With the upcoming election of the next United Nations Secretary-General, WILPF has recently released a position calling for a feminist leader who can deliver a feminist agenda for peace, global diplomacy and conflict prevention.

In 70 years of UN’s activity, the world’s population has been represented by eight male figures. We believe, as many voices are currently claiming (Equality Now or Womansg among others), it is high time for a female leader.

WILPF has already engaged in several advocacy campaigns for a transparent and inclusive election of the next UN Secretary-General – such as 1 for 7 Billion. However we want to go one step further and with our campaign called ‘UN Secretary General for Peace and the People’ we demand not only a leader with a feminist eye but a woman to represent us all.


Following up the public debate around it, former director of communications for Kofi Annan, Edward Mortimer, in a declaration that appeared in The Guardian states that the best candidate for the next UN Secretary-General must be independent, with strong ethical values and the embodiment of the principles of the UN Charter, based on peace, security, human rights and development. Whereas UK Ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, cited on this article, states “it is high time for a woman” but he makes clear hereafter that Britain would not opt to use its veto to bar a man from becoming the next Secretary-General.

More skeptical is the opinion of columnist and writer Nicholas Kristof on “how much it would matter at the grassroots level around the world” the fact of having a woman leading the UN.

Although WILPF will not endorse any particular candidate, we want to gather a broad base of support for this campaign #4FeministUNSG while also providing a space for starting a conversation on key questions like what does a progressive feminist leader look like? What commitments will she have to display? What urgent work will she have to tackle? What shall the priorities be for her first year as Secretary-General?

We invite you to take part in the ongoing discussion by posting on our social media channels or sharing further with your network. Bringing your insightful thoughts and reflections on the topic, you can contribute to enriching the public debate.

We’d love you to weight in. Share your response in the comment below or post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #4FeministUNSG.

You can also sign this petition on Charge.org and share online if you want a woman to lead the UN in 2017.