Thursday, Apr. 21, 2011

Dilma Rousseff

It's not easy being the first woman to govern your country. Beyond the honor it signifies, there are still prejudices and stereotypes to confront. Nor is it easy to govern an emerging nation: when societies begin to see the light of development at the end of the tunnel, there is a surge of optimism and enthusiasm, but the challenges become more complex and the citizenry more demanding. It's harder still to govern a country as large and globally relevant as Brazil.

Dilma Rousseff, 63, has all of this ahead of her. Brazil is living a unique moment in its history, one of great opportunity, which requires a leader with solid experience and firm ideals. Dilma offers precisely that virtuous combination of wisdom and conviction that her country needs. Brazil's new President is a courageous fighter who stood up to its former military dictatorship and has dedicated her life to building a democratic alternative for development, social equality and women's rights.

Bachelet is the former President of Chile and the first executive director of U.N. Women