WPL Summit 2023

When: June 7, 2023
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The Women Political Leaders’ Summit 2023 was more than just a gathering; it was a moment for women politicians from all around the world to connect, share, and envision the path ahead.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, The WPL Summit 2023 welcomed more than 200 politicians from 80 countries who joined insightful panels and speeches on the topics of peace, security, and – fundamentally – why “Representation Matters“.

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The WPL Summit 2023 was co-hosted by the European Parliament and the Belgian Federal Parliament. A fitting setting to host the largest gathering of women political leaders, as for the first time in history, all three Presidents of these institutions are women.

A big thank you to the co-hosts: Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament; Stephanie D’Hose, President of the Belgian Senate; and Eliane Tillieux, Speaker of de House of Representatives of Belgium for their support, dedication, and for sharing inspiring and impactful stories at the #WPLSummit2023.

Four Heads of State received the WPL Trailblazer Awards at the WPL Summit 2023. This award recognises leaders for breaking political glass ceilings and reaching the highest echelons of political leadership. Congratulations to the awardees:

  • Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia
  • Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland
  • Natalia Gavrilița, Prime Minister of Moldova (2021-2023)
  • Mary Robinson, President of Ireland (1990-1997)

The WPL Trailblazer Awardees delivered keynote speeches emphasising the importance of diverse representation and the role of women in leadership. In her speech, Mary Robinson shared a call to action directed at the leaders in the room to openly discuss the current environmental crisis, as she presented the climate justice initiative Project Dandelion.

Panel sessions on Day 1 took place at the European Parliament. Discussions centred around the role of women in geopolitics, how to lead like a woman, and why there can be no durable peace without women at the table.

During the panel sessions on Day 2 at the Belgian Federal Parliament, sexism in politics, violence against women, and why “Representation Matters” were the focal points of the discussions. It was moving listening to women leaders share their own stories and solutions on how to overcome barriers in politics.

Video - Day 1.   Video - Day 2



For the first time, the WPL Peace Awards are presented to the most peaceful countries in the world, based on the Global Peace Index.

The WPL Peace awardees are Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Canada, Bulgaria, and Botswana.

WPL co-hosted a session with The World Bank Group to discuss their 2024-2030 Gender Strategy.

Leaders discussed ways in which the World Bank can be more ambitious in advancing women’s leadership and accelerating equality.

Participants included Hana Brixi, Global Director of WBG Gender and Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili, Chair of the WPL Board and former Vice-president for the World Bank’s Africa Region.


Thank you to all women leaders who attended the 10th edition of the Women Political Leaders Summit. It was a pleasure to welcome you in Brussels and WPL is looking forward to co-hosting the upcoming WPL Summit in Armenia in October 2023! If you are interested in attending, you can apply to register:

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For more updates, follow the #WPLSummit2023 and WPL’s social media channels.