German Chancellor Angela Merkel is considered not only the most powerful politician in Europe, but also the most influential figure in the continent. Despite her importance at Europe's helm, most women still struggle to reach the top positions in the public and private spheres.

After many decades ruled by a male-dominated hierarchy, a woman became the European face in the external world. However, the choice of Catherine Asthon as the first high representative for foreign affairs raised some eyebrows, since her appointment came as the result of gender-balance considerations instead of her qualifications. Despite being frequently criticixed, she scored two important victories thanks to her involvement in the ground-breaking agreement between Serbia and Kosovo and the new round of talks with Iran.

Women are underrepresented in the European Parliament. Around 53% of the population of Europe are women, but they hold only 35% of the seats in the chamber. However, they have become very influential in crucial legislative fields, in particular in some committees, such as the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). Sharon Bowles (ALDE, UK) has...

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