EPRS Admin By / September 18, 2019

Women in foreign and defence ministerial positions in the EU, 2019

Women in foreign and defence ministerial positions in the EU, 2019

Globally, numbers speak for themselves. For instance, only 15 % of the world’s ambassadors are women. As late as 2017, there were only 15 female defence ministers in the world. Out of the 47 Council of Europe member states, only five have women as foreign ministers. Among the 29 NATO members, there are only eight female defence ministers (a large percentage however, compared to the 2018 estimate of there being only 17 women defence ministers in the world). Within the EU-28, there are currently six female defence ministers and only three female foreign ministers (Figure 1). Within the United Nations, up to March 2018 no woman had ever headed the Department of Political Affairs, which has existed under different names/formats since 1952.


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