CAPITAL CITIES 2022

women mayors capital cities
A quarter of capital cities
are led by women mayors

By City Mayors Research

ON OTHER PAGES: Women mayors in the US

November 2021: While it is estimated that internationally less than 15 per cent of mayors are women – some research studies put the figure even lower – a quarter of the world’s capital cities are led by women. In Europe, capitals like Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Oslo and Stockholm have female mayors, while in Africa, Dakar, Freetown, Tunis, Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Rabat are led by women. In Latin America, some of the largest capital cities, such as Mexico City, Caracas, Bogota and Montevideo have women mayors. Asian capitals with women leaders include Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

In 2021, women assumed the post of mayors in Accra, Addis Ababa, Berlin, Dublin, Luanda, Nairobi, Rabat, Santiago de Chile, Sarajevo, and Skopje. (Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome from 2016 to 2021, failed to be re-elected in October.) The list of longest-serving female leaders includes the mayors of Sydney (since 2004), Zurich (since 2009), Sofia (since 2011) and Paris (since 2014).

For the Women Mayors Project, City Mayors Research examined 133 capital cities in addition to Barcelona, Hong Kong, Sydney and Zurich. The latter four cities, while not capitals, were included due to their economic importance in their respective countries. Some 34 of the 137 cities have women mayors. The research was carried out in October and November 2021.

