My Idols – Female Leaders Around the World (Part-1) : The Iron Lady of Israel

There have always been female rulers on earth. Even since 3000BCE, Egyptians Queens ruled the Egypt. Each of the world’s country has at least one woman leader. queenThese leaders inspire me in a way that was shown in the articles. Most of the leaders who are going to describe here will be those who had passed away many years ago.

“Being Seventy is not a sin”. Golda Meir, seventy-year-old lady who had been an Israel pioneer leader, despite of her age argued that it doesn’t mean that old people can’t do well in politics. Older people have more consideration on what should be done.

Woman like Golda is rarely found in the world. Golda Meir is one of the founders in building new land of Jewish, Israel, equally likely with the men although she was just a normal teacher and didn’t have very impressive education background. Once the Israel was established, again Golda Meir had to participate in struggling within the Arabs countries. Golda Meir’s soul and sprit upon her country and nation was so impressive.Just like most women leaders, she scarified most of her time for country. Scarifying time means both personal time and family time. She was known to be a dutiful person in spite of her bad health condition.

ImageGolda Meir is someone who is as soft as silk if it concerns with personal or concerns with persuasion of people towards her goal. However, she is as strong as an iron in dealing with political problems and who can convince her idea into public very well. She had been the Minister of Labor Union who had built a lot of homes for the people of Israel and made remarkable contribution in transportation. As a foreign minister, she had found many friends for Israel especially from Africa, Denmark, Sweden and Myanmar. She was famous for protecting her country, Israel, as a very good lawyer on the stage of United Nations. Lastly, even in her retired time, she had to accept the heavy responsibility as a Prime Minister again.

Unlike the other women leaders like Indira Gandhi, she was not born from high class family, or educated family, or rich family. Her life was so severe as she went along. She did everything she believed on her own hands. Actually, she was the one who born with the earth rather than heaven.

Golda Meir’s ancestors were Jewish who were born in Soviet. However, the Soviet treated the Jewish as the second class citizens so that they were placed in the second class in politics, education and businesses. America and Israel are the new major centers of the Jewish and Europe was decimated of its Jewish population. Surprisingly, almost all the prior leaders that gave-birth the Israel, including Golda, were born in Soviet. (online avaliable at:(



Just like the leader of Israel, Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir was born in Soviet. Her father, is a carpenter whose work was consistently under appreciated. Although her father is one of the carpenters who figured out the very first refrigerator, their family financial situation was completely a crisis. The very first years of Golda in her home town was full of terrible hardships that her family suffered, with poverty, cold hunger in fear (Golda Meir, My Life, 1975)

When she was about five, her father went to America, where the Jews called “the land of gold” and made his fortune there. Her mother, elder sister, younger sister and Golda, herself have to wait their father’s calling back. Actually, Golda had not only sisters but also brothers. Her four little boys fell ill while they are facing hardships in Kiev. Two of them died before they were a year old and two of them died within one month.

Golda Meir (My Life, 1975) states her life in hometown that “I suppose my recollection of being frightened is the clearest of all my memories.” There was a program to descend on Jews. The Jews-hater rabble that used to surge through towns brandishing knives and huge sticks, screaming “Christ Killers” as they looked for the Jews. Her father tried to barricade the entrance with boards of wood. Being a Jewish made Golda to be different from other children and the feelings of fear, discontentment  and responsiveness of being different and the belief that one have to make effective action personally if he or she wanted to survive, had been grown.During the establishing time of Israel, Golda convinced that these frightened experiences were the foundation of her willingness towards her vision in politics.

Golda Meir seemed as symbol of strength and authority. While she went to US to ask for Authoritytheir support of weapons during war period, President Nixon couldn’t resist her. He stated that “I remember so well when we sat down in the chairs and the photographers came in… and we were shaking hands and she was smiling and making the right friendly comments. Then, when the photographers left the room, she crossed her legs, lit a cigarette and said, ‘ Now, Mr. President, What are you going to do about those planes that we want and we need very much’….” Nixon seemed Golda as a man since then. (Burkett, The Iron Lady of Middle East, 2008)Golda and US President

There were several leadership abilities that I would found in Golda. These abilities are:

  • Servant Leadership (Golda was a good follower before she became a leader and I think this nourish her servant leadership)
  • Task-Oriented (If you read more details on her political actions, you will know that she has less concern in process implementation than the ideas)
  • Advocate Management (At that time, Israel’s political solutions were said to be coming from what they called “Golda’s Kitchen” rather than official cabinets. I found pros and cons for this. As Golda mainly discussed issues in person with one or two people unofficially, they can discuss in details for those information which should not be distribute to many people. However, this style had made Golda to bypass the second partner.)
  • Knowing the People (She had used them and knew their value. She never gave orders. The things she gave were just guidelines and requests which show her great deal of leadership.)

Golda Meir had to scarify her status as a housewife for Israel. She divorced with her husband, Morris. She got the genies of optimistic from her mother and that of stubborn from her father, again, political sprit from her elder sister, Sheyna. Some knowledge, she got from her husband, Morris. Golda said that she was so lucky because each and every of her relatives and friends in her life gave her something for her life.

The great Golda was not heritage by the male leader, for example : Indria Gandhi was heritage political aspect from her father. Golda Meir is not the one who is pretty because of her diamond earrings. She, herself, is the diamond. She was born to be a leader and then trained to be good.

As for my recommendation, Golda Meir is not a woman leader. She is the leader whose gender is woman.