How are the U.S./Japan/Sweden different from U.K./China/Norway?

I took a list of the top 30 economies in the world, and sorted them by one variable. 

These countries were in one group: United States, Japan, Italy, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Austria, South Africa, Iran, and Thailand. (15)

These countries were in the other: China, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, India, Australia, South Korea, Turkey, Indonesia, Switzerland, Poland, Norway, and Argentina. (15)

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On what variable were they sorted?

Find out below the fold…

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Notes:

The list is of appointed or elected female heads of state/government. Monarchs are not included; I also excluded governors general appointed by a monarch (to a purely ceremonial role).

I realize that in some countries, the head of state or head of government is not actually the chief executive of the country, e.g. in France the President appoints the PM. Still, it’s a useful metric/proxy.

Switzerland leads “G30” countries with 6 female heads of state, despite female suffrage only having been granted in 1971, with a caveat that the Swiss have multiple heads of state at the same time, in their Federal Council system. 19% of Swiss heads of state since 1971 have been female. Comparatively, women in the United States have been voting since 1920.

Sources:

List of Female Heads of State

List of Female Heads of Gov’t

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