Council of Women Worlds Leaders Newsletter
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Happy Holidays and wishing you all the best in 2018!

H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė,
President of the Republic of Lithuania

The Council of Women World Leaders’ mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally on issues of critical importance to women.
None of today’s greatest challenges can be resolved without the full participation of women. It is only by providing women with an equal voice in key political and business decisions, ensuring access to quality education and healthcare, and showing zero tolerance to violence and discrimination that we will secure a truly sustainable future for the world.
The Council is committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and fully supports the commitment of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to defend women’s rights, address gender inequality, and stop violence against women

For more information about the Chair's role at the Council of Women World Leaders,
please visit: 
Council of Women World Leaders


The Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL) is pleased to re-launch its highly acclaimed Student Fellowship Program in collaboration with the Athena Center for Leadership at Barnard College in New York City. The Program will initiate student fellowship placements in the summer of 2018. This program offers graduate students the unique opportunity to work directly with women leaders of stature and influence, and to learn first-hand, the substance of the issues addressed in the work.  To this date, the Council has administered this successful and unique program for more than ten years, placing over 165 graduate students in the offices of Council members, ministers, and international organizations around the world. The Fellowship program is under the leadership of Patricia Deyton, Program Director for the CWWL Graduate Fellowship Program.
The Council of Women World Leaders is pleased to announce that Her Excellencies Jacinda Ardern, Ana Brnabić, Hilda Heine, and Aminata Touré have accepted their invitations to join the Council. 
The Council continues to extend its reach and engage new female heads of state and government in supporting positive development for women around the world. The Council now has 67 members. 
It is the only organization in the world dedicated to women heads of state and government.

Jacinda Ardern became Prime Minister of New Zealand on October 26, 2017. Ardern joined the New Zealand Labour Party at age 18 and entered New Zealand’s Parliament in 2008. She became the Member of Parliament for the Auckland electorate Mt Albert in early 2017, and the Leader of the Labour Party in August 2017.

Ana Brnabić is currently the Prime Minister of Serbia, a position that she holds since June 29, 2017. She is the first woman and the first openly gay person to hold the office. Prior to her appointment as Prime Minister, she was the Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government of Serbia from August 11, 2016 to June 29, 2017.

Hilda Heine is the first woman to hold the presidency of the Marshall Islands. She is the first individual in the Marshall Islands to earn a doctorate degree, as well as the first female president of any Micronesian country. Before becoming President, Hilda Heine was the Minister of Education for the Marshall Islands and in 2000, she founded the Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI).

Touré served as the Prime Minister of Senegal from September 1, 2013 to July 4, 2014. Touré spent most of her time working as a human rights and women’s rights activist, including during her tenure as Head of the United Nation Population Fund’s Gender and Human Right’s Branch. Prior to her appointment as Prime Minister, she served as Senegal’s Justice Minister. Touré has since been involved in election monitoring around the world.
Prime Minister Theresa May from the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Solberg of Norway, and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany won re-elections 
On June 8, 2017, during the the snap elections in the United Kingdom, Theresa May was re-elected as Prime Minister. The Conservative Party, however, lost 13 seats in the Parliament and thus lost their majority. The Conservatives subsequently came to an agreement with Northern Ireland's DUP, which will support the May government. 
Prime Minister Theresa May's Website: Theresa May

On September 11, 2017, Prime Minister Solberg of Norway was re-elected, winning 89 seats in the 169-seat parliament. She became Norway's first Conservative Party leader in more than 30 years to win a re-election. 
Prime Minister Erna Solberg's Website: Erna Solberg

On September 24, 2017, Angela Merkel was re-elected for her fourth term as Chancellor of Germany. Her party, the CDU, won 32.9% of the votes in the election and while it secured a win and is the largest party in the Bundestag, Merkel will have to organize a grand coalition in order to have a majority in the Parliament. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Website: Angela Merkel

UN Secretary General appoints Her Excellencies Michelle Bachelet, Tarja Halonen, Roza Otunbayeva, and Michèle Pierre-Louis to UN High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation
On September 13, 2017, the UN Secretary General announced the established of a High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation to provide him with advice on mediation initiatives and to back specific mediation efforts around the world. The Board is composed of 18 current and former global leaders, of which 4, H.E. President Michelle Bachelet (Chile), H.E. Tarja Halonen (Finland), H.E. Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan), and H.E. Michèle Pierre-Louis (Haiti), are members of the Council of Women World Leaders.  
Former President of Malawi, H.E. Dr. Joyce Banda,
creates a policy toolkit on empowering women to be leaders

On July 17, 2017, Dr. Joyce Banda, in collaboration with The Wilson Center, launched a paper, "From Day One: An Agenda for Advancing Women Leaders in Africa." This paper details the history of women's leadership in Africa as well as some of the challenges and opportunities women face on their path to leadership. In her paper, H.E. Dr. Banda lays out five key policy recommendations for promoting women's leadership in Africa. In addition, to her policy recommendations, H. E. Dr. Banda created a policy toolkit, which provides actionable steps to implement the recommendations.
Read the piece here:
TOOLKIT: Advancing Women Leaders in Africa

