President Dalia Grybauskaitė was elected the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders at its meeting in New York. The Council, established in 1996, is a network of influential women leaders of the world. The Lithuanian president became its member in 2009, the presidential press service said.
© AFP/Scanpix

The goal of the Council is to promote greater engagement of women in key decision-making processes in the spheres of legislation, labour market and gender equality, as well as to improve the quality of democracy across the world.

According to the president, her election as the chair of the Council of Women World Leaders is the recognition of Lithuania's leadership.

Lithuania is one of the EU member states where women hold at least 40 percent of leading positions in government institutions. Moreover, the gap between the proportions of working men and women is one of the narrowest across the EU, according to the president.

In her address to the women leaders gathered in New York, President Grybauskaitė also underlined that women's participation in politics is not a privilege - it is a right to contribute to building the future of their countries. The duty of world leaders is to ensure that this right can be exercised by each and every person, regardless of gender, race, beliefs or economic position.

The Council now has 48 members and the board of directors. The Lithuanian president will chair the Council for a four-year term. She will succeed in this position Tarja Halonen, former president of Finland. Among the members of the Council are also German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, South Korean President Geun-hye Park, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and other heads of state.

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