Woman Presidential Candidates 1870-1990

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership





This is a list of the women who stood as
candidates for the post of President.
Those who won can be seen at Female Presidents

1872 and 1892 Victoria Chaflin Woodhull, United States of America
Candidate for The Equal Rights Party in a number of States. She lived (1838-1927).

1884 and 1888 Belva Ann Bennet McNall Lockwood, United States of America
Candidate for National Equal Rights Party. In 1878 she was the first female attorney to practice before the supreme court. Her running mate in 1884 was Marietta Lizzie Bell Stow. She lived (1830-1917).

1926 Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė, Lithuania

Chaired the first sitting of the Constituent Assembly in 1920, pending the election of a President the same day. 5 of the 149 members of the Assembly were women. As presidential candidate she received one vote. She was writer and journalist and lived (1861-1943).

1926 Felicija Bortkevičienė-Povickaitė, Lithuania
One of the first women in the Lithuanian Parliament and publisher. She received just one vote. She lived (1873-1945)

1928 Angélica Mendoza, Argentina

Nominal candidate for the Partido Comunista Obrero, but women only got suffrage and permission to stand for elections in 1947/52.

1930 Prudencia Ayala, El Salvador

Registered as a presidential candidate for the Unionista Party but was not allowed to run. Women got the right to vote in 1939. (d. 1936).

1951 Dr. Ludovica Hainisch-Marchet, Austria
Independent candidate. She finished last of the 8 candidates with 0,05 pct. of the votes.  

1960 Yim Yong Shin,South-Korea

In 1954 she had been candidate for the post of vice-President for a small leftwing party. University President.

1960 Park Soon Chon, South-Korea  

Candidate of Greenback Party.

1962 Sumitra Devi, India  

Member of the Bihar Assembly 1952 and the first female Cabinet Minister in the state in 1963. Her daughter-in-law, Meira Kumar, became the first female speaker of the Lok Sabha in 2009. She lived (1921-2001).

1963 Fatima Jinnah, Pakistan

Sister, secretary and political advisor of the "father" of Pakistan, Muhamad Ali Jinnah. She had widespread popular support but lost the elections. Lived (1894-1965)  

1964 Senator Margaret Chase Smith, United States of America
The first US woman to have her name placed in nomination for President by a major party. She received Republican primary votes in New Hampshire, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, and Oregon, among
others, and had twenty-seven first ballot votes at the Republican National Convention. She removed herself from
contention after the first ballot. Republican member of the House of Representatives 1940-49 and Senator 1949-73 and Chairperson of the Republican Conference in the Congress 1967-72. She lived (1897-1995).

1967 Manohara Holkar, India

Among eight candidates, she did not get a single vote.

1968 Charlene Mitchell , USA

Candidate of the Communist Party with Michael Zagarell as her running mate. 

1969 Maharani Gurcharan Kaur, India  

Also known as Furcharan Kaur, she was widow of the 7th Raja-i-Rajgan of Jind 1887-1911 and  then Maharajah 1911-48, Sir Ranbir Singh Rajendra Bahadur (1878-1948) and mother of Maharaja Rajbir Singh Rajendra Bahadur (1918-?) and two daughters. She finished fifth among 15 candidates with 940 votes.

1972 Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm, United States of America
First African American woman to seek a major party’s nomination for President. She campaigned throughout the country and was on the ballot in twelve primaries in what was largely an educational campaign. She received 151.25 delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention. Member the first African American woman of  the New York state legislature from 1964-68 and of the House of Representatives 1969-83. She lived (1924-2005).

1972 Patsy Takamoto Mink, United States of America
Member of the Territory House of Representatives of Hawaii 1956-58, the territory Senate 1959 and the State Senate 1962-64. Member of the US House of Representatives 1965-77 and 1990-2002. 1983-85 Chairperson of the Honolulu City Council. She ran as an anti-war candidate in the 1972 Oregon Democratic presidential primary, winning two percent of the votes, but withdrew her candidature before the convention. She lived (1927-2002).  

1972 Bella Savitzky Abzug, United States of America

Stood as a candidate for the Democratic nomination as Presidential candidate but withdrew from the race before the party convent. She lived (1920-98).  

1972 Linda J. Osteen Jenhess, United States of America
Candidate for the Socialist Worker’s Party.  

1974, 1981, 1988, 1995, 2002 and 2007 Arlette Laguiller, France
The leader of The United Workers Party since 1979 always finished way behind the other contesters.  

