The Global Women Leaders Network includes former and current heads of state, ministers, and high-level government and private sector representatives. Together, they form a united force to advance gender equality and address the world’s most pressing challenges. The Network was first convened in 2022 by The Rockefeller Foundation and Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) and is chaired by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ambassador Melanne Verveer.
A Word from Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Verveer
The resounding declaration that “women’s rights are human rights” made more than two decades ago at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing still resonates globally. Yet, despite this powerful affirmation, the rights of women and girls are under attack around the world and achieving full gender equality is nearly 300 years away.
The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and The Rockefeller Foundation joined forces to build on the promises of Beijing and harness the collective power of high-level women leaders. Our aim is to generate actionable steps to drive progress for women and girls and address some of today’s most pressing challenges – from democratic recession and rising autocracy to the existential threat of climate change. Through dialogue, collaboration on new initiatives, and by amplifying the voices of women on the frontlines of today’s conflicts and crises, we can build a better future.
number of years away full gender equality could be achieved
year the Global Women Leaders was first convened
Leaders of the Global Women Leaders Network
Driving Change - Calls to Action
The Global Women Leaders Network generates tangible actions to end gender injustice, advance inclusive policies, and accelerate impact.
- Global Leaders Call For Urgent Action On Gender Equity
- Advancing Inclusive Recovery & Reconstruction in Ukraine
- Addressing Challenges and Opportunities of AI
- Spotlighting Women & Civil Society in Burma
Elevating Voices of Frontline Leaders
The Network works directly with women peacebuilders – from Ukraine and Afghanistan to Myanmar and Sudan – to ensure they have a meaningful voice in high-level policy processes and crisis response efforts. GIWPS facilitates direct exchange between women peacebuilders with high-level policymakers through public and private convenings, targeted consultations, and diplomacy efforts.
Spotlighting women peacebuilders in global convenings
- The Future of Iran’s Democracy Movement gathered eight of the Iranian democracy movement’s prominent diaspora leaders to present a united vision for Iran’s future
- A Critical Moment for Burma brought together Burmese women and policymakers on the sidelines of the 2022 United Nations Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security to generate concrete actions to protect and advance human rights, justice, and accountability
- Ensuring Women’s Role in Afghanistan’s Future reflected on measures for holding the Taliban accountable and advancing women’s meaningful participation on the sidelines of the 53rd UN Human Rights Council Session
Supporting Ukrainian Women Leaders
- Frontline Ukrainian women reported to the Global Women Leaders Network that essential food aid was not reaching Truskavets, a province in Ukraine. Secretary Hillary Clinton appealed to Chef José Andrés and mobile food deliveries from World Central Kitchen were quickly rerouted to ensure they reached Ukrainians in need during the war.
- GIWPS, in concert with members of the Global Women Leaders Network, worked with the governments of the United Kingdom and Ukraine to ensure Ukrainian women and civil society meaningfully participated in the 2022 and 2023 Ukraine Recovery Conferences (URC) in Lugano and London, critical to Ukraine’s reconstruction.
- The 2022 Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards hosted by GIWPS focused on Ukrainian women’s critical leadership defending democracy and human rights during the war and raised awareness and support for their efforts.
Collaborating on Solutions
The Bellagio Summit brought together leaders and experts from across sectors to advance ideas and catalyze new action to address the world’s most pressing challenges, from climate change to democratic backsliding.
India Extreme Heat Income Insurance Initiative / Climate Resilience Fund
A new Global Climate Resilience Fund aims to increase access to capital for women’s organizations working on climate adaptation and resilience. The Fund – which pledges $50 million for women to fight climate change – is a direct result of the partnership between Secretary Clinton, The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), and The Rockefeller Foundation established at the 2022 Global Women Leaders Summit in Bellagio. The Fund will support the creation of a first-of-its-kind Extreme Heat Microinsurance program designed to assist women in India to recover wages lost as a result of extreme heat events caused by climate change.
Research and Recommendations
Beijing+25: Accelerating Progress for Women and Girls
Marking the 25th anniversary of the historic conference – Beijing+25: Accelerating Progress for Women and Girls – reflects on the progress made and offers a roadmap for the future.Read More
Global Leaders Call For Urgent Action On Gender Equity
The full recommendations from the 2022 Bellagio Center Summit include urgent calls to action to end gender injustice once and for all.Read More
On the Global Women Leaders Network:
Too often, women are discouraged from running for office, pushed out of politics, or choose to disengage from political discourse. The Global Women Leaders Summit provides a supportive network to reflect on best practices for navigating these challenges.Melanne VerveerExecutive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
On Women's Political Participation:
A world where women were equal in every aspect of society would be richer and safer and more stable…it would be better for everyone, not just girls and women.Secretary Hillary Clinton67th United States Secretary of State and Honorary Founding Chair of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
We cannot be talking about the political empowerment of women without addressing online violence against women political leaders.Wafaa Bani MustafaMinister of Social Development, Kingdom of Jordan
It is important for women in politics to stay true to themselves, build strong support networks, and remember that simplicity is key to effectively delivering one's message.Michelle BacheletFormer President of Chile and Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Women often face more severe consequences when dealing with issues such as cyber security, AI, and online harassment. They should not be sidelined when creating solutions.Dalia GrybauskaitéFormer President of Lithuania
Solidarity, sisterhood, sharing of knowledge and experiences will make women feel that they are not alone in this process of bringing about change.Reema NanavatyDirector of Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA)
On Climate Change:
If we think that women in the area of climate change are not only victims of climate change–like everybody else in society–but are also providers of solutions then the point about making women also part of decision making is even more important.Patricia EspinosaExecutive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
We require a mass mobilization of smart climate activists armed with compelling stories to counter the influence of the wealthy carbon lobby.Mary RobinsonFormer President of Ireland
The Earth is engulfed in flames, and it is imperative that we shift the narrative from mere resilience and adaptation to a steadfast focus on mitigation. We cannot afford to simply adapt; these conditions demand decisive action.Monica JumaNational Security Advisor to the President of Kenya
Political participation is critical to ensure the climate crisis has an outlet that is fair, that is inclusive, that is gender-sensitive.María Fernanda EspinosaFormer President of the United Nations General Assembly & Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador
About the Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace & Security
Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace & Security (GIWPS) seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism. GIWPS engages in rigorous research, hosts global convenings, advances strategic partnerships, and nurtures the next generation of leaders. Housed within the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, the Institute is headed by the former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer. For more information, sign up for GIWPS newsletter at giwps.georgetown.edu and follow the Institute on Twitter and Facebook @giwps and Instagram @georgetown_wps
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