Media Advisory: World’s Top Women Leaders to Draw Attention to Central Role of Women’s Political Participation in Democracy


United Nations, New York — At a high-level event next week during the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, women political leaders will strongly call for increasing women's political participation and decision-making across the world. Stressing that women's participation is essential in all contexts — during peace, through conflict and post-conflict, and during political transitions — the leaders will sign on to a joint statement, as a call to action, with concrete recommendations on ways to advance women's political participation.

WHAT: Women's Political Participation - Making Gender Equality in Politics a Reality

WHEN: Monday, 19 September 2011, 3:00-5:00 p.m. EDT

WHERE: UN Headquarters, North Lawn Building, Conference Room 3


  • H.E. Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil
  • The Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
  • H.E. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America
  • Rt. Hon. Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission
  • H.E. Roza Otunbayeva, President of the Kyrgyz Republic
  • Lilia Labidi, Minister of Women's Affairs, Republic of Tunisia
  • Helen Clark, Under-Secretary-General and Administrator, UN Development Programme
  • Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women


  • Women make up less than 10 percent of world leaders.
  • Globally, less than one in five members of parliament is a woman.
  • The 30 percent critical mass mark for women's representation in parliament has been reached or exceeded in only 28 countries, of which at least 23 have used quotas.
  • Local governments in all world regions are far from achieving gender balance.
  • Women continue to be on the frontlines of wars — facing mass rapes to mass displacements. Yet women's roles and rights continue to be overlooked at peace talks.
  • Since 1992, fewer than 10 percent of peace negotiators have been women and fewer than 6 percent of reconstruction budgets specifically provide for the needs of women and girls.

Photo Opportunity: The event will open with the women leaders signing the joint statement.

To Attend: Please RSVP by 12:00 noon EDT 16 September 2011 at (Please note: Space is limited. Confirmed journalists will be alerted, and will need to be escorted by staff of the UN's Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit from the Media Centre [Conference Room 1] to the venue.)

Webcast: The event will webcast live at

Twitter: Live tweeting with hashtag #WomenLeaders.

Media Contacts:

  • Jelena Vujic, Delegation of the EU to the UN, +1 212 401-0123, jelena.vujic[at]
  • Gustavo Sénéchal, Mission of Brazil, +1 212 372-2614, gsenechal[at]
  • Melissa Boissiere, Mission of Trinidad and Tobago, +1 212 697-7620, mboissiere[at]
  • Stanislav Saling, UNDP, + 1 212 906-5296, stanislav.saling[at]
  • Oisika Chakrabarti, UN Women, +1 646 781-4522, oisika.chakrabarti[at]

Information on media accreditation and access to the UN General Assembly: