Her Story 1: Vaira Viķe-Freiberga, the first female president of Latvia
Vaira Viķe-Freiberga became president of Latvia in 1999 and re-elected in 2003
Vaira Viķe-Freiberga became the first female president of Latvia in 1999, just eight months after returning to the country she left 54 years earlier. A dramatic childhood saw her leave Riga with her family in 1944, aged seven, after the Soviet invasion. After a spell in German refugee camps and some schooling in French Morocco, she and her family moved to Canada when she was 15. After returning to her homeland she became president a mere eight months later.