Women in Czech politics

And now it's time for this week's edition of Talking Point, and today Nick Carey takes a look at the recent election of Hana Marvanova as the leader of the Freedom Union, the first Czech woman ever to be elected to head a parliamentary party. What issues does she represent, and what significance does this have for women in the Czech Republic.

The news that Hana Marvanova had been elected as leader of the centre-right Freedom Union, one of the two main parties in the opposition Four Party Coalition, which has topped the almost all the polls over the past few months, caused quite a stir in the Czech media. She is the first ever Czech woman to head a parliamentary party in this country. As such, she will be a highly visible figure in the media, and already there has been a slew of features in national dailies and weekly magazines on Marvanova, her past, her politics and her vision.

A former dissident and a lawyer, she's been in active politics for some years now, originally as an MP for the centre-right Civic Democrats, and then in the Freedom Union when the Civic Democrats split in two in early 1998.

Monika Horakova, an MP for the Freedom Union, does not expect that Hana Marvanova's election will bring great changes, but will make female politicians accepted as a norm, rather than as an exception: