Joyce Banda highlights women challenges at BBC conference

Former Malawi president Joyce Banda focused on the the challenges faced by women  when she spoke on Tuesday at the BBC 100Women conference in London on Tuesday October 28.

Banda: Women leaders bring human faces to policy

Banda: Women leaders bring human faces to policy

Joyce Banda addressing the audience

Joyce Banda addressing the audience

Banda on panel discussion 100Women BBC 2014

Banda on panel discussion 100Women BBC 2014

Joyce Banda on the challenges faced by women

Joyce Banda on the challenges faced by women

In her keynote address, Banda said despite there being progress for women moving into decision making positions as witnessed by the rise of women at all levels of society including becoming Heads of State and Government; women still face various challenges in their journeys to public life.

Her speech about her time in office trended on Twitter with tweets coming from many including UK broadsheet newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

She said women have made important strides in public life across the world and that “Africa has done very well.”

Banda pointed out that women are able to compete in politics “comfortably” and help other women too.

“It would be tragic for this world to ignore this enormous human resource called women,” she warned.

“I don’t want anyone to say women are their own enemies. We need to stand by each other and vote for one another. We must accept it,” said Banda in panel discussion question and answer session.

She said: “I didn’t promote women to senior government positions to show off, I did it on merit.”

Highlighting challenges faced by women,  Banda said  during her speech that in many countries, women face constrained access to formal education.

“As a result of this, they have lower access to opportunities in employment, business and financial services,” she said.

She called for an “urgent need” to educate women and the girl child, saying education is a promoter and a defense that helps people to raise themselves up and assist them in breaking barriers for their development.

Banda also noted that lack of economic empowerment contributes to gender inequality and inequality of economic opportunities for women as well as unequal social status and rights.

“These inequalities slow down development for women and their ability to rise to public offices,” she said

Banda also said patriarchal society has hindered many women to enter public life in many parts of the world.

“Faulty socialisation processes at household level and community orientation have led women not being accepted into leadership positions. This has also impacted on the women to feel that they don’t have to fight for leadership positions,” she noted.

She said the behaviour patterns have mostly been influenced by negative attitudes, traditions and customs.

“I believe that real change must start with changing attitudes, traditions and behaviours in our families, communities and institutions.

“We need to sensitise societies on the negative effects of these attitudes, traditions and cultures and where necessary pass legislation to enforce compulsory education and outlawing early marriages among others,” advocated Banda.

The conference attracted women who have served on the frontline to discuss their lives and what it is like succeeding as a woman in what is traditionally seen as a man’s world.

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geralg davies mbewe

chilungamo chidzadziwika mayi Banda,kuti ndinu wakuba?

wakummawa mario

Madam, come home pliz Malawians are waiting 4 u to defend yourself on cashgate issues. For sure your bail will not less than 2 billion kwacha.ur mphwiyo has already slapped with 12 mita bail bond. So don’t run away trying to buy sympathy from azungu and black mailling APM.Mutipeza tili konkuno.

mavi ya mbewa

Life is not always easy ,it needs patience and perseverance. people people munyenge mavi ya mbewa ndikumwa mikonzo yanu

yoram j bezay

Pamaso mukamayankhula ngati kuti ndinu abwino,koma eeeeeeyi!!,Sikidzi yeniyeni.Muthu woyipa,tamabwerani kuno tione kuti zidzatha bwanji…..

Chilungamo Chimawawa

JB, more fire! the only wise leader Malawi has seen after Kamuzu Banda. Osati zina zija ndi zinazi!!!


amai mukubwera bwino


Koma inu, chitsime chimaoneka kuti chinali chakuya chitaphwa…amayi atangokhala 100 days m’boma ayi ndithu mabanja anayamba kuyenda bwino panalibe abambo kunamizira mzere wamafuta……tikunenatu ntchito zooneka ndi maso…….mmmh, pano at the speed the kwacha is nosediving someone is still monitoring the shituashoni like the academic fredom saga! tiye nazoni…….running gaffment is serous business!….


Zopusa za chiani. Osati opusa ndinu akulu? Amai, you spoke lot’s of sense. Carry on!


Keep up madam JB!


This is a woman who always sounds better in rhetoric but always never walks the talk

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