Belgium Ministers

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Female Ministers of the Kingdom of Belgium/Koninkrijk België/Royaume de Belgique/Königreich Belgien

(Limited female suffrage 1919, right to stand for elections 1921, full female suffrage 1948) Part of the Low Countries and under the jurisdiction of Burgundy, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands till it was established as an independent Kingdom 1831. 1970 the French and Flemish communities were set up, in 1980 Flanders and Walonie got their own government and the country became a federation in 1993

Also see Belgium Heads and Belgium Parliament

1965-69 Minister of Family and Housing Marguerite De Riemacker-Legot
MP 1946-71, Secretary of the House of Representatives 1961-65, Municipal Councillor in Bruxelles 1971-77, and lived (1913-77).

1973-74 Secretary of State for Cooperation and Development Irène Pétry
Minister of State (Honorary Position)
President of the Council of the French Community 1980-84, member of the Abritagehoof
1984-92, and its President 1991-94. The title of Minister of State is purely honorary and given for extraordinary service to the state and lived (1922-2007).

1973-74 Secretary of State for the Family Marie Verlackt-Gevaert
MP 1961-1976 and lived (1916-83).

1974-79 Minister of Flemish Affairs and Dutch Culture Rika De Backer-Van Ocken
1974-80 Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee for Flemish Affairs
1980-81 Minister of the Dutch Community
1981-82 Secretary of State of Flemish Affairs charged with Tourism, Culture and Housing
Member of the European Parliament and Head of the Belgian Delegation 1984-89. Also Treasurer of the European People's Party (Conservative/Christian Democrat). She lived (1923-2002).

1979 Secretary of State of the Dutch Community Senator Rika Steyaert
1980-83 Secretary of State for the Dutch Community in Brussels and member of the Government of Brussels and of the Government of Flanders (Vlaanderen)
1980 Secretary of State for Equality and Welfare
Minister of Social Affairs and Health in Flandsrs 1981 and 1985-88, she lived (1925-95).

1979-80 Secretary of State for the Brussels Community Lydia De Pauw-Deveen
Member of the Government of Brussel 1980-81.
(b. 1929-).

1980 Minister of the Brussels Community Cécile Goor-Eyben
1980-85 Secretary of State for Brussels
Vice-President of the Senate 1979-80. (b. 1923-).

1980 Secretary of State for Flanders Lucienne Herman-Michielsens
Deputy Party Chairperson 1973-77, Chairperson of the Senate Group of the Partij voor Vrijheid en Vooruitgang, PPV (Flemish Liberals) 1983-89. She lived (1926-95).

1981-83 Secretary of State for Development Aid attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jacqueline Mayence-Goossens
Senator 1978-95, Minister of Housing in Walonie 1983-85. (b. 1932- ).

1981-88 Secretary of State for Post and Telecommunication Paula D'Hont-Van Opdenbosch
1988-89 Minister of Public Works
1989-93 Royal Commissioner for Immigrant Affairs
1992- Minister of State
Former MP. (b. 1926-).

1981-85 Secretary of State for the Brussels Community Annemie Neyts-Uijttenbroeck
1995- Minister of State
2000-01 Secretary of State in the Foreign Ministry in charge of European Affairs and Foreign Trade
2001-03 Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Minister charged with Agricultural Affairs
Vice-Chairperson 1982 and Chairperson of PVV 1985-89, 1993-97 Vice-Chairperson of VLD (Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten) and from 1995 Chairperson of the Brussels-Branch, Vice-Chairperson of the Liberal Democratic and Reformist Group of the European Parliament and Vice-President of Liberal International 1994-99 and
since 1999 President. In 1995 she was appointed to the honorary post of  Minister of State. 1999-2000 she was Minister of Budget, Finance and External Relations of the Brussels Region and 2000 Chairperson of Euroregio. Member of the Chamber of Deputies and Chair of the External Affairs Committe and from 2004 Member of the European Parliament. In 2004 she turned down the offer of the post of Foreign Minister. (b. 1945).

1983- Minister of State Antoinette Spaak
President Front Democratique des Francophones Party 1977-83,President of the Council of the French Community 1988-92. She is daughter of Paul-Henri Spaak former Premier Minister. Her grandmother Marie Spaak was senator in the 1950ies. (b. 1928-).

1985-88 Secretary of State for Health and Handicapped Wivina Demeester-De Meyer
1988-91 Secretary of State of Finance
2 Minister of Budget and Political Science
Deputy Premier 1992-95, Minister of Finance, Budget, Science, Public Health and Equality in Vlaanderen 1992-99.
Mother of 4 children. (b. 1943-).

