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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33 thoughts on “Joyce Banda highlights women challenges at BBC conference”

  1. chilungamo chidzadziwika mayi Banda,kuti ndinu wakuba?

  2. wakummawa mario says:

    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.

  3. mavi ya mbewa says:

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

  4. yoram j bezay says:

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

  5. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

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

  6. sautso says:

    amai mukubwera bwino

  7. makechisasa says:

    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!….

  8. Thangalimodzi says:

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

  9. John says:

    Keep up madam JB!

  10. Nankungwi says:

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

  11. Wanganyewanganye mtumbuka says:

    Beware women out there. This woman married to many husbands. What kind of a woman is thiso…?B-)

  12. Dzambanchere says:

    Kubwela koma kumeneko well done mama Banda

  13. Nyaluganga says:

    Mtima suvala sanza

  14. Kwangali Unami says:

    All i see are empty seats Mama go back home these white peopke are using you to boost their own egos. Paja inu yanu ija ya azungu andituma!

  15. Malawi says:

    Bravo JB. Whoever wsnts to humiliate u will be uncovered. May You be protected.

  16. As a Malawian man am proud with JB. She has done alot for other women and men when she was head of state. She is the only head of state who promoted thousands of civil servants. Continue with your noble cause mama.

  17. njolomachipilingu says:

    Keep it up mt President.Kuno kuli President wa Lidada kikikikiki.Olo kutchula dzina la Chipani chake Satha

  18. Bongololo says:

    Koma azungu amatipusitsa; they invite the best of the best professionals from their back-yards, but from our neck of the woods they invite mbuziz like Joyce Banda.

    1. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

      vuseki zako, osati mbuzi ndi agogo ako aja opanda mano aja. Munthu odapita ku sukulu koma mayankhulidwe ndi zochitika ngati si a profesala. kumangokhalira kujeda JB ndi hule Kaliati, za ziiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. augustine says:

    JB well said please continue, there are highly educated women in our society who can make a difference towards the development of Malawi but are oppressed because they are women. I see you as a beacon of change in this male dominated society. Keep it up.

  20. KANJANI says:


    1. Aferazao says:

      A Bantu will always be a Bantu. What do you mean when you say zopusa?

  21. Eeeeeee odi uko amai adutsek

  22. Taurai Tembo says:

    Global leader,no one can refuse this

  23. Kadakwiza says:

    What a speech. Wish you all the best Mayi Joyce Banda.

  24. Bitiku Boli says:


  25. Njolopingo says:

    tatiyeni tiyendetse Malawi popanda kunamizira ku JB amatisokoneza, she is refusing to be ruled by boma limene analikaikira malowedwe ake kikikikiki

  26. Inu says:

    I totally agree with what you have said JB. If many countries can implement what you presented, we can make tremendous strides. It is just that as my president before, you were not convincing. Too much travel and mostly petty travels. All those things you have said are sound but putting them into action requires serious policy orientation. Tha is where leadership matters. You know action is loudr than words. However, wishing you all the best in your retired life and hope that you can positively contribute to important social debates around the world.

    1. Mr.Bambo says:

      Ineeeyoooo,ineeeyoooo kkkkkkk!!!

  27. The strongest woman in africa

  28. a mbewe says:

    that’s my president

  29. Njolopingo says:

    Inde-inde, akuti apanso mumawalondola, koma munena zoona JB apa amalondola inu eti? asaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! odi uko

  30. de' Morgans says:

    Koma Joy unabadwa, kukongola choncho, koma zina tikuwona pambalizo ndiye zitinso zimezo? muwawuze amenewo kuti amuna akumalawi amadana ndi zimenezo masana koma usiku aahh no problem, thats our food, kikikikikiest!!! koma kumudzi kuno akumangatu, moti Paulo anali tenant wa ku maula kwa sabata yathuthu, munayenera kukamuwona monga muja mumachitiramu.

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