WPL Trailblazer Awards 2020: Looking down at the glass ceiling

Friday, November 27, 2020
Wpl Website Trailblazers Awards

The Women Political Leaders Trailblazer Award 2020 recognises the outstanding achievement of six women Presidents and Prime Ministers who are paving the way for others by breaking the glass ceiling. Every year, they are presented on the occasion of the Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders, which took place this year, on 9-11 November. 


The 2020 WPL Trailblazer Award recipients are:

  • Erna Solberg – Prime Minister of Norway (2013-present) and Co-chair of the UN Secretary General’s Advocacy Group for the SDGs. 

“It is also a much-appreciated encouragement to continue to work with the WPL and all of you for more gender equality and more women in leadership positions.”  

  • Joyce Banda – President of the Republic of Malawi (2012-2014) and Africa’s second female President. She was named by Forbes among the most powerful women in Africa in both 2013 and 2014. 

“I accept this award on behalf of millions of women who have looked up to me as a role model” 

  • Laura Chinchilla MirandaPresident of Costa Rica (2010-2014), as well as Vice President (2006-2008), Congresswoman (2002-2006), and Minister of Security and Justice (1994-1998). 

“I am convinced that, now more than ever, the world needs compassion and commitment from women leadership in order to build back more equitable and inclusive societies.”

  • Mary Robinson – President of Ireland (1990-1997), UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002), UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa (2013-14), and UN Special Envoy for Climate Change (2014-15).  

“The fight for climate justice must be done with holistic solutions in mind (…) that tackle the problem at the root in order to bring forward a just, equitable, and proactive future.”

  • Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis – Prime Minister of Haiti (2008-2009) and a member of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty since its creation in 2010. 

“I accept this award with humility, because in these times of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, climate change, and political instabilities, women leaders all over the world should continue to uphold democratic values.”

  • Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila – First female Prime Minister of Namibia (2015-present), leader of government business in parliament.

“By acknowledging female Leaders who are paving the way to face the new challenges of today, the WPL Trailblazer Awards show that it is possible to break the glass ceiling. Nothing can be more impactful for future generations of female Leaders than the experiences of accomplished political Leaders,” noted Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President & Founder of Women Political Leaders, when presenting the awards at a virtual ceremony during the Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders, 9-11 November 2020.