The Elders


Five ways to realise and protect women’s rights

To mark International Women’s Day, we highlight five perspectives on how to achieve gender equality, including on maintaining the momentum in challenging times and the importance of engaging men and boys.

Gro Brundtland: Don’t be complacent!

Gro Harlem Brundtland

“Setbacks can easily happen when our attentiveness recedes” warns Gro Harlem Brundtland in this piece from 2013 on why we cannot be complacent about the progress made so far.

Read Women's rights must not be taken for granted

Hina Jilani: Keep being outraged!

Hina Jilani

“Our courage doesn’t come from desperation; it’s a courage that comes from seeing problems as challenges” affirms Hina Jilani during an event with Gro Brundtland and Sanam Anderlini in 2015.

Read Empowering women: we are all change-makers

Mary Robinson: Support culture change from within

Mary Robinson

“Promoting the rights of girls and women cannot be imposed on a society; instead, we must support activists working to change their culture from within” argues Mary Robinson in this piece from 2011 on the relationship between religion, tradition and gender inequality.

Read Women against fundamentalism and for equality

Desmond Tutu: Prove your manhood by how you treat women

"You are a weak man if you use your physical superiority to assault and brutalise women" warns Desmond Tutu in his message to men and boys in 2009.

Lakhdar Brahimi: Know that change can happen

“Why have my sisters been deprived of education?” asks Lakhdar Brahimi as he reflects on the discrimination suffered by his sisters and the change he has witnessed in his own family.

Our work | Equality for girls and women

Equality for girls and women

The Elders are committed to supporting equality for men and women, girls and boys, in all aspects of life.


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The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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