First female Swedish prime minister approved by Parliament

Sweden's Parliament approved the nation's first female prime minister on Wednesday. 

Magdalena Andersson, 54, a former finance minister who leads the Social Democratic Party, was selected to replace former prime minister and party leader Stefan Lofven, according to The Associated Press.

“I have been elected Sweden’s first female prime minister and know what it means for girls in our country,” Andersson said, per the AP.


Sweden has long been viewed as one of Europe's most progressive countries in terms of gender equality despite never having a woman serve in its top political position. The government led by Lofven, however, has reportedly described itself as feminist and committed to keeping equality between men and women at the center of its domestic and international work. 

“If women are only allowed to vote but are never elected to the highest office, democracy is not complete,” said Amineh Kakabaveh, an independent lawmaker who supported Andersson, noting that it was the 100th anniversary of Sweden's decision to permit universal and equal suffrage. 

The AP reported that Andersson was confirmed with 117 lawmakers supporting her appointment and 174 rejecting it in the 349-seat Riksdag. One lawmaker was absent and 57 abstained. Per the Swedish Constitution, prime ministers are confirmed so long as a majority, or minimum of 175 lawmakers, is not opposed to them.  

The country's next general election is set to take place on Sept. 11.