Maria Bertha Petrus (Miet) Smet has served her home country of Belgium in multiple roles for her entire life. She was the founder and first president of the women’s organization of her home Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V) party, and went on to be elected to what is today the Flemish Parliament, the Belgian Chamber of People’s Representatives, the Belgian Senate and the European Parliament. As Federal State Secretary for the Environment and Social Emancipation from 1985 to 1992 and then as Federal Minister for Labour and Employment from 1992 to 1999, she drove the agenda of gender equality in Belgium, and is widely recognized as a true game changer in this field in her home country. Abroad she serves as Chair of the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa. Last but not least her family’s political pedigree is significant, as she is the daughter of the late Belgian Senator Albert Smet and the wife of the late Belgian Prime Minister and European People’s Party President Wilfried Martens.