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The Council of Women World Leaders
is a network of current and former women prime ministers and presidents established in 1996 by Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland (1980-1996) and first woman in the world to be democratically elected president, and Laura Liswood, Secretary General. The Council's mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women. Through its networks, summits and partnerships, 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. Tarja Halonen, President of Finland (2000-present), serves as Chair of the Council. The Council is a policy program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars , located in Washington, D.C., is a United States Presidential Memorial that was established as part of the Smithsonian Institution by an act of Congress in 1968...
As part of its goal to convene women at the highest levels of leadership, the Council increased its activities in 1998 to include women cabinet ministers. The Honorable Margot Wallström, United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary General on Sexual Violence and Conflict, is the Chair of the Ministerial Initiative. The Ministerial Initiative seeks to promote ministerial-level exchange on global issues, to identify and address the particular challenges facing women in ministerial leadership positions, and to increase their visibility both nationally and internationally. To have the greatest impact, women ministers within the Ministerial Initiative are organized into different portfolios by ministry. The Council has convened numerous high-level meetings of women ministers of the environment, finance and development, health, justice, culture and women’s affairs. These meetings have created a unique space for ministers to share best practices from developing and developed country experiences and to form a powerful and united force for policy change, with a gender perspective.
- Michelle Bachelet
Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria is a Social Democrat politician who was President of Chile from 11 March 2006 to 11 March 2010. She was the first woman president of her country...
President, Chile, 2006–2010
- Gro Harlem Brundtland
Gro Harlem Brundtland is a Norwegian Social democratic politician, diplomat, and physician, and an international leader in sustainable development and public health. She served three terms as Prime Minister of Norway , and has served as the Director General of the World Health Organization...
Prime Minister, Norway, 1981, 1986–89, and 1990–96
- Micheline Calmy-Rey
Micheline Anne-Marie Calmy-Rey is the President of the Confederation in Switzerland, head of government. She is also Switzerland's foreign minister as head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. She has been a member of the Swiss Federal Council since 2003, and was President of the...
President, Switzerland, 2007
- Suzanne Camelia-Romer Prime Minister, Netherlands Antilles, 1993, 1998–99
- Kim Campbell
Avril Phædra Douglas "Kim" Campbell, is a Canadian politician, lawyer, university professor, diplomat, and writer. She served as the 19th Prime Minister of Canada, serving from June 25, 1993, to November 4, 1993...
Prime Minister, Canada, 1993
- Violeta B. de Chamorro President, Nicaragua, 1990–96
- Laura Chinchilla Miranda
Laura Chinchilla Miranda is a Costa Rican politician and the first female President of Costa Rica. She was one of Óscar Arias Sánchez's two Vice-Presidents and his administration's Minister of Justice. She was the governing PLN candidate for President in the 2010 general election, where she won...
President, Costa Rica, 2010-present
- Tansu Çiller
Tansu Penbe Çiller is a Turkish economist and politician. She was Turkey's first and only female Prime Minister.- Early career :She is the daughter of a Turkish governor of Bilecik province during the 1950s. She graduated from the School of Economics at Robert College after finishing the American...
Prime Minister, Turkey, 1993–96
- Helen Clark
Helen Elizabeth Clark, ONZ is a New Zealand political figure who was the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008...
Prime Minister, New Zealand, 1999-08
- Edith Cresson
Édith Cresson is a French politician. She was the first and so far only woman to have held the office of Prime Minister of France.- French Prime Minister :Cresson was appointed to the prime ministerial post by President François Mitterrand on 15 May 1991...
Prime Minister, France, 1991–92
- Luísa Dias Diogo
Luísa Dias Diogo was Prime Minister of Mozambique from February 2004 to January 2010. She replaced Pascoal Mocumbi, who had been Prime Minister for the previous nine years. Before becoming Prime Minister, she was Minister of Planning and Finance, and she continued to hold that post until February...
Prime Minister, Mozambique, 2004–10
- Ruth Dreifuss
Ruth Dreifuss is a Swiss politician affiliated with the Social Democratic Party. She was a member of the Swiss Federal Council from 1993 to 2002, representing the Canton of Geneva)....
