Lithuania Seeks Gender-Balanced Cabinet After All-Male Lineup
A Lithuanian national flag flies outside the Nasdaq OMX Vilnius Stock Exchange in Vilnius, Lithuania. (Photographer: Peter Kollanyi/Bloomberg)

Lithuania Seeks Gender-Balanced Cabinet After All-Male Lineup

Lithuania’s likely next prime minister, Ingrida Simonyte, said women will occupy about half of ministerial posts in her government, making it one of the world’s most gender-balanced.

The lineup, announced Wednesday, stands in sharp contrast to the outgoing cabinet, which for eight months last year was the only one in the European Union to contain only men. While gender issues are typically higher on the agenda of western European countries, Lithuania follows Serbia in seeking a government where jobs are evenly divided between the sexes.

“I wanted Lithuanian women, female politicians to be more visible than they often were before,” Simonyte said in an online interview with BNS. “We have young, smart women and mothers who are competent politicians and experts in some areas. This is a responsibility of women such as myself, who are perhaps more visible and more known, to lead by example and mentorship.”

Women will head at least six of the Baltic country’s 13 ministries, according to Simonyte, a former finance minister who’ll be designated as premier on Thursday. Gintare Skaiste, a lawmaker with a PhD in economics, will take the finance portfolio. The appointments require approval from the president and parliament.

Three center-right parties led by women formed a coalition after elections last month. The post of parliament speaker is now also held by a woman.

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