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Estonia Elects Their First Female President

Estonia Elects Their First Female President

Estonia is already progressive when it comes to gender legislation — like how new moms get 140 days of full paid pregnancy and maternity leave.

But the Baltic country just took it a step further by electing its first female President, Kersti Kaljulaid.

After several rounds of failed elections, 46-year-old Kaljulaid is joining the club of nine men who have served as either presidents or presidents-in-exile since 1938. Eighty-one MPs out of 101 cast their votes in her support.

Kaljulaid is a liberal conservative — a fan of conservative economic policies, but simultaneously has liberal views on many social matters like LGBT rights and immigration.

"I want to listen to the people who live in different corners [of Estonia], and are disappointed in political parties and political and public affairs in general," Kaljulaid said.

Based on an Estonian World article, she is already well known as the intelligent, quick-witted former prime minister's economic advisor, and as the previous state official.

She has hopes for a strong civil society that focuses less on state interference and more on activating its citizens.

"The president will not be able to provide a solution to every issue in Estonia, but to be able to recognize, understand and communicate the problem is already a huge step toward a solution. This can be done and the president needs to do this, responsibly and impartially," Kaljulaid said.

NEXT: These Countries Have the Best Maternity Leave Policies in the World »

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Photo Credit: Getty Images