Former Prime Minister, New Zealand

New Zealand

The serious problems facing the world today will never be solved until women are able to use their full potential on behalf of themselves, their families, and their global and local communities.

— The Right Honorable Dame Jenny Shipley


The Right Honorable Jenny Shipley was the first female prime minister of New Zealand. Born in Southland, she trained as a teacher and joined her husband, Burton Shipley, in a large farming partnership before becoming involved in local government politics. During the 1990s, she served as minister of women's affairs, health, and social welfare, among other portfolios. She was a driving force in the economic and social reforms during this period. She is now vice president of the Club of Madrid, the world's largest forum of former democratic presidents and prime ministers.