President, Switzerland, 1999
- Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir is an Icelandic politician who served as the fourth President of Iceland from 1980 to 1996. In addition to being both Iceland's and Europe's first female president, she was the world's first democratically elected female head of state...
President, Iceland, 1980–96
- Julia Gillard
Julia Eileen Gillard is the 27th and current Prime Minister of Australia, in office since June 2010.Gillard was born in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales and migrated with her family to Adelaide, Australia in 1966, attending Mitcham Demonstration School and Unley High School. In 1982 Gillard moved...
Prime Minister, Australia, 2010-present
- Pamela F. Gordon Premier, Bermuda, 1997–98
- Dalia Grybauskaite
Dalia Grybauskaitė is the current President of Lithuania, inaugurated on 12 July 2009. She had previously been Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Finance Minister, and European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget...
President, Republic of Lithuania, 2009
- Tarja Halonen
Tarja Kaarina Halonen is the incumbent President of Finland. The first female to hold the office, Halonen had previously been a member of the parliament from 1979 to 2000 when she resigned after her election to the presidency...
President, Finland, 2000–present
- Sheikh Hasina
Sheikh Hasina is a Bangladeshi politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Awami League, a major political party, since 1981. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh and widow of a reputed nuclear...
Prime Minister, Bangladesh, 1996–01 and 2009–present
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf President, Liberia, 2005–present
- Emily de Jongh-Elhage
Emily Saïdy de Jongh-Elhage was the last Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles from 26 March 2006 until their dissolution on 10 October 2010.She is also leader of the Party for the Restructured Antilles.-Personal background:...
Prime Minister, Netherlands Antilles, 2006–2010
- Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner , commonly known as Cristina Fernández or Cristina Kirchner is the 55th and current President of Argentina and the widow of former President Néstor Kirchner. She is Argentina's first elected female president, and the second female president ever to serve...
President, Argentina, 2007-present
- Mari Kiviniemi
Mari Johanna Kiviniemi is a Finnish politician and former Prime Minister of Finland. On 22 June 2010, as the new leader of the Centre Party, she was elected Prime Minister of Finland by the Finnish Parliament following the resignation of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen...
Prime Minister, Finland, 2010-2011
- Jadranka Kosor
Jadranka Kosor is a Croatian politician and former journalist. She is the current Prime Minister of Croatia, having taken office on July 6, 2009, following the sudden resignation of her predecessor Ivo Sanader. She is Croatia's first female Prime Minister since independence.-Early life:Jadranka...
Prime Minister, Croatia, 2009-present
- Chandrika Kumaratunga
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga born June 29, 1945) was the 4th Executive president of Sri Lanka, serving from November 12, 1994 to November 19, 2005. The daughter of two former Prime Ministers, she was also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party until end of 2005...
President, Sri Lanka, 1994-05
- Doris Leuthard
Doris Leuthard is a Swiss politician and lawyer. Since 1 August 2006, she has been a member of the Swiss Federal Council. From 1 August 2006 till 31 October 2010 she was head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs...
President, Federal Council of Switzerland, 2010-present
- Maria Liberia-Peters Prime Minister, Netherlands Antilles, 1984–86, 1988–94
- Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...
President, Philippines, 2001–2010
- Mary McAleese
Mary Patricia McAleese served as the eighth President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011. She was the second female president and was first elected in 1997 succeeding Mary Robinson, making McAleese the world's first woman to succeed another as president. She was re-elected unopposed for a second term in...
President, Ireland, 1997–2011
- Beatriz Merino
Martha Beatriz Merino Lucero was the first female Prime Minister of Peru. Merino served as Prime Minister from 23 June 2003 to 12 December 2003. Merino currently serves as the national ombudsman for Peru, a position also known as the defender of the people...
Prime Minister, Peru, 2003
- Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...
Chancellor, Germany, 2005–present
- Mireya Moscoso
Mireya Elisa Moscoso Rodríguez de Arias is a Panamanian political figure. She was the President of Panama from 1999 to 2004, representing the Arnulfista Party...
