Thailand’s Prime Minister Joins Growing List of Female Elected Leaders

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Did you hear something shatter? Yingluck Shinawatra has just kicked through Thailand’s glass ceiling.

The Thai parliament officially confirmed her as Prime Minister on Aug. 5, nearly a month after her Pheu Thai Party won the national election in a landslide.

When she contested the July elections, Yingluck had only been politically active for one month and had never held office. Opponents frequently point out that her greatest political qualification seems to be her bloodline: she’s the youngest sister of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Well-aware of the power Thaksin’s name still carries, she didn’t exactly distance herself from him. “I am ready to fight according to the rules and I ask for the opportunity to prove myself,” she told her party back in May. “I ask for your trust as you used to trust my brother.”

Yingluck, 44, joins a growing list of women who have made it to the top. Last October voters in Brazil elected Dilma Rousseff to the nation’s top post, and that followed Australia’s election of Julia Gillard in June.

Check out TIME’s list of the Top 12 Female Leaders to learn more about Shinawatra’s political sisters who are doing it for themselves.

LIST: Top 12 Female Leaders

MORE: Yingluck Gets One Step Closer to Thailand’s Top Job

William Lee Adams is a staff writer at the London bureau of TIME. Find him on Twitter at @willyleeadams or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME‘s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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