This Happened—November 27: Helen Clark Shatters A Glass Ceiling
Helen Clark became the first elected female Prime Minister of New Zealand in 1999.
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Who is Helen Clark?
On Nov. 27, 1999, Helen Clark became the 37th prime minister of New Zealand, and the first woman to ever be elected to that office. She would go on to serve three terms as prime minister until 2008. Since leaving office, Clark has served in the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
What is Helen Clark’s background?
Helen Clark was born on a farm, leading her to later take an interest in rural political behavior and representation. She quickly became an active member of the New Zealand Labour Party, acting first as a member of the party’s national executive committee, then making a successful bid to become a member of parliament in 1981. In 1990 she became the leader of the opposition party, where she suffered from a low personal approval rating, but was able to turn things around through a series of debates.