© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Meet Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, first female president of Greece
Nigeria, US others are among with no record of female leader status
EKATERINI Sakellaropoulou, 63, is the first woman president to be elected by the nation’s parliament in the history of Greece.
She is a daughter of a Supreme Court judge, who until her emergence, was a senior judge with expertise in environmental and constitutional law.
She completed her postgraduate studies at Paris’s Sorbonne University.
As the president, Sakellaropoulou would function as the head of the Greek state and commander-in-chief, and confirm governments, laws and technically have the power to declare war which should be in concurrence with the government.
Sakellaropoulou upon her election joins the list of the world most powerful women.
According to a report titled: Female world leaders currently in power, published in 2015, 22 female presidents, prime ministers, heads of states were duly elected, appointed or succeeded their predecessor between 2005 -2015, with 2013 and 2014 witnessing the highest number of elected female presidents.
In 2017, the Pew Research Center revealed that ‘the number of women leaders around the world has grown, but they’re still a small group’.
Citing a study by the World Economic Forum, the researchers noted that fifty-six of the 146 nations (38 per cent) have had a female head of government or state for at least one year in the past half-century.
As of 2017, fifteen female world leaders were currently in office, eight of whom were their country’s first woman in power, the researchers said.
In Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberal still remains the only female president who served for over a decade— 2006-2018. While Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia is currently the only serving female head of state in Africa.
Also, the 2015 report on ‘Female world leaders currently in power’, noted that among the 10 most populous nations in the world, China; the United States; Nigeria; Russia and Japan have no record of female leader status.
Nevertheless, Nigeria in 2019, recorded the highest number of female representatives in the Senate, with a total number of eight, representing 7.3 per cent of the Senate. This percentage was, however, a result of the addition of a female lawmaker sworn-in in November 2019.
The ICIR reported that Nigeria still lags behind in gender equality owing to poor representation in government considering the population of women in the country as 90,989,254.