Time magazine, has named Janet Jagan, a former president of Guyana, as one of history’s most rebellious women. In honor of International Women’s Day, the renowned magazine carried an article featuring what it described as some unlikely revolutionaries. Also named in the magazine’s top 16 were: Joan of Arc (France), Celtic war queen Boudica (Britain), Tawakul Karman of Yemen, Corazon Aquino (The Phillipines), Golda Meir (Israel), Phoolan Devi (India), Vilma Lucila Espín (Cuba) and others.
Jagan, who died on March 28, 2009, at the age of 88, was a respected politician who served as president of Guyana, minister of government, city councilor, and deputy speaker. Born Janet Rosenberg in Chicago in 1920, she was one of only three Jewish women ever to lead a modern nation.
In 1942, while working as a student nurse at Cook County Hospital, she met Cheddi Jagan, an Indo-Guyanese dentistry student at Northwestern University. They married on August 5, 1943, and she moved with him to Guyana.
Janet Jagan and her husband were co-founders of the People’s Progressive Party, where she served as general secretary from 1950 to 1970. She was a revolutionary and was jailed for five months with her husband, and later kept under house arrest for two years.
Jagan, who was a top flight journalist, was the longest-serving member of Parliament (46 years). She also represented Guyana at the United Nations, and after the death of her husband she became the country’s first female president. She resigned because of ill health.
For original articles, see http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-Former-Guyana-president-named-one-of-world%27s-most-rebellious-women-5439.html and http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2057714_2251972,00.html
Additional information on Jagan from http://www.forward.com/articles/104488/
For Janet Jagan tribute, see http://www.ppp-civic.org/JanetJagan.html