Helvi Linnea Aleksandra Sipilä (5 May 1915 – 15 May 2009) was a Finnish diplomat, lawyer and politician. She was known as a promoter of women's rights, and was the first-ever female Assistant-Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Sipilä began her career as a lawyer and opened her own legal office in 1943. As a UN Assistant Secretary-General, she was in charge of the Center for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs from 1972 to her retirement from the post in 1980. She organized the first World Conference on Women in 1975 and had a great influence on the United Nations' decision to celebrate the Decade for Women and establish the Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in 1976.
In 1982, Sipilä became the first woman to run for President of Finland, as a candidate of the Liberal People's Party. She held twelve honorary doctorates and was granted the title of Minister in 2001.
- "Helvi Sipilä at 85 - a strong-willed woman marks the way". Helsingin Sanomat. 5 May 2000. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
- "Helvi Sipilä dies". YLE. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
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