1985-92 Secretary of State of Environment and Equality Miet Smet
1992-99 Minister of Labour, Employment and Equality  
2002- Minister of State
Flemish Christian Democrat MP and Senator 1978-95, Member of the European Parliament 1999-2004 and Queasteur 2002-04, Member of the Flemish Assembly from 2004 and Senator since 2007. Married another Minister of State, the former Prime Minister
Wilfried Martens, in 2008. (b. 1943-).

1988-92 Secretary of State of  "Europe 1992" attatched to the Ministry of External Trade Anne-Marie Lizin
Member of the European Parliament 1979-88, Member of the Chamber of Representatives, the Wallon Regional Council and of the Council of the French Community 1991-95, senator from 1999, President of the Committee of Interior Affairs 1999-2003 and of External Affairs and Defence from 2003 and President of the Senate 2004-08. At the time she was member of the government, her surname was Lizin-Vanderpeeten. She lived (1949-2015).

1988-92 Secretary of State for Pensions Leona Detiège
Senator Until 1992, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in Flanders 1992-95 and the second female Mayor of Antwerpen 1995-2003. (b. 1942-).

1992-93 Minister of Social Solidarity, Health and Environment Laurette Onkelinx
1994-99 Premier of the French Community in charge of Education, Youth, Children and Health
1999-07 1. Federal Vice-Premier
1999-2003 Minister of Labour and Equality
2003 Minister of Mobility and Transport
2003-07 Minister of Justice
2007-14 Minister of Social Affairs and Health
Vice Prime Minister
2009-11 Charged with Integration
2011-14 Charged with the Public Federal Service for Mobility and Transport (Beliris) and the Federal Cultural Institutions

ice-Chairperson of the Parliament Group of Parti Socialiste 1989-92, Vice-President of House of Representatives 1990-91, Vice-President of the Parti Socialiste from 2013 and Leader of the Party Faction in the Chamber of Representatives from 2014. (b. 1958-).

1992-93 Minister of Budget and Science Mieke Offeciers-Van De Wiele
Worked with the Flemish employers' organization and lobbying group before and after her time as minister and has since worked as consultant and within other NGO's. (b. 1953-).

1993-94 Minister of Social Solidarity, Environment and Health Magda De Galan
1994-99 Minister of Social Affairs
Mayor of Forest 1989-91, Minister of Social Affairs and Health of the French Community 1991-93. President of the Regional Parliament of Brussels 1999
-2004 and 1. Vice-President from 2004. (b. 1946-)

1999-2003 4. Vice-Premier and Minister of Transport and Mobility Isabelle Durant
Secretary of the francophone green party, ECOLO 1994-99
and again from 2004. Her party left the government prior to the elections in 2003. Senator from 2003 and Vice-President of the European Parliament from 2009. (b. 1954-).

1999-2002 Minister of Consumer’s Protection, Environment and Health Magda G.H. Aelvoet (Fifth in the Cabinet)
2001-02 Minister in charge of Food Safety
Parliamentary Group Chairperson of Agalev 1989-93, Vice-Chairperson of the Green Group in the European Parliament 1995-99. In 1995 she was appointed Minister of State a honorary title given for life. When the Federal Agricultural Ministry was abolished in 2001, she was given additional responsibility for the Federal Food Security Agency and as the senior member of ther party she was de-facto Vice-Premier without being given the title. (b. 1954-).

1999-2000 Federal Government Commissioner charged with Simplification of the Administration Anne André-Léonard
From 2000 Member of the Permanent Delegation (Government) of the Province of Waloon Brabrant. (b. 1948-).

2001-03 Federal Government Commissioner attached to the Minister of Social Affairs and Pensions Greet Van Gool
From 2003 Secretary of the Chamber of Representatives. (b. 1962-).

2003-04 Minister of Economy, Energy, Foreign Trade and Scientific Politics Fientje Moerman 
Member of the Chamber of Depities and Secretary General of VLD since 1999. From 2004 Regional Minister in the Government of Flanders. (b. 1958-).

2003-04 Minister for the Public Administration, Social Integration and Urban Development, charged with Equality and Intercultural Dialouge
2008-09 Minister of
Integration, Pensions and Large Cities Marie Arena
Regional Minister of the Employment and Professional Training in Walonia 2000-03 for the Francophone Socialist Party, Premier Ministre of the Government of the French Community 2004-08. She is of Italian origin. (b. 1966-).

2003-14 Minister for the Self-employed and Agriculture Sabine Laruelle
2007 Minister of Cooperation and Development
2007-08 Minister of Economy
2008-11 Minister of
2008-14 Minister of Small Businesses and Enterprises

Liberal Senator in 2003. (b. 1965-).

