Family Ties Quiz

Family Ties Quiz

What Do You Know about Political Mothers, Daughters and Wives?

How many pairs of father-daughter prime ministers can you count off the top of your head? How many pairs of wife-husband presidents do you know?

If you're a political trivia buff, you will enjoy this quiz. See how well you fare and
learn about women who have ascended to power through blood lines.

1. Following in his footsteps

An old English adage says that "an apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Neither does a daughter of a prime minister. Of the four women prime ministers below, three are daughters of former prime ministers. Identify the only woman in the group who did not follow in her father's footsteps.

a. Indira Gandhi of India
b. Chandrika Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka 
c. Golda Meir of Israel
d. Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan

2. Keeping it in the family

Many women leaders hail from political families. Some political families have bred generations of presidents and prime ministers. Some are labeled as dynasties because of the incredible power they have held for generations. Three of the families below have kept it in the nuclear family--mother, father and child have all held high-ranking political positions. Find the odd one out!

a. Cheddi Jagan, Janet Rosenberg-Jagan and Joey Jagan in Guyana
b. Solomon, Sirimavo and Chandrika Kumaratunga in Sri Lanka
c. Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton in the United States
d. Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto and Bilawal Zardari in Pakistan

3. The path less trodden

Some female heads of state were born into political families and inherited the family vocation. Some have taken the path less trodden and become first generation politicians. Out of four women presidents below, only one does not come from a political family. Who is this self-made president?

a. Michele Bachelet of Chile
b. Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo of the Phillipines
c. Mary Robinson of Ireland
d. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia

4. Riding their husbands' tailcoats

Some women have been accused of coming to power assisted by their political husbands. Recently, Cristina Fernández was elected the first woman president of Argentina, but was said to win because her husband, Nestor Kirchner, pulled the strings.

True or False: Christina Fernández was a successful politician in her own right long before her husband got elected president?

5. Stay-at-Home husbands

Not all women heads of state are married to politicians. The husbands of the below were not interested in being politicians. Match the woman head-of-state with her husband's occupation.

a. Vaira Vike-Freiberga of Latvia
b. Margaret Thatcher of England
c. Kim Campbell of Canada
d. Helen Elizabeth Clark of New Zealand
e. Chandrika Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka

f. Medical Sociologist
g. Actor
h. Computer Scientist
i. Playwright, Composer, Musician
j. Businessman

6. Death comes unexpectedly

Some men have died in the course of their political terms. On some occasions, their wives inherited their jobs. Identify the one woman among the four below that is not a political widow.

a. Mary Bono from California
b. Janet Rosalie Jagan of Guyana
c. Luísa Dias Diogo of Mozambique 
d. Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh

7. Sisterhood and unity!

Encouraged by their socialist parents, many women heads of state have dabbled in socialism in their youth. Which of the following women heads of state were members of a socialist movement as young women?

a. Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway
b. Michelle Bachelet of Chile
c. Angela Merkel of Germany
d. Helen Clark of New Zealand

8. Talking back

Every politician is opposed and criticized. But what happens when your staunchest opponents are your own flesh and blood? Which one of the women presidents below has been resolutely opposed by her own children?

a. Violetta Barrios de Chamorro of Nicaragua
b. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir of Iceland
c. Tarja Kaarina Halonen of Finland
d. Mary McAleese of Ireland

Answer key:
1-c; 2-c, 3-d, 4-True, 5-a-h, b-j, c-I, d-f, e-g; 6-c; 7-all of the above; 8-a

1. (c) Golda Meir's father was a carpenter. Indira Gandhi's father, Jawarhalal Nehru, was the first Prime Minister of India after its independence in 1947. Chandrika Kumaratunga's father, Solomon Bandaranaike, was Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in the late 1950. Benazir Bhutto's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was Prime Minister of Pakistan in the mid 1970s.

2. (c) As of 2008, Chelsea Clinton has not held a political office of any kind. In Guyana, Joey Jagan is the co-founder of the pro-capitalist Unity Party, a contrast to his socialist parents Cheddi and Janet Jagan who both served terms as Guyana's presidents. In Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumaratunga as well as her mother and father, Solomon and Sirimavo Bandaranaike, served terms as prime ministers. In Pakistan, nineteen-year-old Bilawal Zardari was named chairman of the Pakistan People's Party after his mother, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated. His father, Asif Ali Zardari, is co-chairman of the same party.

3. (d) None of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's ancestors were involved in politics. Michele Bachelet's father, General Alberto Bachelet, served under President Salvador Allende. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's father Diosdado Macapagal served as President of the Phillipines. And Mary Robinson's ancestors have links with various political strands in Ireland.

4. True. Fernandez was Senator from Buenos Aires Province from 1995-1997 and 2001-2007. Her husband first took office as president in 2003.

5. a-h, b-j, c-i, d-f, e-g

6. (c) Luísa Dias Diogo is not married to a politician.

7. All of the above. Gro Harlem Brundtland enrolled in the Norwegian labor party at the age of seven. Michelle Bachelet was active as well as arrested for her involvement in the socialist youth party that resisted Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile. Angela Merkel was a member of the official, socialist-led youth movement Free German Youth (FDJ). As a teenager, Helen Clark protested against the Vietnam War and campaigned against foreign military bases in New Zealand. She later represented the New Zealand Labour Party at the congresses of the Socialist International.

8. (a) Chamorro's two children, Christiana and Pedro, are same minded politically while her other two children, Claudia and Carlos, are active Sandinistas--political opponents.

Dr. Farida Jalalzai, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri-St.Louis, contributed to this story.

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