders on most merchandise. Serving you throughout Southern California and across the nation.

Last Word Solutions - Spring 2000

Illustration by MATTHEW MARTIN

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