World’s capital cities with women mayors
Mayor
City, country
Brief résumé
Elizabeth Sackey
Mayor since 2021
Accra
Ghana
Born 1958; Economist; Worked for Ghana Commercial Bank as chief clerk; Former member of parliament; Party: NPP.
Adanech Abebei
Mayor since 2021
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Previously Minister of Revenue and Customs; Attorney General; Deputy mayor from 2020 to 2021.
Femke Halsema
Mayor since 2018
Amsterdam
Netherlands
Born 1966; Degree in Social Sciences, specialising in criminology; Member of the Dutch parliament from 202 to 2010; After leaving parliament she held a number of academic posts including that of temporary professor at the University of Utrecht; Since 2015 chairwomen for the Trade Organisation for Healthcare for the Handicapped; Party: GroenLinks, Green and leftist.
Ada Colau Ballano
Mayor since 2015
Barcelona*
Spain
Born 1974; Studied Philosophy without obtaining degree; Party: Barcelona en Comú, leftist community party.
Franziska Giffey
Mayor since 2021
Berlin
Germany
Born 1978; Degree in Administrative Law; Federal minister of Family Affairs from 2018 to 2021; Party: SPD, social-democratic.
Claudia Lopez
Mayor since 2019
Bogotá
Colombia
Born 1970; Degree in Finance, Government and International Relations; Master degree in Urban Politics from Columbia University New York; Elected state senator in 2014; Party: Green Alliance.
Carolina Cestari
Mayor since 2017
Caracas
Venezuela
Rosy Senanayake
Mayor since 2018
Colombo
Sri Lanka
Born 1958; Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Malaysia from 2001 to 2004; Member of nationa parliament from 2010 to 2015; Government spokesperson from 2015 to 2018; Party: United National Party, centre-right.
Soham El Wardini
Mayor since 2018
Dakar
Senegal
Born 1953; Degree in English; College lecturer.
Alison Gilliland
Mayor since 2021
Dublin
Ireland
Born 1968; PhD in education from Nottingham University; Primary school teacher; Party: Labour.
Yvonne Denise Aki-Sawyerr
Mayor since 2018
Freetown
Sierra Leone
Born 1968; Degree in Economics from Fourah Bay University; Master's degree in International Relations from London School of Economics; Worked as Chartered Accountant in London for Arthur Andersen; Received an OBE in 2016; World Mayor finalist in 2021. Party: All People's Congress, centre-left.
Carrie Lam
Mayor since 2017
Hong Kong*
China
Born 1977; Joined British civil service in 1980; Appointed Secretary of Development in 2007; In 2017 became Hong Kong Chief Executive as Beijing's favoured candidate.
Ana Paula Chantre Luna de Carvalho
Mayor since 2021
Luanda
Angola
Formerly Secretary of State for Territorial Planning.
Lydie Polfer
Mayor since 2013
Luxembourg City
Luxembourg
Born 1952; Formerly Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg and Foreign Minister; Party: Democratic Party, centre-right, liberal.
Reyna Rueda
Mayor since 2019
Managua
Nicaragua
Born 1969; Business degree from Central American University; City councillor since 2017; Party: Sandinista Nationa Liberation Front (FSLN) socialist
Iolanda Cintura
Mayor since 2015
Maputo
Mozambique
Born 1972; Degree in chemistry from Eduardo Mondiane University; Various ministerial positions between 2020 and 2014; Party: Mozambique Liberation Front, socialist
Claudia Sheinbaum
Mayor since 2018
Mexico City
Mexico
Born 1962; PhD in energy engineering; Secretary of the Environment of Mexico City from 2000 to 2006; Shortlisted for the 2021 World Mayor Prize.
Carolina Cosse
Mayor since 2020
Montevideo
Uruguay
Born 1962; Minister of Industry from 2015 to 2019; Party: Broad Front, centre-left.
Ann Kananu Mwenda
Mayor since 2021
Nairobi
Kenya
Acting governor of Nairobi following the impeachment and removal from office of Mike Sonko, the previous governor.
Marianne Borgen
Mayor since 2015
Oslo
Norway
Born 1951; Degree from University of Oslo; City councillor from 1979 to 1983 and again from 1995 to date; Party: Labour, socialist
Anne Hidalgo
Mayor since 2014
Paris
France
Born 1959; First Deputy Mayor of Paris from 2001 to 2014; Party: Socialist.
Asmaa Rhlalou
Mayor since 2021
Rabat
Morocco
Doctorate from the University of Perpignan; Member of the Moroccan Parliament from 2016 to 2021; Journalist for the French-language newspaper L'Opinion since 1997; represented Morocco at the Women's political leader's summit in Reykjavik and Tokyo; Party: National Rally of Independents, centre-left, liberal
Irací Hassler
Mayor since 2021
Santiago (commune)
Chile
Born 1990; Attended the Swiss International School in Santiago; Degree in commercial engineering from the University of Chile; Party: Communist Party of Chile.
Carolina Mejía de Garrigó
Mayor since 2020
Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic
Born 1969; Agronomist; in the early 2000s member of the Central Bank of Dominican Republic; General Secretary of the Modern Revolutionary Part, centre-left.
Benjamina Kari
Mayor since 2021
Sarajevo
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Born 1991; Degrees in law and philosophy; Party: Social Democratic Party.
Denise Phua Lay Peng
Mayor since 2014
Singapore Central
Singapore
Born 1959; Master degree in business administration; Management positions with Hewlett-Packard and the Wuthelam Group; Founder of the Center of Effective Leadership.
Danela Arsovska
Mayor since 2021
Skopje
North Macedonia
Born 1979; Master degree in economics; Serves on the World Bank panel for International Centre for Settlement of Investment disputes; Court member at the OSCE in Geneva; represents Macedonia at the International chamber of Commerce.
Yordanka Asenova Fandakova
Mayor since 2011
Sofia
Bulgaria
Born 1962; Degree in Russian language; Party: GERB, conservative, populist.
Anna Konig Jerlmyr
Mayor since 2018
Stockholm
Sweden
Born 1978; Member of the Swedish parliament from 2006 to 2010; From 2010 to 2014 head of social affairs in Stockholm; Between 2014 and 2018 leader of the opposition in the Stockholm city council; Party: Moderate Party, liberal, conservative
Clover Moore
Mayor since 2004
Sydney*
Australia
Born 1945; Degrees in art and education; Taught in schools in Sydney and London; Member of the South Wales parliament from 1988 to 2012; Party: Independent.
Yuriko Koike
Mayor since 2016
Tokyo
Japan
Born 1952; TV journalist; Member of House of Representatives (1993-2016); Environment Minister 2003-2006; Defence Minister 2008; Party: Tokyoites First, centre-right.
Souad Abderrahim
Mayor since 2018
Tunis
Tunisia
Born 1964; Studied medicine; World Mayor finalist 2018; Party: Ennahda. Islamic democratic.
Muriel Bowser
Mayor since 2015
Washington DC
USA
Born 1972; Degrees in History and Public Policy; Member of the City Council from 2007 to 2015; Party: Democrat.
Corine Mauch
Mayor since 2009
Zurich*
Switzerland
Born 1960; Party: Social Democratic Party.
* Not capital cities

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