Update: In France’s presidential election, Marine Le Pen advances to runoff with Emmanuel Macron. Election to be held on May 7.
Female leaders are taking Europe by storm. As never seen before, the “western” powers — Germany, the United Kingdom, and France — could all be under female leadership.
The French presidential election’s first round will take place Sunday, April 23, which includes Marine Le Pen, the president of France’s nationalist movement, the National Front.
France’s presidential election uses two-round voting. If a candidate wins an outright majority in the first round, they are elected, and if not, the two leading candidates compete in a run-off election on May 7.
If Le Pen wins (in the first round, or second in May), it could be the first time in history that several major European powers are led by women, at the same time.
Whether this is a victory for feminism, or just happenstance that these women represent the politics of the masses, the trend continues throughout Europe.
Let’s take a brief look at female heads of state across Europe today:
- Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany since 2005
- Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh since 2009
- Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway since 2013, and has been the leader of the Conservative Party since 2004
- Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta since 2014
- Beata Szydło, Prime Minister of Poland since 2015
- Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia since 2015
- Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2016
In addition to the leaders above, the below political officials have also caught the global eye:
- Siv Jensen, Minister of Finance since 2013 and leader of the Progress Party since 2006, in Norway
- Pia Kjærsgaard, Speaker of the Danish Parliament since 2015, in Denmark
- Frauke Petry, party chairwoman of the Alternative for Germany since 2015
- Doris Leuthard, member of Swiss Federal Council since 2006 and President of the Swiss Confederation for 2017, in Sweden