miriam santiago
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Research shows that when women are empowered as political leaders, countries often experience higher standards of living with positive developments in education, infrastructure, and health care.

Philippines

Miriam Defensor Santiago

Miriam Defensor-Santiago served the Philippines judicial, executive, and legislative system throughout her career as a lawyer and judge. She then transitioned to the world of politics, where she joined the Senate. Known as the “Iron Lady of Asia,” she stood her ground for issues like corruption and defence agreements, and never backed down from an argument.

Santiago had a global impact as she flew to Geneva, Switzerland and served as legal officer of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and also worked as a legal consultant to the Philippines Embassy in Washington D.C. She was the first Filipino and the first Asian from a developing country to be elected as judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2011. Due to illness, she declined the offer- which over time led to her unfortunate death in 2016.

She was named Laureate of the Asian Novel Price for Government Service, and in 2018 was granted the Quezon Service Cross- the highest award the Republic grants (which her husband accepted on her behalf).

Even today, she is remembered as a bold leader, a charismatic personality, and a woman of power. One that was always able to call on propaganda, lies, and corruption from politicians- which is what people admired her most for.

Artist: Alina Fedotova, from Russia

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