Happy International Women's Day!

Women's rights defenders
AFP/Getty Images

Women and men around the world today have been celebrating International Women's Day, which has been observed now for nearly 100 years.

And how things have changed in the past century. In 1907, New Zealand and Finland were the only countries where women had full voting rights. In the United States, women didn't get the vote until 1920. It took all the way until 1971 for Swiss women to gain suffrage. Most recently, in 2005, Kuwaiti women at last gained access to the ballot box. And now, for the first time, a woman is a credible candidate for U.S. president.

I often reflect on how life has so radically changed for women in my own family. Neither of my grandmothers, who lived in India, had a high school education. One got married at age 13 and had her first child at 16. My mother was able to attain a college degree in India, and by the time she was the age that I am now, she was a married stay-at-home mom in the United States with two kids. Today, I am a woman who has a graduate degree, works a full-time job, and is nowhere close to having kids.

How fast women's roles have been changing!

As we reflect on achievements, though, let's not forget that much work still needs to be done. Today, sixty million girls are not in school. Preferences for sons has led to gender imbalances in parts of India and China. And in sub-Saharan Africa, women's lower social status is causing them to get infected with HIV in higher numbers than men.

It all makes me wonder: In 2107, how will women be doing?


Who's the greatest U.S. foreign-policy president?

Great president or greatest president?* How do the last 18 commanders in chief rank when it comes to managing an effective foreign policy? In the current issue of FP, we list only the top five, but the authors of Inside the Ivory Tower asked 1,112 international relations scholars for their opinions on every administration since the original Rough Rider. Here's how the scholars answered the question, "Which THREE U.S. presidents have been the most effective in the area of foreign policy over the past 100 years?"

1.Franklin D. Roosevelt72%
2.Harry Truman40%
3.Richard M. Nixon30%
4.Bill Clinton28%
5.Ronald Reagan27%
6.Theodore Roosevelt20%
George H.W. Bush20%
Dwight Eisenhower18%
8.John F. Kennedy16%
Woodrow Wilson
10. Jimmy Carter9%
11.George W. Bush
12.Gerald Ford0.5%
13.Warren Harding0.3%
Lyndon B. Johnson0.2%
15.Calvin Coolidge0.1%
William Taft0.1%
Herbert Hoover0%
Herbert Hoover
I outlived the bastards." 
Herbert Hoover's response when asked how he dealt with his critics. - The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Musuem

Scour the complete data behind our latest edition of Inside the Ivory Tower and you're bound to discover other gems. Let us know what you find, and we just might point to it here.

*: If you don't get this reference, you obviously don't watch the Colbert Report often enough.