Women Speakers of national parliaments

Before 1945:

  • Austria was the only state where a woman was elected president of a chamber (the Bundesrat ) before World War II

From 1945 to 1997:

  • Only 42 of the 186 states with legislative institutions at some point in their history have had a woman chair of parliament or a chamber of parliament: this has occurred 78 times in all.
  • These are 18 European countries, 19 countries in the Americas, three African countries, one country in Asia and one country in the Pacific.
  • Twenty-four of the states in question had a bicameral parliament, and the presidency was given to a woman somewhat more frequently in the Senate than in the People's Chamber.

Current Status: 

  • Only 63 women preside over one of the Houses of the 190 Parliaments, 78 of which are bicameral. Women therefore occupy only 23.3% of the total filled posts of Presiding Officers of Parliament or of one of its Houses. See a full list of women Speakers below, including the link to global and regional percentages for Speakers.

Lower and unicameral chambers

Upper chambers

Country data on women speakers

CountryChamberFull nameYear of birthDate of appointment
Antigua and BarbudaSenateAlincia Williams-Grant197225 Jun 2014
ArgentinaChamber of DeputiesCecilia Moreau197602 Aug 2022
ArgentinaSenateCristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner195310 Dec 2019
BahamasHouse of AssemblyPatricia Deveaux196806 Oct 2021
BahamasSenateLashell Adderley196806 Oct 2021
BelizeHouse of RepresentativesValerie Woods197311 Dec 2020
BelizeSenateCarolyn Trench Sandiford196211 Dec 2020
GrenadaSenateDessima Williams31 Aug 2022
GuatemalaCongress of the RepublicShirley Joanna Rivera Zaldaña197114 Jan 2022
JamaicaHouse of RepresentativesMarisa Dalrymple-Philibert195615 Sep 2020
Saint Kitts and NevisNational AssemblyLanein Blanchette198625 Oct 2022
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesHouse of AssemblyRochelle Forde197430 Nov 2020
Trinidad and TobagoHouse of RepresentativesBridgid Annisette-George195823 Sep 2015
United States of AmericaSenatePatty Murray195003 Jan 2023
United States of AmericaSenateKamala D. Harris196420 Jan 2021
UruguaySenateBeatriz Argimón196101 Mar 2020