Iveta Radicová served as the first female Prime Minister of Slovakia from 2010 to 2012.
Radicová was born in 1956, in Bratislava, Slovakia. She studied sociology at Comenius University where she also earned her PhD. Radicová also studied at the University of Oxford.
Upon her return to Slovakia in 1991, Radicová founded the Center for Analysis of Social Policy, one of Slovakia's first non-government organizations, and served as its Executive Director until 2005. During this period, Radicová also lectured in the departments of sociology, political science, and social work at Comenius University. In 2005, she was named a professor of sociology by the Faculty of Philosophy at Comenius University, making her Slovakia's first female professor of sociology.
Radicová began her political career in 1990 as a member of the Public Against Violence movement, serving as a spokesperson of the party until 1992. From 2005 to 2006, she served as Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family in the center-right government of Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda. Radicová was then elected as a member of the Parliament of Slovakia on the party list of Dzurinda's liberal-conservative Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-Democratic Party (SDKU-DS) in the 2006 parliamentary election. Following the 2006 election, the SDKU-DS went into opposition. Radicová officially became a member of SDKU-DS following the election and was subsequently elected as the deputy chairman of the party. Radicová also served as the Deputy Chairman of the parliamentary committee on Social Affairs and Housing.
In the 2009 presidential election, Radicová became the only woman to advance to the second round of a presidential election in Slovak history. Shortly after her loss in the presidential election, she cast a parliamentary vote for an absent party colleague in violation of parliamentary rules. As a result of the ensuring controversy, Radicová resigned her seat in parliament on April 23, 2009.
Radicová was selected as the SDKU-DS's election leader for the 2010 parliamentary election, defeating former Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš. In the election on June 12, 2010, the SDKU-DS came in a distant second place. After the winner of the election, Prime Minister Robert Fico, was unable to form a new government, Radicová, as leader of the largest opposition party, was asked to form a government. Radicová was installed as Slovakia's first female prime minister on July 8, 2010, heading a coalition government of SDKU-DS, SaS, KDH, and Most-Híd. Radicová lost a vote of confidence in the parliament in October 2011, leading to an early election in March 2012 for which she did not submit herself as a candidate.
Iveta Radičová was a Fellow for the Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe project at Oxford University in 2013. The same year, she published Krajina hrubých čiar [Country of Full Stops], a book on her experience as Prime Minister.
Image via felvidek.ma