|Lets hear it for the women of the world|
With International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8 kudos go to Europe.
Europe leads the world when it comes to women at the top of national governments. Angela Merkel is a household name, thanks, in part, to Syria and immigration to her country of Germany.
As of 2014, Iceland had had a female president or prime minister during 20 of the past 50 years, the
Denmark elected a female head of government in 2011 – Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (she lost her re-election in 2015).
Poland is on its second woman prime minister, after Ewa Kopacz was elected in 2014.
Switzerland elected its second female president, Simonetta Sommaruga, in 2015. Even tiny Malta is on its second woman leader, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite is not only the country’s first female leader, but also the first president to be re-elected to a second term. Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujama, who has led her country since 2014, is on the way out.
But the surprising place to find European women leaders is in the Balkans. This stands in stark contrast to the macho male leaders who were tearing their countries apart two decades ago.
The first female head of state in Kosovo is Atifete Jahjaga. Croatia, in 2015, elected Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic as its first female president and the youngest president to date.
Neighboring Turkey can claim Tansu Ciller as the 30th prime minister and its only female leader. But her term began in 1993 and ended 20 years ago. Hardly a good showing for a nation that many claim is on the rise.
One European country with no history of women running the place is Russia. Think what you will about Ukraine’s Yulia Tymonshenko, at least that country had a female leader – as did some of the other former Soviet countries, including Kyrgyzstan.