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A First: Five Women Defense Chiefs Shatter NATO's Glass Ceiling

<p>Record number of women at meeting of defense ministers.</p>
Image: NATO Defense minisiters meeting
From left: Albania's Defense Minister Mimi Kodheli with her counterparts Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert (The Netherlands), Ursula Von der Leyen (Germany), Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide (Norway) and Roberta Pinotti (Italy) at NATO headquarters in Brussels.OLIVIER HOSLET / EPA

Five women made history Wednesday as they took their seats at a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

Italy's Roberta Pinotti, who was sworn in Saturday as her country's first female defense minister, joined her counterparts from Albania, the Netherlands, Germany and Norway at the organization's headquarters in Brussels.

A NATO official told The Associated Press the five constituted the largest number of women defense ministers to serve at one time since the 28-nation alliance was founded in 1949.

Image: NATO Secretary General  Anders Fogh Rasmussen (C) and NATO defense ministers
NATO defense ministers pose for a picture with the organization's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, center, at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Feb. 26.GEORGES GOBET / AFP - Getty Images