By The Tifton, Ga., Gazette
---- — Margaret Thatcher famously said in 1973, “I don’t think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime.” The statement became famous when six years later, she became Britain’s first.
Not only did she become the first female who served, she became the longest-running in the 20th century, having served in the position from 1979 to 1990. She became known as the Iron Lady, and many called her stubborn and hardheaded, and some even called her mean.
And she did all of it while wearing pearls.
Thatcher died Monday, and she leaves behind a legacy of domestic and foreign policy that sometimes caused division, and very often caused debate. There are critics of her policies who condemn her for policies that caused job loss and created an even greater divide between the haves and have-nots.
But there are also staunch supporters, who say the Iron Lady’s policies were worthwhile, including Labour politicians who have continued to uphold her social welfare reforms and programs to curb inflation.
Much of the attention Thatcher received, particularly in the beginning, was related to the fact that she was female. But her legacy is not that she was a female prime minister. It is that she was a world leader who rose to power from being a shopkeeper’s daughter. She became a political warrior, who fought for the causes she believed in and met issues head-on without fear.
Whichever side of the fence you fall on when it comes to the lady in pearls, you can’t deny that she was a force to be reckoned with. Her politics left many wanting, but the fact is, she was a woman with conviction who stood up and was counted. And for that, we say she made a difference in the world.
The Tifton, Ga., Gazette