Women Chairs of Parliaments

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership




In many European countries, the head of state historically presided over the parliament at certain occasions. This mean that female sovereigns or acting heads of state held this role. The first women to preside over a legislature in modern times was Avilda Hoff of the City Council of Copenhagen from 1913. Olga Ruder-Zeynek was President of the Austrian Bundesrat 1927-28 and 1932, but it was not until 1953 that Ingeborg Hansen became Chairperson of the Danish Upper House in 1953 and progress was slow. Actually female parliament presidents are still rare. This site lists lists and vice-presidents and other members of parliamentary steering bodies.  

1927-28 and 1932 Chairperson of the Bundesrat Olga Ruder-Zeynek, Austria1950-51 and 1952-53 Chairperson of the Landsting Ingeborg Hansen, Denmark1963-67 President of the Országgyülés Vass Metzker Erzsébet, Hungary1972-74 Speaker of the Senate  Muriel McQueen Ferguson, Canada1977 President of the National Council Elisabeth Blunschy, Switzerland   1979-92 President of Camera dei Deputati Nilde Iotti, Italy1981 Joint President of the Consiglio Grande e Generale Maria Lea Pedini Angelini, San Marino 1983-87 President of the Upper House of the AlŢing, 1991 President of the United AlŢing and 1991-95 President of the AlŢing Salome Ţorkelsdóttir , Iceland
1984-90 Chairperson of the Presidium of the Verkhovna Rada Valentina Semenovna Seveenko, Ukraine (Autonomous Soviet Republic in the USSR)
1992-2000 Speaker of the House of Commons Betty Boothroyd, United Kingdom1994-2004 Speaker of the House of Representatives Dame Bridget Harris, Antigua and Barbuda  1996- President of the Senate the Syringa Marshall-Burnett, Jamaica 1996-2000 Speaker of the Nationale Assemblee Marijke Indradebie Djawalapersad, Suriname 2002-03 President Cámera de Senadores Mirtha Queuedo Acalinovic, Bolivia2004- President of the House of Councillors Chikage Ogi, JapanPresident of the l’Assemblée Nationale Immaculée Nahayo, Burundi since 2005

Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Fahmida Mirza from 2008

What is  new? ___________________


Women Leaders
Currently in office

Women State Leaders and Women rulers throughout the ages

Women Ministers and Female Heads
of Government


Women Chairs of Parliaments and Parliament Presidiums 
by country


Women Party Leaders 
- by country

Women Local Leaders

Women Presidential 


Women Ambassadors

Women Clergy and Ecclesiastical Territories

Women Police
and Military Chiefs

Woman Leaders in Denmark





 Female parliament chairs and vice-chairs by country

Lists of female heads and other members of parliaments listed by country from A to Z

Female chairpersons of parliaments from 1920 to date
Lists of female presidents of parliaments

Heads of parliamentary bodies
Heads of historical parliaments

Chronolgy of Women's Suffrage

Danish Female Parliament Chairpersons
 and Vice-Chairpersons


Additional information, corrections and suggestions are welcome at
 Martin K.I. Christensen