While addressing a group of young girls and women during a Girl2Leader campaign-themed session at the WPL Global Summit 2017 in Iceland, President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca encouraged all female political leaders present at the session to establish networks of young girls in their countries in an effort to promote empowerment. In this way, young girls can feel a sense of unity through their respective network, and can consequently thrive in solidarity with one another.
The President stated that as a result, “we can ensure that in our lifetime, the global democratic deficit is addressed.” President Coleiro Preca also made reference to the latest World Economic Forum indicators, which state that at the current rate of progress it will take an estimated 217 years to achieve full gender parity in the world, and called for a continuous process of promoting active female participation.
The President added that daughters must be raised to think of themselves as potential leaders, innovative and critical thinkers, and valued contributors to our society.
Addressing attendees present at the session, the President said that it takes the effort of people of all genders to achieve full gender parity.
The President further stated that she is proud to be the patron of the #Girl2Leader Campaign, which was launched on the International Day of the Girl, and expressed her enthusiasm for this campaign because she remembers herself at an age where she herself had no networks to turn to. The President said that there were times when she felt alone but was nonetheless determined to overcome the challenges she faced.
“I felt the need to get into politics in order to influence decisions at an executive level. I had started earlier in civil society, but felt that I could be doing something more effective, which is why I eventually entered into politics”, President Coleiro Preca said.
It is for this reason that President Coleiro Preca appealed to all the women present at the WPL Global Summit and concluded by stating that “we are leaders in our own right. We need to do something in our countries to encourage young girls to come forward so that our next generation will not be like our generation. We owe it to our wonderful girls in our countries.”
The President is a member of the Advisory Council of the Women Political Leaders Global Forum and is also the patron of the #Girl2Leader Campaign.