The(ir) Growing Presence
Mary Elizabeth Truss (b. July 26, 1975) recently became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after being elected as the Leader of the Conservative Party. Incidentally, she was the last of 15 British Prime Ministers who served Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on September 8, 2022, two days after appointing Truss to the office. She is also the third female Prime Minister of Britain, after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May. However, she is not alone in Europe at the moment, as 16 out of 45 European countries have a woman as their Prime Minister or President.
Truss defeated Rishi Sunak in Tory leadership race in August to be the new British PM. She received 81,326 votes, compared to Sunak’s 60,399 in an election with a high turnout of 82.6%, with 654 rejected ballots from a total of 172,437 eligible Tory voters.
Interestingly, neighbouring France, too, got a female Prime Minister in 2022. The 61-year-old Élisabeth Borne became the first female Prime Minister of France in the last three decades. Earlier, Borne had served as the Labour Minister.
Mette Frederiksen has been serving as the Prime Minister of Denmark since June 2019. The Social Democrat politician created history by becoming the Prime Minister of her country at the age of 41. Before Frederiksen, no one had become the Prime Minister of Denmark at such a young age. She is the second female Prime Minister of the Scandinavian country, after Helle Thorning-Schmidt who had held the post from 2011 to 2015.
Kaja Kallas (45) has been serving as the Prime Minister of Estonia since 2021. Kallas, who became the leader of the ruling Reform Party in 2018, won Parliamentary Election in 2019. She has not only helped the Ukrainians in various ways, but also sent arms to Kiev in order to fight against the Russians. In January 2021, Estonia became the first country to have both a female elected Head of State and a female Head of Government. However, it changed October 2021, when Biologist-cum-Politician Alar Karis replaced Kersti Kaljulaid, the youngest Head of State, as President.
Sanna Marin has been the Prime Minister of Finland since 2019. She became the Prime Minister at the age of 33. However, she has been involved in many controversies. Conservatives raised their fingers at her after pictures of Marin, partying wildly, went viral. She tied the nuptial knot in 2020 after becoming the Prime Minister.
Katerina Sakellaropoulou has been serving as the President of Greece since March 13, 2020. She is the first female Head of the State in Greece. In the past, the 66-year-old independent leader was the head of Greece’s highest administrative court.
Katalin Novák was elected as the President of Hungary in 2022. She created history by being elected as the President of her country at the age of 44. Novák is also the first female President of Hungary.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir has been serving as the Prime Minister of Iceland since 2017. She became the Prime Minister at the age of 41 after serving as the Education Minister. Before her, Joahnna Siguroardottir had served as the Prime Minister of Iceland.
Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu is the President of Kosovo. The 40-year-old Vjosa became the President on April 4, 2021. She has fluency in five languages: Albanian, English, Turkish, Serbian and Spanish.
Economist Ingrida Šimonytė became the Prime Minister of Lithuania on December 11, 2020. She had served as the Finance Minister of the Baltic nation from 2009 to 2012.
Natalia Gavrilița has been the Prime Minister of Moldova since 2021. Earlier, this alumnus of Harvard University had served as the Finance Minister of her country. The 44-year-old Natalia is the 15th Prime Minister of Moldova and the third female Prime Minister.
The President of Moldova, too, is a woman. Maia Sandu became the President in December 2020. She had served as the Prime Minister of Moldova from June to November 2019.
Forty-six-year-old Ana Brnabić took charge of Prime Minister of Serbia in 2017. She is the first female Prime Minister of the Balkan nation. Furthermore, she is also the first lesbian Head of the Government of Serbia.
Zuzana Čaputová has been the President of Slovakia since 2019. She is also the first female President of Slovakia, as the lawyer and environmental activist set a record by being elected President at the age of 45.
Eva Magdalena Andersson has been serving as the Prime Minister of Sweden since 2021. Economist Magdalena is 55, now.
Giorgia Meloni has become the first female Prime Minister of Italy. As Meloni’s Brothers of Italy Party won the Parliamentary Elections by a huge margin in September 2022, Italy has got a Far-Right Government for the first time since Benito Mussolini’s Fascist era during the Second World War.
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