Strength, patriotism, patriarchal values and a macho leadership style characterise Vladimir Putin’s current term as president. Strangely, this traditionalist authoritarian agenda has often been promoted by women.The few Russian women who are represented in the highest federal posts – just 15.8% of the parliamentarians in the Duma, three of its 33 ministers and three of 85 regional governors – are usually responsible for “social policies” – healthcare, education, or social issues. Many female MPs are elected in accordance with common stereotypes of female leaders – celebrities, cosmonauts, Olympic champions and television hosts. All are expected to be cooperative and family oriented: in December, several female MPs protested against long parliamentary sessions, saying they needed to be home in time to feed their husbands.
Vladimir Putin has one reliable set of allies: Russia’s iron ladies