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Eugenia Charles

( 1919 - 2005 )

Prime Minister of Dominica

Dame Eugenia Charles was the first female prime minister of Dominica, a post she held for 15 years.

Read more in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Silhouette of a group of women for the University of London Leading women campaign

Eugenia Charles, © Allstar Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Dame Eugenia Charles was educated in Grenada, then went on to study law in Toronto. She continued her training in Britain at the London School of Economics (LSE), and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple, London. 

In the 1960s she became a prominent member of the Dominica Freedom Party which she came to lead. Charles became the first female Caribbean prime minister when she led the party to victory in the 1980 general election.

In the following decade Charles became a dominant figure in Caribbean public life. Her premiership was marked by improvements to national infrastructure and the economy, though she also faced several attempted coups. On stepping down from office, Charles had become the third longest serving female prime minister in the world, after Indira Gandhi and the Sri Lankan leader, Sirimavo Bandaranaike. In 2002 Dame Eugenia Charles became an honorary fellow of the LSE.

Affiliated with

London School of Economics

Subjects studied

  • Law