zuzana caputova

(JOE KLAMAR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Zuzana Caputova is First Female President of Slovakia

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Jun. 20 2019, Published 3:37 p.m. ET

Last Saturday, Zuzanna Caputova became the first woman sworn in as president of Slovakia. A newbie in politics, Caputova is a 45-year-old lawyer and anti-corruption activist. In her campaign, she led a young and highly inexperienced team with low name recognition; And she was once referred to as the “unknown girl” by the speaker of the National Council. At her swearing-in ceremony in Bratislava, Slovakia, she vowed to continue to work for the forgotten and the dispossessed:

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“I offer my expertise, emotion, and activism. I offer my mind, my heart, and my hands. I want to be the voice of those who are not heard.”

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“I offer my expertise, emotion, and activism. I offer my mind, my heart, and my hands. I want to be the voice of those who are not heard.”

Zuzanna Caputova was born to working class parents in what she calls an “open-minded house.” She speaks openly about her views that same sex unions should be legally recognised, and LGBT adoptions are better than leaving children in orphanages. Caputova declares to be personally against abortion, but she does believe in a “woman’s right to make a decision.” Throughout her career as a lawyer, she had been outspoken regarding truth, justice, and equality. One of her main appeals to voters was that she has successful fought against powerful political and economic interest groups, presenting herself as a leader of civil rights and true morals. She is also very willing to confront right-wing alpha males, such as Hungary’s Viktor Orban.

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As Slovakia‘s first “ultraliberal” female president, Zuzanna Caputova grew up on communist rule, and she distinctly remembers thinking that it could never last:

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“I remember how schizophrenic it felt, to be talking with your friends honestly one moment and then having to hide your opinions with other groups.”

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“I remember how schizophrenic it felt, to be talking with your friends honestly one moment and then having to hide your opinions with other groups.”

Mockingly called by journalists as “hipsters in power”, Caputova is hugely backed by Progressive Slovakia and Together-Civic Democracy. These organizations mainly consist of human rights lawyers, think tankers, architects, and nonprofit activists in their 30s to 40s. This appeals to the Slovak people’s high demand for change ever since they emerged from communist rule in 1989 and became independent in 1993 when they split peacefully with the Czech Republic.

Caputova‘s personal life is also an unconventional one, compared to other ruling politicians. She has been practicing Zen Buddhist yoga for 13 years and tries to meditate everyday. She is a divorced mother of two who is living in an informal relationship with a photographer. Many called her the hope of Slovakia and the woman that will save the country.

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