Women who defend human rights lead collective protection for life and territory.
Today's leaders are tenacious and diverse. They are driving the global climate movement, defending social protection, fighting the COVID-19 crisis, and eliminating systemic racial discrimination.
Around the world, these women improve life and inspire a better future for everyone. However, equality is still a distant goal, and progress in women's participation in decision-making is excessively slow, according to the UN Women Web Portal.
That's why we need transformative feminist leadership to meet the unprecedented challenges of our time.
Atefe Mansoori (52 years old)
Atefe Mansoori, a resident of Afghanistan's Herat Province, is director of the Abdullah Muslim Company, a company that processes and exports saffron. She is among 120 female entrepreneurs from across Afghanistan who gathered to share stories and knowledge at a workshop organized by UN Women in Kabul. Work in your country relates to the Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by the international community. Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG-2) seeks to end hunger and promote the productivity and income of small-scale food producers, including women; and Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG-8) focuses on promoting inclusive economic growth and supporting productivity, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, and improving conditions for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Souhad Azennoud (53 years old)
Souhad Azennoud, from the village of Kissane, Morocco, is one of more than 200 women beneficiaries of a training program organized by Terre ET Humanisme and UN Women, as part of a project that supports seed traders for sustainable development. Her work is directly connected to Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG-13), which seeks to address climate change and its effects, and Sustainable Development Goal 15 (SDG-15), which seeks to ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biological diversity, for sustainable development.
— WECAN, International (@WECAN_INTL) January 1, 2017
Gordana Čomić (62 years old)
Gordana Čomić is Minister of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue in the Republic of Serbia. As the founder of the National Assembly's Network of Women Parliamentarians and a member of Serbia's women's movement, she has played a significant role in her country in the fight for women's equality and her equal participation in decision-making processes. Feminist leadership is important and involves transforming the very nature of political power and its perception.
Michelle Bachelet (69 years old)
Michelle Bachelet, a strong human rights defender, was Chile's first president and the first executive director of UN Women. She currently serves as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; its mission is to protect and promote the fundamental rights of everyone around the world. In her view, the pandemic has magnified the scope and impact of inequality and those of us who need a radical transformation of our political, economic and social systems to overcome this health, economic and social crisis.
Extreme poverty and inequalities – including inequalities between countries – are growing: the vaccine gap between those who are wealthy and those who are poor is a stark example of the severity of these fractures.#VaccineEquity #EndInequality
— Michelle Bachelet (@mbachelet) May 28, 2021
Georgette Bennett (74 years old)
Georgette Bennett, President of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, is a training sociologist and has spent the past 25 years promoting interfaith relationships. She founded Tanenbaum, to combat religious prejudice and the Multi-Religious Alliance in 2013, to mobilize support to alleviate the suffering of the victims of the war in Syria. Among many other honors, Bennett has been recognized by the Syrian-American Medical Society for her work on behalf of Syrian refugees. Bennett delivered the keynote address at the NGO Conference in 2015 at the United Nations, calling on NGOs and the United Nations to respond to the Syrian refugee disaster and a growing global migration crisis.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (82 years old)
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the first woman democratically elected as President in Africa. She led the process of reconciliation and recovery in Liberia after a decade of civil war and faced the Ebola crisis. She has gained significant international prestige for the economic, social, and political achievements of her administration. In 2011, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in the field of women's empowerment and human rights. Today, she is a very influential voice in expanding women's political participation and involvement in decision-making processes.
As Patron of the @AWLNetwork, I convened a meeting of high-level African women leaders expressing their support and solidarity with host Mama Graça and the women and girls of Mozambique as they face the ills of conflict.
— Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (@MaEllenSirleaf) May 28, 2021
Gloria Steinem (87 years old)
Gloria Steinem is a feminist activist and acclaimed American writer. She has been at the front line of social activism for several decades and has received countless honors for it, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service to humanity. Today, she remains an active feminist and encourages us to promote the women's rights movement through collective engagement, according to the UN Women Web Portal.