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The Women of the New Greek Government

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15 women will now serve in the new Greek government. Credit: Press Office of the Greek Prime Minister

Following the electoral triumph of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, 15 women will take up positions among the 62 ministers, deputies, and deputy ministers who make up the new Greek government. Notable names include Sofia Zacharaki, Niki Kerameos, Lina Mendoni, Olga Kefalogianni, and Irene Agapidaki.

“We have a strong mandate and a parliamentary majority, our government will be a government of hard work and practical results,” commented Mitsotakis on Monday morning, whilst reflecting on New Democracy’s electoral victory.

15 women in the new Greek government

The most senior women in the new Mitsotakis cabinet hold positions as ministers and deputy ministers. 10 female politicians will also take on roles as undersecretaries. The total number of women in the Mitsotakis cabinet is up by five from the previous number of 10 during the prime minister’s first term.

Some notable appointments include Lina Mendoni, who will retain her position as Culture Minister, Niki Kerameos, the Minister of the Interior, Olga Kefalogianni, now the Minister of Tourism, and Sofia Zacharaki, Minister of Social Cohesion and Family.

Anna Mani Papadimitriou, Christina Alexopoulou, Maria Kefala, Elena Rapti, Alexandra Papadopoulou, Charalambogiannis Vivi, Alexandra Sdoukou, Zeta Makri, Domna Michailidou, and Sophia Vultepsi are also among the women serving in the new Greek government.

Women and politics in Greece

Greece has been criticized in the past for a lack of female-led positions in government as well as women’s participation in politics more broadly.

For example, in March 2021, on the eve of International Women’s Day, Eurostat released its findings that Greece was next to last among all European nations in terms of women in politics.

At the time the report was issued, only 11% of the Greek government seats were occupied by women, well below the European average of 33%.

Last month, Vasiliki Thanou, Greece’s first female prime minister, expressed her dismay regarding the participation of women in Greek politics.

“The number of women involved in politics is not satisfactory”, Thanou told the media, “Perhaps Greek society is not mature enough to recognize that women have the same potential as men to assume political responsibilities.”

Thanou was briefly the country’s caretaker prime minister in 2015, although her position was only temporarily held between August and September and she was replaced after the election of Alexis Tsipras.

Mitsotakis, who will again be Greece’s prime minister following his victory at the polls, has commented on the issue in the past. “We put a quota for women, 40% of our candidates were women, which is a big step forward. But if you look at the composition of parliament, we don’t have 40% of women in parliament,” he said in 2019.

“I asked a lot of women to join the cabinet, they were much more hesitant than men to do so. So I’m not happy about our gender composition, I openly acknowledged it,” he continued.

It remains to be seen whether the new’s cabinet’s composition, which includes five more women, will be deemed satisfactory, or if pressure will continue to mount for further change.


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