Angela Merkel has been chancellor of Germany since 2005.
Hillary Clinton is likely, though not certain, to be the next president of the USA, if only because many people see her as the lesser of two evils when compared with the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Half the candidates vying to become the next Secretary General of the United Nations are women, including former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Theresa May has been sworn in as UK Prime Minister. (The BBC profiles her here.) and 14 other countries already have women as heads of government or elected heads of state .
The countries, women leaders and year they took office are:
* BANGLADESH: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (2009)
* CHILE: President Michelle Bachelet (2014)
* CROATIA: President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (2015)
* GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel (2005)
* LIBERIA: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2006)
* LITHUANIA: President Dalia Grybauskaite (2009)
* MALTA: President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (2014)
* MARSHALL ISLANDS: President Hilda Heine (2016)
* MAURITIUS: President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (2015)
* NAMIBIA: Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (2015)
* NEPAL: President Bidhya Devi Bhandari (2015)
* NORWAY: Prime Minister Erna Solberg (2013)
* POLAND: Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (2015)
* SOUTH KOREA: President Park Geun-hye (2013)
* TAIWAN: President Tsai Ing-wen (2016)
Does being female make a difference to what they do and how they do it?
My answer to that is probably, everyone brings a different perspective to a role and gender would have some influence on the difference.
If women ruled the world some things would change but a female perspective in itself wouldn’t mean better or worse.
The world has and has had good and bad leaders and it will continue to have them regardless of whether they’re men or women.
But I think the world would be a better place if people were regarded as people, accepted and respected for what we have in common and differences like gender and race were immaterial.