Kazimira Prunskienė

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Kazimira Prunskienė
Kazimiera Prunskiene.2008-05-23.jpg
Prime Minister of Lithuania
In office
17 March 1990 – 10 January 1991
President Vytautas Landsbergis
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Albertas Šimėnas
Personal details
Born (1943-02-26) 26 February 1943 (age 71)
Švenčionys, Soviet Union (now Lithuania)
Political party Lithuanian People's Party
Other political
affiliations
CPSU
Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union
Alma mater Vilnius University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature

Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė (About this sound pronunciation ) (born February 26, 1943 in Švenčionys district municipality) was the first Prime Minister of Lithuania after the declaration of independence of March 11, 1990 and Minister of Agriculture in the government of Gediminas Kirkilas.

Currently she is the leader of the Peasants and New Democratic Party Union. In 1981–1986, she worked in the Federal Republic of Germany.

She ran in the Lithuanian presidential election, 2004 against Valdas Adamkus, hoping to receive votes from supporters of impeached president Rolandas Paksas. She finished in second place in the first round and was defeated in the runoff.

Prime Minister Kazimira Prunskienė is also a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.

Early life and education[edit]

Kazimira Danutė Stankevičiūtė was born in the village of Vasiuliškiai. Her father, Pranas Stankevičius, worked as a forest ranger and owned several hectares of land.[1] Known as a jolly musician who played at many instruments at country weddings, including the guitar, fiddle, concertina, and a pipe of his own making, Stankevičius was killed by the NKVD in the Labanoras Forest when Kazimira was just one year old.

Stankevičiūtė attended the Vilnius University, earning her degree in economics in 1965 and later earned her doctorate from the same university in the same subject during the late 1980s. Afterwards she stayed on at the university as first an instructor, then as a senior associate in the department of industrial economics.[2]

Before getting her first degree, Stankevičiūtė married to Povilas Prunskus, changing her name to Prunskienė. Between 1963 and 1971 she bore three children—a son named Vaidotas and two daughters called Rasa and Daivita. She would later divorce her first husband and remarried in 1989 to Algimantas Tarvidas.[3]

Political career[edit]

Prunskiene shifted slowly from university to government circles. Joining the Lithuanian Communist Party in 1980, by 1986 she began acting as the deputy director for the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic's Agricultural Economics Research Institute.[4] In 1988 Prunskiene helped found the grass-roots Lithuanian Restructuring Movement, better known as Sajudis, that eventually grew into Lithuania's leading pro-independence group[5] She was eventually elected to position as Prime Minister on March 17, by the Lithuanian Supreme Council and immediately faced the problems brought on by an economic embargo set in place by Mikhail Gorbachev in an attempt to force Lithuania back under control of the crumbling USSR. Prunskiene flew to countries all over the world, including the United States, to try to gain support for negotiations with Gorbachev about the embargo through such committees as the Helsinki Commission.[6] After nine months in office Prunskiene resigned and now heads the Department of Agriculture in Lithuania. She also is currently the leader of the National Farmer's Party.[7]

KGB allegations[edit]

It was alleged that Prunskienė served in the Soviet KGB under the alias "Šatrija". These were challenged in the courts. A lengthy and controversial trial resulted in Prunskienė's legal victory, but she is nevertheless often associated with the Russian influence in Lithuanian politics.

Writings[edit]

At the Vital Voices Conferences, held on July 10, 1997 in Vienna, Austria, Prunskienė published The Role Of Women In Democracy: The Experience Of Lithuania. Here she addresses women's vastly unequal pay in comparison to men, the conservative tradition of a Catholic country, and the general status of women and their level of political influence in Lithuania.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Opfell. pgs. 161-168
  2. ^ Opfell Pgs. 161-168
  3. ^ Opfell, pp. 161-168.
  4. ^ Opfell. Pgs. 161-168
  5. ^ Smith. Pg. 120
  6. ^ Implementation of the Helsinki Accords
  7. ^ The Baltic News Service
  8. ^ Prunskienė, Kazimira. "The Role Of Women In Democracy: The Experience Of Lithuania." 10 July 1997.
  • Smith. Pg. 120
  • Opfell. Pgs. 161-168
  • Implementation of the Helsinki Accords

References[edit]

Smith, David. The Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Routledge. 2002

Opfell, Olga. Women Prime Ministers and Presidents. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Co., 1993.

"Hearing before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe : Meeting with Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene of Lithuania."Implementation of the Helsinki Accords. One Hundred First Congress Second Session. 1990.

Prunskienė, Kazimira. "The Role Of Women In Democracy: The Experience Of Lithuania." 10 July 1997

"Lithuania—Agricultural Minister keeps her position." The Baltic News Service 11 Sept 2007 1. 28 APR 2008 <http://www.lexisnexis.com/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T3640462256&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T3640462259&cisb=22_T3640462258&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=172030&docNo=4>.

External links[edit]

Political offices
New office Prime Minister of Lithuania
1990–1991
Succeeded by
Albertas Šimėnas