Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher is the most influential woman of the past 200 years, according to a survey of Britons published on Tuesday which showed men place a higher value on political influence than women do.
Thatcher, who was Britain’s first – and, so far, only – prime minister, led her Conservative party to three election victories, governing from 1979 to 1990, the longest continuous term in office for a British premier in over 150 years. She died in April 2013.
Thatcher’s policies on trade unions, privatization and the Falklands war left Britain bitterly divided over her legacy, and the survey by British pensions and insurance firm Scottish Widows highlighted the depth of her influence in the country.
With 28 per cent of the vote, Thatcher beat scientist Marie Curie into second place with 24 per cent. They were followed by the Queen with 18 per cent, Diana, princess of Wales with 17 per cent and women’s rights campaigner Emmeline Pankhurst with 16 per cent.
Nun Mother Teresa, British nurse Florence Nightingale, Queen Victoria, U.S. civil rights activist Rosa Parks and U.S. television host Oprah Winfrey made up the rest of the top 10 most influential women.
The results show that royal women are considered more influential than innovators, scientists and politicians, Scottish Widows said.
Scottish Widows, founded in 1815 to support women widowed in the Napoleonic Wars, sought to uncover the factors that people perceive make a women influential.