Milka Planinc was born under the name Milka Malada in the village of Žitnić near Drniš, Croatia (then Yugoslavia).
Milka Planinc became the first and only female prime minister in Yugoslavia on this day in 16 May 1982. The official name of her function can be translated as “Secretary of the Federal Executive Council”. Before she became prime minister, she was the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Croatia (which was subordinate to the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
Planinc was was born under the name Milka Malada in the village of Žitnić near Drniš, Croatia (then Yugoslavia). She got the surname by which she is remembered after marrying Zvonko Planinc in 1950. Milka’s father was a Croat and her mother was Serbian. When World War II broke out she was only 16 years old, but she joined the Partisan resistance movement and became a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in 1944.
Planinc remained the Yugoslav prime minister until 1986. She was the first woman to attain such a high title in a socialist country. Her mandate was chiefly remembered for its harsh austerity measures to stabilize the economy, due to which some called her the “Iron Lady”, obviously alluding to Margaret Thatcher. She died in Zagreb on 7 October 2010, aged 85.