BUDAPEST -- On May 14, 2022, thousands watched as Katalin Novak walked on the red carpet laid in front of the imposing building of the Hungarian parliament. Surrounded by troops dressed in ceremonial garb and horsemen riding white mounts, she took her first steps as the president of the country, cheered on by Hungary's longtime conservative leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and his wife.
Novak was making history. Elected at the age of 44, she is Hungary's youngest-ever president. She is also the first-ever woman to take the role.
Yet Novak, who is a member of Orban's ruling party, Fidesz, is an anomaly in Hungary. Despite her prestigious and mainly ceremonial position, she is surrounded by few women in Hungarian politics. The Hungarian National Assembly, the country's unicameral parliament, is one of the EU's worst in terms of gender balance.
Click here to read the full article published by RFERL on 8 May 2023.