Bulgaria, for example, had the highest percentage of working women in the world in the 1970s, and women in top offices include the vice president, the parliament speaker, four ministers, and the mayor of the capital city, Sofia.
But, old habits die hard. Kosovo’s Minister for European Integration Vlora Citaku acknowledged that ‘‘it is almost impossible to forget even for a moment that I am a woman — I've been reminded of that every day since I became a minister.’’
She said that being a woman in the male-dominated politics is ‘‘a tough life.’’
‘‘First of all they ask you are you married? What your dad think of you traveling alone surrounded by all men?,’’ she scoffed. ‘‘I mean, it’s all these stereotypes ... There are certain duties that a woman must do in order to be ‘complete.'’’
And in Slovenia, shortly after Bratusek won Parliament’s approval, political opponents tweeted that ‘‘her mandate will be as long as her skirt.’’
Bratusek responded simply: ‘‘I wish we women were no longer judged only by the length of our skirts.’’
Ali Zerdin in Slovenia, Veselin Toshkov in Bulgaria, Sabina Niksic and Irena Knezevic in Bosnia, Alison Mutler in Romania, Monica Scislowska in Poland, Karel Janicek in the Czech Republic, Nebi Qena in Kosovo, Pablo Gorondi in Hungary, Darko Bandic in Croatia, and Predrag Milic in Montenegro contributed to this report.