Zuzana Čaputová, Slovakia's first female president — and the youngest at age 45 — answered a sexist question with class during a press conference in Brussels.
On Tuesday, during Čaputová’s second official visit since being sworn into office just ten days ago, the anti-corruption activist and environmental campaigner met with Belgium's King Philippe I, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Toward the end of the press conference with Juncker, in which Čaputová assured that Europe's politics are also Slovakia's politics and that her country will be a "confident and reliable partner," a journalist asked the liberal leader about her outfit.
Appreciate warm and friendly meeting with EC President @JunckerEU today in Brussels. Slovakia remembers your long term effort in overcoming dividing lines in Europe. Our future is in strong and united EU. We need to cooperate more across regional and historical divisions. pic.twitter.com/mJYBAPTYOO— Zuzana Čaputová (@ZuzanaCaputova) June 25, 2019
As translated by EuroNews.com, the journalist asked Čaputová if she was “nervous or stressed" because it’s “the third dress you’re wearing” that day.
"This is only the second dress that I'm wearing today," Čaputová clarified before answering, "So, how do I feel? Well honestly, my teeth ache and I'm hot. I've had a very interesting day, a very intense day. I've had interesting meetings with the leaders of different leaders of European institutions I hadn't met before. I feel very happy and very lucky."
Junker, while not asked about his own outfit, answered a question with, "Just for the record, this is the third shirt I'm wearing today."
Čaputová has said that she hopes her presidential victory helps inspire other women in Slovakia, and in the world, to enter politics.
According to The Guardian, when Čaputová was attempting to collect signatures early in her campaign, some told her it was "not proper manners" for a woman to run for office.
"Some voters saw it as a symbol of change because women can bring a different approach to communications and cooperation," Čaputová said. "But this wasn't a message I was actively pushing during the campaign. I just tried to be the most competent candidate."
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