Globally, the political empowerment of women was one of the defining characteristics of the 20th century. Women fought for and gained the right to vote in most countries in the 20th century and have increasingly run for, and been elected to, office. In addition to holding approximately 20% of all parliamentary seats worldwide, women have been elected as leaders of several major world powers. Women have exercised their voting power to raise issues in the policy arena. And, the United Nations (UN) has merged four gender entities into a newly created entity called UN Women, headed by an Under Secretary-General to ensure its efforts in this arena are a high priority.  This class examines the current status of women in key political leadership positions globally, the barriers that women have faced as they strive for these positions, how these women have influenced policy debates, and how their work has changed perceptions of women in leadership.