[This was written before the US presidential election, when we still had hope]
If Hillary Clinton emerges victorious on Election Day, the US, for the first time in history, will swear in a female president. This would follow another historic first—the election of an African American to the country's highest office—and continue the break from the centuries-long trend of white male dominance of US leadership. Our Canadian neighbors crossed the female-leader threshold in 1993; to our south, Mexico seems poised to do the same, with Margarita Zavala preparing to potentially become that country's first female president.
Female voters in the US will play a key role this election, as many have been put off by the hate-filled and misogynistic rhetoric of the Republican nominee. But the popular vote doesn't directly decide the election. Instead, voters will pick the 538 members of the Electoral College who will then pick a president. These electors almost always follow the will of the voters who selected them, but there are sometimes exceptions—a couple of electors in Washington State say they may not support Clinton even if she carries the state.
Below is a snapshot of the progress of women's political power around the world, and some useful facts about voter turnout in a selection of countries: