Study Group Wednesdays

This week’s presentations were on five women. Three of whom I’d never heard of!

Golda Meir,

The Soong sisters

Sirimao Bandaranaike

It was fascinating to hear the story of Golda Meir a Ukrainian refugee whose family migrated to the US when she was a young girl. Who resisted her mother’s attempt to get her married off, and joined the Zionist movement instead. Who rose rapidly in the ranks in the newly established state of Israel, becoming one of the earliest women to occupy the office of Prime Minister. The original “Iron Lady”!

In sharp contrast was the “Weeping Widow” Sirimao Bhandaranaike. The first woman leader of the modern world. She started out a tragic figure whose young and charismatic husband had been wantonly assassinated. Her true colours emerged rapidly however in her unseemly scramble to stay in power. Serving three terms as Prime Minister, in office for 18 years over a period of four decades, Sirimao was a malevolent force to reckon with. Her machinations extended to playing her daughter and son against one another.

Much like the youngest of the Soong sisters. Mei Ling Soong.

The three sisters, Ailing, Qingling and Meiling were all educated in the US and returned to a China torn by internal conflict. Marrying three powerful men – H. H. Kung, Sun Yat Sen and Chiang Kai-Shek- the sisters’ lives took very different turns.

Who are the women- living or deceased- that have left an impact on your life?