Portrait of Adenike

Leaders urged to listen to female voices, as women around the world personally address global leaders ahead of G7

Seven women from countries including Ukraine, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have written to G7 leaders to offer a first-hand perspective on how the world’s most pressing crises are affecting women and girls globally.  

Despite crises and disasters disproportionately affecting women and girls, women are wholly underrepresented in political leadership and decision-making positions. Only 10 countries currently have a female head of state and only 13 countries have a woman head of government. Now, with the absence of Angela Merkel for the first time since 2005, this G7 will be the first summit without a female representative from a nation-state for 17 years.  

CARE has coordinated the series of seven letters, written by women from around the world addressing the world leaders attending the G7 in Germany this week. 

In the letters, the women provide their own perspectives for world leaders as they seek to address major global issues, such as climate change and conflict. The letters are: 

  1. Badia* from Afghanistan writes about the impact of the food crisis on her family

Woman holds baby in Afghanistan
Daria and a girl in school in Poland
Portrait of Adenike Oladosu
Portrait of Syrian girl Marwa
Portrait of Yemen woman Dalia
Portrait of Somali woman Hodan

CARE International works with women and girls and their communities to overcome the complex drivers of poverty. All women featured in the letters have worked with CARE International - whether as participants such as Badia who have received food parcels from CARE - or later as working for CARE as Daria has done. 

Helen Pankhurst CBE, CARE International UK's Special Adviser on Gender Equality, said: 

“These letters from around the globe illustrate just some of the challenges so many women face around the world.  

“If women are to be equally valued, they need to be equally represented. It is not only about fairness, but about ensuring appropriate policies because different perspectives are seen and understood.  

“We no longer even have a single female leader of a nation-state present around the G7 table. This feels like a sad testimony of lack of progress, in fact, the reverse. Now more than ever the most powerful men on the planet need to listen to the priorities of women and girls brought into policy and action.” 

*Name changed to protect identity 

For more information, contact Megan Kneafsey at [email protected].