Programme Highlights for Monday, 9 November

More than 700 participants are joining the Digital Reykjavík Global Forum 2020 

Reykjavík, 9 November 2020 – Nearly 700 leaders will be joining renowned speakers at this year’s Reykjavík Global Forum, 9-11 November, including Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, (2009-2013), Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), President, Chile (2006-2010, 2014-2018), José Manuel Barroso (Prime Minister, Portugal (2002-2004), President, European Commission (2004-2014), Chairman, Goldman Sachs International, Member), Denis Mukwege, Medical Director and Founder, Panzi Hospital, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2018), Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway (2013-present), and Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director, IMF.

In the midst of global pandemic, this annual conference (usually held in Reykjavík) is attracting a very high number of participants,  to discuss how to shape new kinds of leadership required to face extraordinary challenges.

This year’s three-day event, to be broadcast digitally on CBS News, will kick off on Monday 9 November with five panel sessions and numerous additional conversations on the crucial issues facing societies worldwide.

The opening panel, ‘Time for Leadership – High Time for Women’, chaired by Helen Clark and featuring Iceland PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and outstanding social entrepreneur Amanda Nguyen will consider the imperative need for women’s leadership in times of unprecedented crisis.

The panel entitled ‘There Can Be No Health without Mental Health’ will address the particular urgency of targeting such widespread conditions as depression and anxiety disorders in this time of pandemic, recognising the pivotal importance of strong support for mental health as a prerequisite for all advances. The first set of the results of a Report on the State of Mental Healthcare in Europe, jointly produced by Women Political Leaders and healthcare innovator Centene, will be released at this panel.

Panellists in ‘The Economy of Caring’ will acknowledge the disproportionate burden of care-work carried by women, who account for 70% of care providers, and the need to provide a stable policy environment to support women when their most pressing business (paid or unpaid) is to care for others. The panel ‘Nothing Will Work unless Women Do’ will explore the most significant structural and legal challenges preventing women’s equitable economic participation and full integration into the formal economy, with an eye to goals such as equal pay, parental leave, access to institutions, and ownership and management of property.

Other sessions of note include a series of Fireside Chats between José Manuel Barroso & Thoraya Obaid, Hillary Clinton & Melanne Verveer, and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya & Rosalía Arteaga.

A fifth panel, ‘Power as Perceived’, will serve to unveil the latest findings of the Reykjavík Index for Leadership 2020-2021, now in its third year of measuring popular perceptions on women and men in leadership positions. At the Panel, Dr. Michelle Harrison, Kantar, will reveal the findings of the Index in the G7 nations as well as new evidence from India, Kenya, and Nigeria. At the Panel we will know if progress is being made and where it may be stalling, or even regressing.

To gain access to the Forum, journalists can register here:

Interviews are possible. Please contact the press team at to specify your interest.

Notes to editors:
Co-hosted by Women Political Leaders (WPL) and the Government and Parliament of Iceland and launched in 2018 under the heading of ‘Power, Together’, the Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders convenes women and men leaders from all sectors (including politics, business, civil society, academia, the arts, and media) to share ideas and solutions on how to further advance society and promote and positively develop the number of women in leadership positions.