Events & Culture
The Woman of Cyprus – The Journey of a Century
The Hellenic Centre and the Cypriot Estia of London invite you to the book presentation
The Woman of Cyprus – The Journey of a Century by Androulla Vassiliou, former First Lady and EU Commissioner. The presentation will be introduced by Mr Euripides L. Evriviades, The High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus and will conclude with a short presentation by Andria Zafirakou, the 2018 Global Teacher Prize Winner.
The presentation will be in Greek and English.
Androula Vassiliou’ s Biographical Note
Androula Vassiliou was born in Paphos and brought up in Nicosia, Cyprus.
She graduated from the Pancyprian Gymnasium in 1961, whereupon she left for London for further studies.
She studied Law at Middle Temple Inn of Court and was called to the English Bar and subsequently studied International Affairs at the London Institute of World Affairs.
In 1966 she returned to Cyprus and soon after she married Dr George Vassiliou, former President of the Republic of Cyprus (1988-1993). They have three children.
Androula practiced law in Cyprus for 27 years and during this time she served also as Legal Adviser to The Standard Chartered Bank in Cyprus and later to the Bank of Cyprus.
She has always been very active in the field of Human Rights and Gender Equality. She served for almost ten years as SG and later as President of the United Nations Association of Cyprus and in 1991- 1995 she was elected President of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA).
During her husband’s presidency and as a First Lady, she had a very active role in many cultural, humanitarian and social fields and had actively encouraged closer links between women’s organisations in Cyprus and women of the Cypriot Community of the UK.
In 1996 she was elected to the Cyprus House of Representatives and in 2001 she was re-elected for a second five-year term. She had served on many Parliamentary committees and was also a member of the Cyprus delegation to the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) and member of the joint parliamentary committee between the European Parliament and the Cyprus Parliament.
In 2008 she was appointed to the European Commission, first as Commissioner for Health and in 2010 till the end of 2014, as Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, being also responsible for Sport.
Since her return to Cyprus, she continues to be active in various fields, both in Cyprus and abroad, on a voluntary basis.
Androula Vassiliou is a recipient of many awards and honours:
- The ‘Grand Cross of the Order of Benefaction’ from the Hellenic Republic;
- An Honorary Doctorate from ‘Demetri Cantemir University’ of Romania;
- Was named ‘Commander of the Order of the Arts and the Letters’ by the French Republic, in 2015;
- In January 2016 she received from the Kingdom of Spain the ‘Civil Order of Alfonso X el Sabio’ at a special ceremony at the Prado museum.
- In February 2017, she received the award ‘Eryfilli’ from the Cyprus Employers Federation and the Cyprus Federation of Business and Professional Women ( BPW-Cyprus) as ‘A Woman Leader’;
- The International Olympic Committee awarded her the 2017 Prize ‘Women and Sport’ for the whole of Europe and
- In January 2018, the ‘The Association of Cypriot Sport Journalists’ awarded her the ‘Prize of Excellence’, in recognition of her efforts for equality and her fight against all forms of discrimination.
This event is part of the celebrations for the 25th Anniversary of the Hellenic Centre