1974 María Eugenia Rojas Correa de Moreno-Díaz, Colombia  
In 1954 her father, father, the dictator General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, appointed her Secretary of  Social Assistance of the Presidency. In office until 1955. She was MP 1962-64 and senator 1966-74. For 16 years member of the Municipal Council of Bogotá, since 1975 President of Alianza Nacional Popular (ANAPO). Director of a number of private and public institutions. (b. 1932-)

1976 and 1980 Ellen McCormack, United States of America

Ran in the Democratic Presidential Primary race in 1976 and was the first woman to receive matching funds. She he appeared on the ballot in 18 states and received a total of 267.590 votes in the primaries and 22 votes from delegates at the Democratic National Convention, and engaged in a debate with President Jimmy Carter. 1978 she was candidate for Lt. Governor of New York State and in 1980 she ran as a third-party Right to life presidential-candidate and received 32.327 votes.

1976 Margaret Wright, United States of America

Candidate for The People’s Party.  

1977 Maria Soccoro Ramirez, Colombia
The President of The Socialist Workers Party from 1977 to the present. 

1977 Eleonora Chiavarelli Moro, Italy
Widow of the premier minister Aldo Moro, who was murdered that year.

1978 Camilla Cadena, Italy

1979 Annemarie Renger, Germany

The President of the Federal Assembly 1972-76 and Vice-President 1976-90 was the Social Democrat’s candidate. She lived (1919-2008).

1980 Deidre Griswold, United States of America
Candidate for the Workers World Party.  

1980 Maureen Smith, United States of America
Candidate for the Peace and Freedom Party.  

1981 Ursula C. Dajao, The Philippines
Independent Candidate  

1981 Marie-France Garaud, France
Former Councillor and advisor of President Pompidou.  

1981 Huguette Briand Bouchardeau, France
Leader of The United Socialist Party 1979-85, Secretary of State for Environment 1983-84 and Minister of Environment 1984-86

1981/82 and 1988 Rosario Ybarra de la Piedra, Mexico
Leader of The Workers Revolutionary Party 198-2006, MP 1985-88 and 1991-97 and Senator from 2006. (b. 1927-).

1982 Helvi Sipilä, Finland
The first female Assistant Secretary General of the UN 1972-83 was candidate for the Finish liberal party. She lived (1915-2009)  

1984 Sonia Johnson, United States of America
Candidate for Citizen’s Party receiving federal matching funds and winning more than 70.000 votes. Her running-mate was Emma Wong Mar

1984, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Dr. Isabelle Masters, United States of America

Teacher, evangelist and "internationalist". Candidate for her own one-person party, Looking Back Party. In 1996, 2000 and 2004 she sought nomination as Republican Presidential Candidate and was a candidate in the primaries in a number of states. (b. 1918-).

1984 Luise Rinser, Germany
Candidate for the Green Party  

1984 Patricia Scott Schroeder, United States of America

A congresswoman, she was Democratic candidate for the nomination of Presidential candidate in the primary elections in 1987 (June September) but withdrew from the race before the Party Convention. The first Democratic woman to actually appear on the ballot-paper was Geraldine Ferraro who was Vice-Presidential candidate in 1984 as Walther Moldale’s runningmate. They lost against Ronald Regan. (b. 1940-)

1984 Gavrielle Holmes, United States of America

Her running-mate was Gloria E. LaRiva. She had been Vice-Presidential candidate in 1980.

1985 Miriam Argüello Morales, Nicaragua
Since 1985 Leader of Alianza Popular Conservadora, 1990-91 President of the Asemblea Nacional and since 1995 Secretary General of a union of conservative parties under the same name. (1929-)

1986 Freda Meissner-Blau, Austria
Leader of the Green Party 1986-90

1986, 1990 and 1994 Regina Betancourt de Liska, Colombia
Leader of the populist United Metropolitical Movement party since 1985.

1986 Maria de Lurdes Pintasilgo, Portugal
Former Premier Minister. See biography at Premier Ministers. She lived (1930-2004).

1988 Sirivamo Bandranaike, Sri Lanka

1960-66, 1970-77 and 1994-2000 Prime Minister See biography at Premier Ministers

1988 and 1992 Leonora B. Fulani, United States of America
Candidate for the American New Alliance Party. The first black woman to appear on the ballot papers in all 50 states and qualified for federal matching funds. In 1992 her running-mate for the post of vice-President was Elizabeth Munoz.  

1988 Willa Kenoyer, United States of America
Candidate for the Socialist Party.

1988 Ismenia de Villaba, Venezuela

Former Member of the Council of the Federal Distict and Federal MP. Leader of the Democratic Republican Union from 1988, the party was founded by her husband, Jóvito Villalba. She lived (1929-2009)´.

1988 Sigund þorsteinsdóttir, Iceland

Thorsteinsdóttir broke the unspoken rule that incumbent Icelandic Presidents are elected unopposed if they want to continue in office. She got 3 pct. against Vigdís Finnbogadóttir who was an extremely popular President of Iceland 1980-96. See Presidents

Last update 23.03.16