H.E. Dr. Joyce Banda's website: Joyce Banda Foundation

Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders, Laura Liswood, writes a piece for the Huffington Post titled, "Leading the Wonder Woman Way"
"Here is one thing that makes Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot in the block buster movie, (directed by Patty Jenkins) so wonderful. She never apologizes. Actually she does apologize once in the entire movie and that is when she accidentally uses her super power when she crosses her arms and knocks her aunt Captain Antiope to the ground (played by the powerful, graceful Robin Wright, the best warrior on Themysciras). Wonder Woman has a sponsor and mentor in Captain Antiope and a role model of a battle scarred, majestic and fearless leader to emulate."

Read the full article here: 
Leading the Wonder Woman Way

Read Laura Liswood's piece for the World Economic Forum:
Here's why gender equality is taking so long

The Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security - a concrete outcome of the CWWL's meeting in Liberia in 2009 
The Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security evolved from the International Colloquium on Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security.  The intent of the Centre is to serve as a follow-up mechanism to support decisions reached at the Colloquium and to serve as an institute for training, research and women’s empowerment. ABIC is implementing the Women's Situation Room, a women's peacebuilding mechanism to mitigate conict before, during and after elections in African countries.
Read more about the Women's Situation Room (WSR) here: 
WSR Brochure
Women Political Leaders Annual Global Summit on November 28-30, 2017, in Reykjavik, Iceland
On November 29, 2017, H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President of Lithuania and Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL) held the largest meeting of women Presidents and Prime Ministers in CWWL's history during the Women Political Leaders (WPL) Annual Global Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. 

President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, Former President of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Former Prime Minister of Canada, Kim Campbell, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, Former Premier of Bermuda, Paula Cox, Former President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga,  Former Prime Minister of Finland, Mari Kiviniemi, Former Prime Minister of Netherlands Antilles, Maria Liberia-Peters, Former Prime Minister of Slovakia, Iveta Radičová, Former Premier of Bermuda, Jennifer Smith, Former Prime Minister of Senegal, Aminata Touré, and CWWL Secretary General, Laura Liswood met to discuss Council’s activities and to honor the world’s first democratically elected woman President and co-founder of the CWWL, former President of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir.

The Council of Women World Leaders called upon governments, civil society, and organizations around the world to redouble their efforts and political will to value women as leaders and to encourage women to take part in the political process. Women must be at the heart of decision-making on all issues and in all sectors and at the table.

Read more about the Council of Women World Leaders' Cooperation for the Summit:

Women Leaders Tackle Gender Equality at Iceland Summit

Only 23% of the world's politician are women. It's time for that change


CWWL Chair Met with UN Secretary General at UNGA 2017
H.E. Dalia Gribauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania and Chair of the Council, met with UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. The two leaders discussed global security issues and cooperation in defending women’s rights, addressing gender equality issues, and violence against women.

Read the Press Release Here:
President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with UN Secretary-General

The Women's Leadership Forum on July 25-29, 2017 in Lake Como, Italy

In the wake of many political challenges facing the world today, such as migration, terrorism, climate change, inequality, and new technologies, 28 women leaders from 17 countries gathered at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in July 2017 for the Women’s Leadership Forum. The Women's Leadership Forum, under the leadership of Pat Mitchell, was organized by the Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with the Council of Women World Leaders, the Skoll Foundation, the Carter Center, and Apolitico. The objective of this forum was to bring women leaders from across different countries, backgrounds, and departments, many of whom are tackling the same complex problems, in order to offer new approaches to problem-solving and to collaborate across silos to confront global challenges. Council members former President of Malawi, Joyce Banda and former President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga were present at the Forum, with the Council's Secretary General, Laura Liswood. 
Together these women leaders developed the “Way Forward Framework” which includes high-level decisions and three concrete categories of recommendations. In addition, they worked to answer the question “What is transformative women’s leadership and how can it be harnessed throughout politics and policy to find better solutions to today’s global challenges” and came up with seven transformative leadership qualities.

Click here for more information about the "Way Forward Framework" and the Transformative Leadership Qualities

Women Fast Forward - Asia-Pacific Consultation on Women's Economic Empowerment for W20 input into G20 on June 29-30, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii 
In June 2017, Council members President of the Marshall Islands, Hilda Heine, and Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Dame Jenny Shipley attended the inaugural “Women Fast Forward” Asia-Pacific consultation dialogue at the East-West Center in Honolulu. This event brought together current and former heads of state, government officials, academic experts, and business and civil society leaders. Together these participants released a communiqué of policy recommendations to help the G20 address several of the most pressing areas on ongoing disparity in women’s economic status throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the world. These recommendations are based around five key aspects of women’s economic empowerment: legislative barriers, women in leadership, financial inclusion, digital inclusion, and women in supply chains. Council Secretary General, Laura Liswood, also participated in the dialogue.
A draft of the recommendations was communicated via Canada’s delegation to the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, and a final version will help inform the Women 20’s formal input into the 2018 G20 summit in Argentina. Dame Jenny Shipley, stated, “Integrating W20 recommendation into the G20 is both a huge opportunity and a massive challenge. Women confront these questions in the context of the G20 is a breakthrough.”

