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Iveta Radičová: The First Female Prime Minister in Slovakia

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Leadership book series (PSPL)

Abstract

Iveta Radičová became Slovakia’s first female prime minister in 2010 and held that post until her government fell in 2011. A longtime civic activist and academic, Radičová became a minister based on her expert credentials in 2002. In 2006 she entered partisan politics when she was elected to parliament as an independent on a party list and later became a member of the center-right SDKU-DS party. In 2009 she ran for president. Although she did not win the office, she made it to the second round as the candidate with the second largest number of votes. In 2010 she became the electoral leader of her party and prime minister when her party was asked to form the government. As prime minister she focused on anticorruption measures and increasing government transparency as well as on dealing with the continued impact of the economic crisis of 2008–2009 in Slovakia. Although she did not run as a ‘women’s candidate,’ or emphasize gender in her campaigns, she also focused on reform of the labor code, unemployment, and other measures that helped women. Her relatively short tenure as prime minister did not result in an immediate increase in women’s representation in politics. However, as an example of a woman leader with a distinguished record of public service and accomplishment in several areas, her career will serve as a model of what it is possible for women to achieve in Slovakia.

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I would like to thank Iveta Radičová for being willing to discuss her experiences as a political leader with me. I am also grateful to Zora Bútorová for sharing her work and that of her collaborators. This chapter has benefitted greatly from their research and the Institute for European, Russian, and East European Studies’ financial support. I am also indebted to Allison Beresford for her translation of Hungarian source materials.

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Wolchik, S.L. (2017). Iveta Radičová: The First Female Prime Minister in Slovakia. In: Montecinos, V. (eds) Women Presidents and Prime Ministers in Post-Transition Democracies. Palgrave Studies in Political Leadership. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-48240-2_12

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