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Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Founder & President of Women Political Leaders (WPL) and I, chair of the WPL Board had been imagining Women Leaders from all continents creating significance and impact in society and politics.

When in January 2017, I experienced the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with Silvana, we saw a possibility of turning into reality the idea we had been nurturing for a while. On that day, we knew that we could turn “imagine?” into “we can do it!”.

As an Icelandic woman and former politician, I know from experience that a gathering of people sharing the same views and objectives can make a difference when wanting to reduce disparities between women and men in terms of political empowerment, economic opportunity, and overall contribution to society.

Where could this meeting happen? There is no other place than Iceland, champion of gender equality for 10 years in a row – according to WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report – as the perfect location for the most relevant platform for women leaders. Thanks to the progress this country has achieved, Iceland is a destination that transcends both geographic and sector boundaries, to create an environment that fosters conversation between outstanding leaders.

From that moment in Davos, the idea was a reality. This year, the Forum has changed its name to illustrate the profound connection of the initiative with Iceland, and the city of Reykjavík. The Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders is meeting for the second year in a row on 18-20 November. We look forward to welcoming leaders from all over the world to Reykjavík!

Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir
Senior Advisor at UN Women
Chair of the WPL Board