Andersson had briefly joined the ranks of around two dozen current female heads of state and government, according to UN Women, the United Nations agency focused on gender equality. Around half of those women head European countries.
Sweden was the last of its Nordic neighbors — Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland — to elect a woman to their highest offices. Scandinavian countries have a reputation for some of the world’s most progressive gender policies.
In September, Tunisia named Najla Bouden Romdhane its first female prime minister — who also became the first women to lead an Arab-majority state. Reactions, however, were mixed as the little-known Romdhane’s ascension came after Tunisian President Kais Saied dismissed the former government and suspended parliament in July.
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who held the post for 16 years, was considered the world’s most powerful female leader — and leader of a European country, more broadly — before she decided not to run again in elections this September.
On Wednesday, three German parties announced they had reached a deal to form a new government that will end the Merkel era and likely replace her with a male colleague, Olaf Scholz.
Despite Merkel’s lengthy political career, female counterparts remain rare.
Just 21 percent of ministers in governments are women, according to UN Women. At the current rate, gender parity in ministerial positions will not be reached until at least 2077, the UN agency found.
Andersson was Sweden’s finance minister before her brief foray as prime minister, which is also a rarity: Women ministers are most commonly assigned portfolios that concern issues such as family, children, social issues, employment and women’s affairs.
Similar gender disparities are seen at regional and local levels of government, albeit with some countries averaging far more female political participation than others.
Globally, just 25 percent of national parliamentarians are women — a 14 percent increase from 1995 — and 35 percent of members of local deliberative bodies are, according to UN Women.