Leadership Campaign


The Leadership Campaign aims to highlight the commitment of male Presidents and Prime Ministers around the world to increase the number of women in politics.

Parity between women and men in politics mirrors our societies. Greater balance in political representation is essential to inclusiveness. For this to happen, men are as much part of that important change, as women.

Male Heads of State and Government, Presidents, and Prime Ministers from United Nations Member States gave their personal testimony by completing the sentence “We need more women as political leaders because…”

The campaign has been exhibited at the UN Headquarters in New York, the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, the OECD Headquarters in Paris, and many national Parliaments as well as the European Parliament.

Women Political Leaders (WPL) acknowledges the important role of José Manuel Barroso, Chair, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Chairman, Goldman Sachs International; President of the European Commission (2004-2014); Prime Minister of Portugal (2002-2004), Member, WPL Global Advisory Board, in assembling these important testimonials

The mission of WPL is to increase the number and influence of women in politics, and men – in particular, male politicians in positions of influence – are as much a part of that important change for the better, as women.

Male Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world have contributed statements on the advancement of women into positions of political leadership.

WPL works with Parliaments, Governments and other partners to advocate political action to increase the number and influence of women in politics.

Women Political Leaders support the UN Women HeForShe campaign.

Disclaimer: Women Political Leaders (WPL) has invited all male Heads of State and Government of states listed as official Member states of the United Nations to contribute to the WPL Leadership Campaign. This exhibition includes the statements received as of 01/07/2021.

We need more women in Parliaments and as political leaders because, simply, it is the way things should and must be. I am honoured to be the President of a country that values gender equality as one of its main foundations. In Iceland, women and men work hand in hand to make sure that girls and boys have equal opportunities in all walks of life. True, there is still work to do, and we men must not leave this important matter only to women. We must speak and act in such a way, that it is clear that we truly want a world of gender equality. I am proud to do so; not only as President, but also as a father, husband, son, and a supporter of women in politics and political leadership.

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President, Iceland

During my term as President of the European Commission and Prime Minister of Portugal, I have put great emphasis on gender equality in politics. Firstly, it is an issue of democratic representation. It is simply not fair that more than half of our citizens are not adequately represented within our institutions. Secondly, we must stand for diversity. Women bring new perspectives and experiences to politics. This is why, in my capacity as a Member of the Women in Parliaments Global Forum Advisory Board, I invited all male Heads of State and Government around the world to contribute a testimonial, stating the importance they personally assign to this important element of democracy. I am delighted to see that so many of the leading men in politics have contributed to this remarkable compilation of statements.

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