Women Political Leaders: Advancing Society

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Women’s economic independence is the key to ending women’s inequality. Policies matter and Parliaments can lead the way by adapting policies that ensure women’s participation in the economy and in society at large, such as well-funded shared parental leave and universal childcare.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland. Launch of the Reykjavík Global Forum 2018, a partnership of WPL with the Government and Parliament of Iceland.

Let me celebrate the work of WPL. Our combined efforts to promote the empowerment of women and create dialogue among different nations are a strong example of the commitment we share to build peace and wellbeing

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta (2014–2019). Member of the Board and Global Advisory Board of WPL. Patron of the WPL #Girl2Leader Campaign.

We need women in the highest levels of leadership.

Chairman, Goldman Sachs International. Chairman, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board. President of the European Commission (2004-2014). Prime Minister of Portugal (2002-2004).

Via WPL Parliamentarians from across the globe are given a platform in order to exchange, to discuss common solutions to global problems and at the same time support each other

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany.

When one woman is a leader, it changes her. When more women are leaders, it changes politics and policies.

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, President of Chile (2006-2010 and 2014-2018). Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board.

Women Parliamentarians can help draw a red line when it comes to using rape as a tool of war.

Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2018), Founder of Panzi Hospital. Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board.

I am so delighted that the Women Political Leaders Global Forum is bringing together female parliamentarians so that we can work to expand your influence and increase your numbers.

Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of State (2009-2013).

Gender equality is essential to build and strengthen our communities. When women engage in the political process, societies thrive and prosper.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. Contributor to the WPL Leadership Campaign.

Women’s participation in decision making processes will undoubtedly create higher quality decisions compared to those made only by men.

Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan (2006-2007, 2012-2020). Opening address WPL Summit 2019.

Women must be given the full opportunity and support to participate in politics, in the broad sense of the word, and particularly in elected office”

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997), Chair Nobel Women’s Initiative. Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board.

Better representation of women in politics is needed if we want to produce more and live better

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board.

As a member of the Women Political Leaders Executive Board, I believe in the power of network to increase the influence and the number women leaders.

Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President of Liberia. Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board.

We must create a social movement to bring together on the same platform all actors in an effort to end violence against women and girls.

Aminata Touré, Prime Minister (2013-2014), Special Envoy of the President of Senegal. WPL Summit 2018.

Instead of standing in front of the Parliament, why don’t we go inside and join politics.

Malala Yousafzai, Campaigner for Girls’ Education. Video message, WPL Summit 2013.

In a society where the rights and potential of women are constrained, no man can be truly free. He may have power, but he will not have freedom.

Mary Robinson, President (1990-1997), Republic of Ireland.



#Girl2Leader Campaign

It’s time for change. It’s time for girls and women to lead the world with brains and hearts. For change to happen, we must connect today’s leaders with girls – the next generation of leaders. #Girl2Leader is an initiative launched by the Women Political Leaders (WPL).

Lead like a girl!
Leadership Campaign

Over 70 male Heads of State and Government contributed a testimonial, giving their personal reason for more women as leaders. A book accompanies the displays. The WPL Leadership Campaign has been inspired by the UN Women HeForShe activities.

Learn more

Global Advisory Board

Denis Mukwege

Founder and Medical Director, Panzi Hospital, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Member of the WPL Advisory Board

Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir

Senior Advisor, Women’s Leadership, UN Women; Chair, Reykjavík Global Forum Board, Minister of the Interior, Iceland (2013-2014), Member of Parliament, Iceland (2013-2016), Mayor of Reykjavík (2008-2010)

Helen Clark

Chair of the WPL Board, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008), UNDP Administrator (2009-2017), Member of the Council of Women World Leaders

Jane Goodall

Ethologist. Founder, Jane Goodall Institute. UN Messenger of Peace. Founder, Roots & Shoots.

Jewel Howard-Taylor

Vice President of Liberia and President of the Senate of Liberia. Chairperson, Senate’s Health and Social Welfare Committee on Gender, Women and Children. WPL #Girl2Leader Patron for Africa

Jody Williams

Chair, Nobel Women’s Initiative and 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

José Manuel Barroso

Chair, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Chairman, Goldman Sachs International, President, European Commission (2004-2014), Prime Minister, Portugal (2002-2004), Member, WPL Global Advisory Board

Kathy Calvin

President and Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation (2013-2019)

Laura Liswood

Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders. Commissioner of the City of Seattle Women’s Commission.

Laura Tyson

Professor of Business Administration and Economics, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkley. Chair of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers (1993-1995). Chair of the Board of Trustees, The Blum Center for Developing Economies.

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca

President of Eurochild, President of Malta (2014-2019), Member, WPL Board, Member, Council of Women World Leaders

Michelle Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. President of Chile (2006-2010 and 2014-2018). Member of the Council of Women World Leaders

Mo Ibrahim

Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Nurhayati Ali Assegaf

Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic Party (Partai Demokrat) of Indonesia, President of Geneva Council for International Affairs and Development (GCIAD)

Obiageli “Oby” Katryn Ezekwesili

Economic and Public Policy Expert and Senior Economic Adviser to the Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI); World Bank Vice-President, Africa Region (2007-2012)

Pascal Lamy

President Emeritus, Jacques Delors Institute; President of the Paris Peace Forum, Special Advisor, Brunswick Europe, Former Director-General, WTO (2005-2013) European Commissioner for Trade (1999-2004). Chief of Cabinet to the President of the European Commission (1984-1994).

Rebeca Grynspan

Secretary-General, Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), Under-Secretary General, United Nations (2010-2014), Vice-President of Costa Rica (1994-1998)

Rosalía Arteaga

Executive President of the FIDAL Foundation; President of Ecuador (1997), Member, WPL Board

Silvana Koch-Mehrin

President and Founder of Women Political Leaders (WPL), Vice-President of the European Parliament (2009-2011) and Member of the European Parliament (2004-2014)

Tarja Halonen

President of Finland (2000-2012) and Finland’s first female Head of State.  Member of the Board of Trustees, Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. Co-Chair, UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. Chair, Council of Women World Leaders.