To read the communiqué of policy recommendations click here

Watch a video on Women's Leadership here:
Women. Fast Forward - Women in Leadership


Dalia Grybauskaitė


Dalia Grybauskaitė is the current President of the Republic of Lithuania and the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL). 
Grybauskaitė graduated in 1983 from the then Leningrad University with a degree in political economy. She subsequently received a doctoral degree in economics in 1988 from the Moscow Academy of Public Sciences. In 1991, she became a Program Director in the Prime Minister's office. The same year, she was appointed Director of the European Department at the Ministry of International Economic Relations. In 1993, she became Director of the Economic Relations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A year later, in 1994, she was appointed the Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister at the Lithuanian Mission to the EU. From 1996 to 1999, Dalia Grybauskaitė acted as
Minister Plenipotentiary at the Lithuanian Embassy in the US. She returned to Lithuania in 1999 to serve as the Deputy Minister of Finance. From 2000 to 2001 she was Vice Foreign Minister and then became Minister of Finance from 2001 to 2004. In 2004, Grybauskaitė was appointed EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget. In November 2005, she was elected Commissioner of the Year for her efforts to reform the EU budget. Dalia Grybauskaitė serves as the president of Lithuania since July 12, 2009.
Council of Women World Leaders Members 2017
Dalia Grybauskaitė,
Tarja Halonen,
Chair Emerita, Finland

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, 
Founding Chair, Iceland
Kim Campbell,
Chair Emerita, Canada
Mary Robinson,
Chair Emerita, Ireland
Margot Wallström, 
Chair Ministerial Initiative, Sweden
Madeleine Albright
Founding Chair Ministerial Initiative, 
United States of America
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand

Michelle Bachelet, Chile

Joyce Banda, Malawi

Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, Nicaragua 

Ana Brnabić, Serbia

Micheline Calmy Rey, Switzerland

Suzanne Camelia-Römer, Netherlands Antilles

Laura Chinchilla Miranda, Costa Rica

Tansu Çiller, Turkey

Helen Clark, New Zealand

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Malta

Paula Cox, Bermuda

Édith Cresson, France

Luísa Dias Diogo, Mozambique

Ruth Dreifuss, Switzerland

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
, Argentina

Park Geun-hye, South Korea

Julia Gillard, Australia

Pamela Gordon-Banks, Bermuda

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Croatia 

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Mauritius

 Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway

 Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh

Hilda Heine, Marshall Islands 

Atifete Jahjaga, Kosovo

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia

Emily de Jongh-Elhage, Netherlands Antilles

Kersti Kaljulaid, Estonia
Begum Khaleda Zia, Bangladesh

Mari Kiviniemi, Finland
Jadranka Kosor, Croatia
Chandrika Kumaratunga, Sri Lanka

Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Namibia 

Doris Leuthard, Switzerland

Maria Liberia-Peters, Netherlands Antilles 

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, The Philippines

Theresa May, United Kingdom

Mary McAleese, Ireland

Beatriz Merino, Peru

Angela Merkel, Germany

Mireya Moscoso, Panama

Maria das Neves, São Tomé and Príncipe

Roza Otunbayeva, Kyrgyzstan

Pratibha Patil, India

 Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Trinidad and Tobago

Michèle Pierre-Louis, Haiti

Kazimira Prunskienė, Lithuania 

Iveta Radičová, Slovakia

Dilma Rousseff, Brazil
Jenny Shipley, New Zealand
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland

Portia Simpson-Miller, Jamaica  

Jennifer Smith, Bermuda

Erna Solberg, Norway

Simonetta Sommaruga, Switzerland

Hanna Suchocka, Poland
Megawati Sukarnoputri, Indonesia
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark

Aminata Touré, Senegal

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine
Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Latvia

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, Switzerland
Laura Liswood
Founder & Secretary General
United States of America

Kathy Calvin
President & CEO, UN Foundation
United States of America
In Memory:
Corazon Aquino, Philippines   Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka   Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan   Eugenia Charles, Dominica   Janet Jagan, Guyana   Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo, Portugal
The Council of Women World Leaders is a network of 67 current and former women prime ministers and presidents. Through its networks, summits, ministerial initiative, partnerships, fellows, and programs, the Council promotes good governance and gender equality, and enhances the experience of democracy globally by increasing the number, effectiveness, and visibility of women who lead their countries. It is the only organization in the world dedicated to women heads of state and government. The Council of Women World Leaders is an affiliate of the United Nations Foundation and is hosted at the United Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C.

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