President, Panama, 1999-04
- Maria das Neves
Maria das Neves Ceita Baptista de Sousa is a former Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe.She is a member of the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe-Social Democratic Party ....
Prime Minister, São Tomé and Príncipe, 2002–04
- Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Kamla Persad-Bissessar is the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the seventh person to hold this position...
Prime Minister, Trinidad and Tobago, 2010-present
- Michèle Pierre-Louis
Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis is a Haitian politician who was Prime Minister of Haiti from September 2008 to November 2009...
Prime Minister, Haiti, 2008-09
- Kazimira Prunskienė
Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė was the first Prime Minister of Lithuania after the declaration of independence of March 11, 1990 and Minister of Agriculture in the government of Gediminas Kirkilas....
Prime Minister, Lithuania, 1990–91
- Iveta Radičová
Iveta Radičová is the Prime Minister of Slovakia and a member of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party. She was sworn into office on 8 July 2010 as the head of a four-party center-right coalition government following the 2010 Slovak parliamentary election, until the fall of...
Prime Minister, Slovakia, 2010-present
- Mary Robinson
Mary Therese Winifred Robinson served as the seventh, and first female, President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 1997 to 2002. She first rose to prominence as an academic, barrister, campaigner and member of the Irish Senate...
President, Ireland, 1990–97
- Dilma Rousseff
Dilma Vana Rousseff is the 36th and current President of Brazil. She is the first woman to hold the office. Prior to that, in 2005, she was also the first woman to become Chief of Staff of Brazil, appointed by then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva....
President, Brazil, 2011–present
- Jenny Shipley
Dame Jenny Shipley, DNZM , served as the 36th Prime Minister of New Zealand from December 1997 to December 1999, the first woman to hold this office and the first, and to date only, woman to serve as parliamentary leader of the National Party of New Zealand.-Early life:Shipley was born as Jennifer...
Prime Minister, New Zealand, 1997–99
- Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir , , is the Prime Minister of Iceland. Many years a politician, she was previously Iceland's Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security from 1987–1994 and 2007–2009. She has been a member of the Althing for Reykjavík constituencies since 1978, winning re-election on eight...
Prime Minister, Iceland, 2009-present
- Portia Simpson Miller Prime Minister, Jamaica 2006-07
- Jennifer Meredith Smith Premier, Bermuda, 1998-03
- Hanna Suchocka
Hanna Suchocka is a Polish political figure. She served as the prime minister of Poland between 11 July 1992 and 26 October 1993 under the presidency of Lech Wałęsa. She is the first woman to hold this post in Poland and 19th in the world.Suchocka is a specialist in Constitutional Law...
Prime Minister, Poland, 1992–93
- Yulia Tymoshenko
Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko , née Grigyan , born 27 November 1960, is a Ukrainian politician. She was the Prime Minister of Ukraine from 24 January to 8 September 2005, and again from 18 December 2007 to 4 March 2010. She placed third in Forbes Magazine's List of The World's 100 Most Powerful...
Prime Minister, Ukraine, 2005, 2007–2010
- Vaira Vike-Freiberga
Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga was the sixth President of Latvia, the first female President of Latvia and the first female leader in eastern Europe. She was elected President of Latvia in 1999 and re-elected in 2003.Dr...
President, Latvia, 1999-07
- Begum Khaleda Zia Prime Minister, Bangladesh, 1991–96 and 2001–06
- Corazon Aquino
Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino was the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office in Philippine history. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines...
President, Philippines, 1986-92 d. 2009
- Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996....
Prime Minister, Pakistan, 1988–90, 1993–96 d.2007
- Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike was a Sri Lankan politician and the world's first female head of government...
Prime Minister, Sri Lanka 1960-65, 1970–77, 1994–2000, d.2000
- Dame Eugenia Charles Prime Minister, Dominica, 1980–95, d.2005
- Janet Jagan
Janet Jagan was an American-born socialist politician who was President of Guyana from December 19, 1997, to August 11, 1999. She previously served as Prime Minister of Guyana from March 17, 1997, to December 19, 1997....
President, Guyana, 1997–99, d.2009
- Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Prime Minister, Portugal, 1979–80, d.2004