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Maria de Lurdes Pintassilgo

Prime Minister of Portugal

Maria de Lurdes Pintassilgo

Born January 18, 1930, in Abrantes, Portugal
Died July 10, 2004, in Lisbon, Portugal

A stout defender of women’s rights, Pintasilgo trained and worked as a chemical and industrial engineer during the 1950's and eventually rose to project director of Companhia União Fabril, one of Portugal’s largest monopolies.

From 1975 to 1979, she served as Portugal's Ambassador to UNESCO.

On July 19, 1979, she became the first woman Prime Minister of Prime Minister, and only the second woman to hold that position in all of Europe (Margaret Thatcher was the first). The appointment came after the government of Carlos da Mota Pinto lost a budget vote in Parliament on March 22, and censure motions on June 4. While in office she reformed social security and improved labor legislation, education, and health care. A coalition of four center-right parties won a general election on December 2, and Pintassilgo turned her office over to Francisco Sá Carneiro on January 3, 1980.

In 1986 Pintassilgo became the first woman to run for President of Portugal, and she served in the European Parliament from 1987 to 1989.

See Also

Margaret Thatcher

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This page was last updated on October 20, 2018.