Poland Is Being Run by Women

AppleMarkOver the weekend the right-leaning Labor and Justice Party won a majority in Poland’s general election, setting up 52-year-old Beata Szydlo to become the country’s next prime minister. She will be the third female prime minister in the country’s history, and will take over from another woman, Ewa Kopacz of the Civic Party.Although Poland also has a president who serves as the head of state, that role is largely representative. The prime minister serves as the head of government and has relatively more political power. That means that for the second election in a row, Polish voters have opted to make a woman the most powerful person in the country.Szydlo, who will soon be in charge of the largest economy in Eastern Europe, is a coal miner’s daughter and a former mayor of a town in the south of Poland. Though she’s been in parliament for a decade, she only rose from relative obscurity earlier this year, when she managed Andrzej Duda to a victory in May’s presidential election.Given her newcomer status to the national stage, some are expecting Szydlo’s governing to be highly influenced by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the founder and leader of the Labor and Justice Party. At her nomination speech in June, though, she made it clear that she’s her own woman: “I have a mind of my own and I can be obstinate,” she said. “I won’t let myself be controlled, but I’ll listen to people and experts.”