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 around the world have contributed with far-reaching and challenging statements. They 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, President of the European Commission (2004-2014) and Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board, in assembling these important testimonials.

The mission of WPL is to increase the number and influence of women in politics.. WPL profoundly believes that 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 far-reaching and challenging statements on the advancement of women into positions of political leadership. They share the belief that equality between men and women in politics is vital.

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

We need more women as political leaders because it matters – not only for democracy, society and the economy, but also for the individual lives of each of us. We men need to make this our matter and say loud and clear that we do not want politics that provide fewer opportunities for one half of the population. On the contrary, we want politics that recognise that we need more women in parliaments and as political leaders simply because it is the right, good and wise thing to do. In 2017, it just is not acceptable that politics around the world are still in many ways dominated by men. I am proud to be the Prime Minister of a country that has come far in advancing gender equality. It is my ambition to lead Iceland to continue being a country where it’s as likely for a girl as it is for a boy to be Prime Minister when grown up.

Bjarni Benediktsson

Prime Minister of 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 Durão Barroso
Chairman of Goldman Sachs International
WPL Global Advisory Board Member,
President of the European Commission (2004-2014) and Prime
Minister of Portugal (2002-2004)


Women Political Leaders’
support to the UN Women HeForShe campaign