WPL Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of leading women politicians or countries, whose leadership represents and inspires change. Practice examples are more convincing than words and encourage others to follow the success path.

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WPL Awards are prestigious recognitions to women political leaders and countries who have made strides toward a society where the balance between women and men in politics is the reality.


WPL Award for Lifetime Achievement

Given to outstanding female politicians who have shown with their work that it is possible to break the glass ceiling and ensure women have the place they deserve in politics.

WPL Trailblazer Award

The WPL Trailblazer Award is presented to incumbent and former women Presidents and Prime Ministers for breaking political glass ceilings and reaching the highest echelon of political leadership.

WPL Country Award

Based on the annual ranking of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report and the Inter-Parliamentary Union‘s ranking of Women in Politics, the WPL Country Awards acknowledge countries for their political empowerment of women, and countries which show regional leadership in closing the gap between women and men in politics. The aim is to inspire other countries to lead by the same example. The Index featured in the Global Gender Gap Report assesses 135 countries, representing more than 93% of the world’s population, on how well resources and opportunities are divided among male and female populations.


Awards 2024

The 2024 Women Political Leaders Trailblazer Award was presented to Katerína Sakellaropoúlou, President of Greece at the WPL Summit 2024 in Athens, Greece.

Wpl Newsletter 2024 1 1

Awards 2023

WPL Trailblazer Awards 2023 – Reykjavík Global Forum

Tarja Halonen, President of Finland (2000-2012)

Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation (2020, 2015)

WPL Trailblazer Awards 2023 – WPL Summit Brussels

Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia 

Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland (2019-2023)

Natalia Gavrilița, Prime Minister of Moldova (2021-2023)

Mary Robinson, Chair; Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice, Trinity College Dublin; President of Ireland (1990-1997)

Awards 2022

WPL Trailblazer Awards 2022

Bidya Devi Bhandari, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (2015-2023)

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, National Leader of Belarus & Head of the United Transitional Cabinet

Awards 2021

The 2021 Women Political Leaders Trailblazer Award was presented to Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland (2009-2013). 

Awards 2020

The Women Political Leaders Trailblazer Award 2020 recognises the achievements of three women Presidents and three women Prime Ministers.

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway (2013-present) 

Joyce Banda, President of Malawi (2012-2014)

Laura Chinchilla Miranda, President of Costa Rica (2010-2014)

Mary Robinson, President of Ireland (1990-1997), High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN (1997-2002), Chair of The Elders, Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice, Trinity College Dublin

Michele Pierre-Louis, Prime Minister of Haiti (2008-2009), President of FOKAL

Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of Namibia (2015-present)


Awards 2019

The Women Political Leaders Trailblazer Award 2019 recognizes the achievements of three women Presidents and three women Prime Ministers. The awards were delivered on the occasion of the Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders which took place on November 18th-20th in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius (2015-2018)

Julia Gillard, President of Australia (2010-2013)

Martha Beatriz Merino Lucero, President of Peru (2003)

Trailblazer Award 2019

Awards 2018

The Women Political Leaders Trailblazer Award 2018 recognizes the achievements of women Presidents and women Prime Ministers

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, President of Latvia (1999-2007)

Maria das Neves, Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe (2002-2004)

Maria do Carmo Silveira, Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe (2005-2006)

Laimdota Straujuma, Prime Minister of Latvia (2014-2016)

Awards 2017

WPL Trailblazer Award 2017

Maria Liberia Peters, Prime Minister of Netherlands Antilles (1984-1986, 1988- 1994)

Kim Campbell, Prime Minister of Canada (1993)

Jennifer Smith, Premier of Bermuda (1998-2003)

Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008)

Mari Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland (2010-2011)

Iveta Radičová, Prime Minister of Slovakia (2010-2012)

Paula Cox, Premier of Bermuda (2010-2012)

Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo (2011-2015)

Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania, Chair of CWWL

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta (2014-2019)

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia

Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia

Katrin Jakobsdottir, Prime Minister of Iceland

Awards 2016

WPL Award for Lifetime Achievement 2016

  • Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma received the WIP Award for Lifetime Achievements in Female Political Empowerment during the 3rd African Union High Level Panel on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment, in Kigali. Dlamini-Zuma was born in South Africa in 1949. After becoming an underground member of the African National Congress (ANC), and president of the South African Students Organisation, she had to flee into exile to the UK. In 1994, Nelson Mandela appointed her as Minister of Health; later she became Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Home Affairs. She was elected Chairperson of the African Union Commission in 2012, being the first woman ever to lead the African Union.

WIP CERTIFICATES OF RECOGNITION 2016 (WIP Global Summit in Jordan, May 2016)

  • The enhancement of women’s role in the decision-making process: Jordan
  • Advancing Women in Parliamentary Positions, The first female Speaker of Parliament in the Arab world: United Arab Emirates

Legislative Reform:

  • Algeria – for a 50% quota for women on political party lists.
  • Morocco – for equal pay and non-discrimination laws based on gender, in employment.
  • Tunisia – for a 50% quota for women on political party lists
  • Iraq – for introducing a 25% quota for women in the Council of Representatives of Iraq.
  • Libya – for adopting a 16.5% quota for women in the 2014 electoral law, for the House of Representatives of Libya.
  • Saudi Arabia – for granting women the right to vote and stand in the 2015 municipal elections.
  • Egypt – for introducing a 10% quota for women in Parliament.
  • Oman – for achieving gender parity in primary and secondary education

Awards 2015

WPL Country Award 2015

  • Women in Parliament: Sweden and Ecuador
  • Closing the Gender Gap in the Arab World: Tunisia
  • Political Empowerment, Ministerial Positions: Italy
  • Closing the Gender Gap in South and South East Asia: Bangladesh
  • Global Winners in Closing the Gender Gap: Kenya

Awards 2014

WPL Award for Lifetime Achievement 2014

  • Vigdís Finnbogadóttir is the first woman in the world to be democratically elected Head of State. The 4th President of the Republic of Iceland was elected in 1980 and stepped down in 1996, after four terms in office. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir continues to be active in public life and in the international community. Finnbogadóttir is considered an important role model for Icelandic society and the political advancement of women around the world.

Awards 2013

WPL Country Award 2013

Winners in the Categories of Political Empowerment:

  • Women in Parliament: Rwanda
  • Years with Female Head of State: Ireland
  • Legislators, Senior Officials and Managers: Jamaica

Winners by Region in Closing the Gender Gap:

  • Global Winner in Closing the Gender Gap: Iceland
  • Middle East: Israel
  • Oceania: New Zealand
  • South and Southeast Asia: Philippines
  • East Asia: Mongolia
  • Africa: Lesotho
  • Europe and Central Asia: Iceland
  • European Union: Finland
  • South America: Bolivia

Achievements in Closing the Gender Gap in the Arab World: United Arab Emirates

Achievements in increasing the Percentage of Women in Parliamentary Positions: Algeria