WASHINGTON DC, March 29, 2019 – the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL), the only organization in the world dedicated to women heads of state and government, announced on March 12, 2019 that Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia, will be the new Chair of the Council, taking over from Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President of Lithuania.
President Grabar-Kitarović is the first woman in Croatia to be president and Croatia’s youngest head of state. She was elected by popular vote in the 2015 election. President Grabar-Kitarović is a staunch proponent of gender equality and has made women‘s empowerment both domestically and internationally a major foreign policy priority, in particular focusing on conflict and post-conflict societies.
At the transition meeting at the United Nations Headquarters, President Grabar-Kitarović said, “It is my honor to take over the leadership of the Council of Women World Leaders. We have come far – today, women are astronauts, nuclear physicists, race car drivers, soldiers and presidents. Yet, we are still dismissed, mistreated, under-estimated and under-represented. There shall be no greater leap for humanity than achieving real equality for women and the true recognition of their value, strength and capabilities.”
Dalia Grybauskaitė, is stepping down as Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders after five successful years. Since her appointment as Chair in 2014, the Council’s unique network has grown significantly, going from 52 current and former women heads of state and government to 74 members. During her tenure President Grybauskaitė has also continuously strived to increase the Council’s efforts to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality worldwide. She regularly convened and mobilized the highest-level women leaders globally on women‘s social, economic, and political empowerment.
President Grybauskaitė reflected on the Council of Women World Leaders, saying that “the Council of Women World Leaders is a unique network of women heads of states and governments with a great potential to accelerate progress towards a broader and bolder women’s participation in building the well-being of our countries, regions and the world. I wish it to flourish, grow and inspire more women to take responsibility to be a leader.”
"We are pleased to announce the appointment of the new Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders, President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic of Croatia, said Laura Liswood, co-founder and Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders. “President Kitarovic is a long time champion of women's rights and leadership globally. The Council members wish to thank President Dalia Grybauskaite for her outstanding leadership of the Council from 2014 to 2019.”
About the Council of Women World Leaders: The Council of Women World Leaders is a network of 75 current and former Presidents and Prime Ministers. It is the only organization in the world dedicated to women heads of state and government. The Council of Women World Leaders Secretariat is hosted at the United Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C and is an affiliate of the UN Foundation. Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation, is part of the executive leadership team of the Council.
The Council’s mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally on issues of critical importance to women. Through its networks, programs and partnerships, the Council promotes good governance and gender equality, and enhances the number and visibility of women who lead their countries.