There are plenty of tyrannical men from history to choose from, but what about women? Quite a few women leaders actually fit at least a few of the requirements of being considered a dictator or tyrant, such as committing human rights abuses, appropriation of state funds, corruption, barbaric acts, abusing democracy or extravagance. Can you name any of these queens who were considered tyrannical or non-royal women political figures who could be considered dictators?
Many of the medieval individuals may not stand out as particularly brutal leaders for their time, but simply stand out because they are women leaders which were rarer. Furthermore, the more modern day answers are specifically women who held at least some kind of actual power rather than just influence or power simply by virtue of being the spouse of a dictator. Some answers may even have done many good things for their countries, so might be considered 'benevolent dictators'.
There are undoubtedly more individuals who could make this list, suggestions are welcome.
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Indian prime minister who declared a state of emergency which gave her the powers to rule by decree, through which she is said to have greatly restricted press freedom, arrested political opponents and instigated controversial programmes such as forced sterilisation
Wife of Chariman Mao, was the spearhead of the Cultural Revolution which was a persecution of intellectuals, capitalists and political rivals, which strengthened Mao's cult of personality and killed untold millions in the process, she personally ordered the secret murders of political rivals and their relatives, and created the 'Gang of Four' which sought to acquire power after Mao's death
Deputy prime minister and First Lady of Romania, was a twin dictator with her husband, she had endless wardrobes full of fur coats and gowns while her people endured abject poverty, created the disastrous 'Decree 770' which created a whole generation of orphans, and was responsible for brutal military subjugation of mostly Hungarian protestors
Widow of Filipino dictator, known as the 'Steel Butterfly', infamous for her mind-meltingly immense collection of shoes and other lavish clothes at the expense of the people, but after being exiled she returned to Philippines and was actually elected as a congressman with a substantial majority vote
The first woman president in the world, her government used federal intervention powers to purge 'Subversives' from universities and the government, Anti-Terrorism laws eroded constitutional rights and allowed armed forces to "annihilate subversive elements throughout the country", and she was eventually arrested and exiled for forced disappearances during 'State terrorism genocide'
Brutal women monarchs
Powerful and influential Hungarian countess, possibly the most prolific serial killer of all time, was found guilty of kidnapping and horribly murdering virgin girls in order to bathe in their blood
Technically the second Queen Regnant of England after her predecessor whom she overthrew and executed, had a gory nickname thanks to her infamously brutal reintroduction of Catholicism into England, violently persecuted protestants through burning at the stake and other methods
The grandmother of the above, queen who famously funded Columbus' trips to the New World, was influential in unifying the kingdom of Spain at the expense of Iberian Muslims (Moors) 100,000 of whom were killed and many more evicted, along with Jews under the Alhambra decree
Isabella I of Castille
The only woman Emperor in China's 5,000 year history, had a secret police that is meant to have falsely accused many political rivals listed on a 'Manual of Accusation', and tortured them brutally
The 'Mad Monarch of Madagascar', a peasant girl who became queen by chance, fiercely opposed Christianity and European influence, brutally persecuted converts and missionaries, tried people with the agonising 'Tangena' trial, and supposedly caused the population to halve in a few short years, either through execution or exodus