The former British Prime Minister died at home from a stroke on Monday, aged 87 and Meryl – who memorably played her in the 2011 biopic 'The Iron Lady' paid tribute to the late politician for working her way to the top against the odds.
In a statement to the BBC, she said: "Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics.
"It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has not been affected by measures she put forward in the U.K. at the end of the 20th Century. Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor, and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others. There is an argument that her steadfast, almost emotional loyalty to the pound sterling has helped the U.K. weather the storms of European monetary uncertainty.”
"But to me she was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit. To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement.
"To have won it, not because she inherited position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving.”
Meryl also praised Baroness Thatcher for being a role model for women all over the world.
She added: "To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.”