Lions’ first female president wants women to roar

  • Nation
  • Monday, 30 Jul 2018

PETALING JAYA: Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir from Gardabaer, Ice­land, paid a visit to Singapore and Malaysia in her role as the first woman international president of Lions Clubs International (LCI).

Yngvadottir, 70, a biomedical scientist, was elected for a one-year term as the 101st international president of the organisation.

She said that being the first woman international president opened doors and was “a great opportunity to meet people from around the world” and since joining the LCI, she has visited over 100 countries.

Yngvadottir said there were “big plans” for the future to serve over 200 million people every year. LCI has 1.45 million members in 210 countries.

She said, “People are starting to realise that we’re an organisation of both men and women. Hopefully, more women are ready to join. We aim to have equal membership between men and women because now there are about 400,000 women and one million men.”

Yngvadottir was in Malaysia for three days accompanied by her husband, Jon Bjarni Thorsteinsson, 70, a past international director of LCI. This is her second visit.

Thirty years ago, she visited Kuala Lumpur and Penang with her family.

After visiting Bintulu (Sarawak) and Singa­pore, Yngvadottir attended the inauguration of district governor Datuk Neo Say Yeow, installation of cabinet officers and induction of new members of Lions Clubs International District 308 B2 here on Saturday..

In her message to Neo, Yngvadottir said, “The Lions’ movement is to serve, which we have done for so many decades. We will focus on moving membership forward by inviting new members, increasing leadership development opportunities for all Lions and ensuring women have equal representations and promoting the fellowship of Lions.”

Neo presented a mock cheque for US$41,000 (RM166,513) to Lion Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to Yngvadottir.

Datuk Dr K. Naga, international director of LCI, said, “Members feel happy and honoured that Yngvadottir, who is from a small country, was elected the first woman international president of LCI. She has opened the gates for more women presidents.”

A member of the Gardabaejar Eik Lions Club since 1992, Yngvadottir has held many offices including district governor council chairperson. She has dedicated her service to children and youth, membership and leadership development, health and wellness and environmental projects as well as LCIF.

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