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Jenny Shipley: Prime Minister, New Zealand, 1997-1999

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Jenny Shipley: Prime Minister, New Zealand, 1997-1999

Jenny Shipley was the Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1997 to 1999, the first female head of government, and the only woman to serve as leader of the National Party. She was born on February 4, 1952 in the southern town of Gore, New Zealand, educated in Wellington and Blenheim. She attended Marlborough Girls' College, and prior to entering politics, she taught in primary schools as well as served in a number of educational and child-care organizations. Upon joining Parliament, Jenny Shipley was one of the youngest members at age 35. Jenny joined the National Party in 1975, and became Minister of Social Welfare, Minister of Health and Minister of Women Affairs successively from 1990 to 1996. Shipley was the first New Zealand Prime Minister to attend the LGBT Hero Parade. During her term as Prime Minister, Shipley was appointed to the Privy Council, and she led the National Party of New Zealand until October 2001. Jenny Shipley is also a member of the Club of Madrid, an organization of statesmen and women working to promote democratic governance.