Atifete Jahjaga, who completed her presidential term in April 2016, was the first female president of Kosovo and among the youngest heads of state in the world when she took office in 2011 at age 36. As president, she has weathered political crises, built international relationships, fought for women’s empowerment and against terrorism, and advocated for Kosovo’s integration into the European Union.
A strong advocate for women’s rights, Jahjaga attended the Women in Parliaments Global Summit in Jordan in May. In an editorial about that meeting published in The Huffington Post, she wrote, “For over a century, we have galvanized our societies to accept the clear reality that women are an inseparable part of the comprehensive progress of any societies, they are agents of peace, of conflict resolution, of state-building processes, and their direct involvement ensures a safer and a more just world for everyone. … It is thus imperative and smart to add the talent of women in the equation to find solutions to our common challenges.”