2003-04 Minister for Environment, Consumer Protection and Sustainable Development
2004-05 Minister of Labour
2005-07 Vice Prime Minister and Minister of the Budget, Consumer Protection and Telecom Freya Van den Bossche
Attaché for External Communication and Drug Affairs by the Mayor of Gent from 1999. Member of the Chamber of Deputies from 2003 and Flemish Minister of Social Politics, Housing, Town politics and Energy from 2009. (b. 1975-).

2003-04 Secretary of State for the Family and for Handicapped Persons attached to the Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health Isabelle Simonis
Member of the Francophone Socialists. From 2004 President of the Parliament of the French Community. (b. 1967-).

2003 Secretary of State for Organisation of the Labour and for Welfare at Work attached to the minister of Labour and Pensions Anissa Temsamani 
Candidate for the Flemish Socialist Party in 2003, SP.A. She
resigned after it became known that she didn't hold the university degree she claimed she had. The first government member of foreign - Moroccan - origin. (b. 1966-). 

2003-04 Secretary of State for Labour Organization and Work Satisfaction attached to the minister of Labour and Pensions Kathleen Van Brempt
Until 2003 SP.a member of European Parliament. From 2004 Member of the Government of Flanders. (b. 1969-)

2004 Secretary of State for European Affairs and Foreign Affairs attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Foreign Minister Frédérique Ries
Member of the European Parliament 1999-2004. (b. 1959-).

2004-07 Secretary of State of Sustainable Development and Social Economy attatched to the Minister of Budget and Public Entreprises Els Van Weert
Chairperson of the SPIRIT party 2002-04. (b. 1968-).

2004-07 Secretary of State of Gender Affairs attatched to the Minister of Family Affairs Gisèle Mandaila Malamba
The first female black member of the government. (b. 1969-).

2007-08 and 2009-11 Minister of Civil Service and State Entreprises Inge Vervotte
Minister Welfare, Health and Family in Flanders 2004-07. (b. 1977-)

2008-14 Vice Prime Minister Joëlle Milquet
2011-14 Minister of Labour and Equal Opportunities
2009-11 Charged with Migration and Asylum Affairs
2011-14 Minister of Interior

National President of the Centre Démocrate Humaniste, CHP 1999-2011 and Vice-Premier and Minister in the French Community of Compulsory Education, Small Children, Day Care Facilities and Culture 2014-2016 until she resigned after she was charged with misuse of public funds during her term as Interior Minister. (b. 1961-).

2008-09 Minister of Refugees and Migration Annemie Turtelboom 
2009-11 Minister of Interior
2011-14 Minister of Justice

Liberal MP from 2003. The party withdrew from the government in April 2010, candidate for the post of Deputy Chairperson of Open VLD in 2012. She became Flemish Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance in 2014. (b. 1967-).

2008-09 Secretary of State for Disabled Persons in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Julie Fernandez-Fernandez
Former Youth Advisor in the Cabinet of the Minister of Social Affairs. (b. 1972-).

2011-14 Minister of Labour Monica De Coninck
Socialist member of the Provincial Council of Antwerpen 1994-2001. (b. 1956-)

2011-14 Secretary of State of Asylum, Migration, Integration and the Fight Against Poverty Maggie De Block
2014 Minister of Justice, charged with Asylum, Migration, Integration and the Fight Against Poverty
2014- Minister of Social Affairs and Health

Open VLD MP since 1999, chair of various committees, Chamber Secretary 2007-10, and Chairperson of the Faction of Open VLD 2010-11 and Deputy Party Chairperson from 2012. (b. 1962-)

2014 Secretary of State Environment, Energy and Mobility, attached to the Minister of Interior and Secretary of State for State Reform and the Fight Against Faught attached to the Prime Minister Catherine Fonck
Chairperson of the Chamber Faction of cdH 2010-14 and from 20

2014- Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Marie-Christine Marghem

2014-16 Minister of Mobility, charged with Belgocontrol and the National Railway Company Jacqueline Galant

2014- State Secretary of Finance for the Fight Against Poverty, Equality, Disabled People and cience Elke Sleurs
2014-15 Reponsible for the Fight Against Fiscal Fraude
2015- Responsible for Big Cities

2015- Minister of Budget, charged with the National Lottery Sophie Wilmès
Former Alderman of Sint-Genesius-Rode and member of the Provincial Assembly of Vlaams-Brabrant until she became an MP in 2015. (b. 1975-)



Last update 24.04.16