It ain’t over till the fat lady sings

To mark International Women’s Day, we decided this was an opportunity to look at the Czech political landscape from a female perspective. It is also worth mentioning that this year is the 100th anniversary of Czech women’s municipal voting rights (full political equality between both sexes followed a year later, in 1920).

The good news is that, over the past century, women’s suffrage has become an incontestable issue. Another piece of good news is that numbers of nominated and elected women have been growing quite steadily.

Nevertheless, our society has still not managed to achieve a 50:50 representation of both sexes in political institutions. In the 2017 parliamentary elections, for example, the share of female nominees was some 29% and the share of successfully elected women was 22%. The same statistics apply to the municipal elections, with the Czech Republic having 1,537 female mayors (i.e. 24% of all town hall bosses).

What is more, the country is still waiting for its first female prime minister. In this regard, the Czech Republic is lagging behind its CEE counterparts. In Slovakia, they have had Ms Radičová, and Poland has had a full three female prime ministers.

That’s no reason to hang our heads, though. In current Czech politics, there are dozens of up-and-coming female political figures – Ms Němcová, Ms Jourová, Ms Schillerová, Ms Pekarova Adamova, and Ms Charanzová, to name just a few. It is only a matter of time before one of them breaks the glass ceiling of the premiership because “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings”.

Happy International Women’s Day from the Czech Grayling PA Team.