Joyce Banda urges for African women’s empowerment not lecturers from the West: Malawi’s ex-president speaks at Dubai EHIA conference

African women in politics need financial support from the West to help them forge ahead rather than leadership training, Malawi’s former president Joyce Banda said on Sunday, adding that advice she had received in the past had backfired.

Joyce Banda: Former Malawi president says There must be a stubborn link of K577 billion DPP-era cashgate and K20 billion PP-era cashgate

Joyce Banda: Former Malawi president says There must be a stubborn link of K577 billion DPP-era cashgate and K20 billion PP-era cashgate

Ensuring women’s full participation at all levels in political, economic and public life is one of the targets of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, an ambitious plan to end poverty and inequality agreed by world leaders last year.

Just over a fifth of parliamentary seats in sub-Saharan Africa are held by women, according to U.N. data, but there are wide variations between countries.

Banda, Malawi’s first female president and the second woman to lead an African country after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, told delegates at a conference on African women’s empowerment that a confrontational western style would not work in Africa.

She described how she had once received women’s leadership training in New York, where participants were told to be assertive, stand straight and look people in the eye.

“If I had done that, for example while talking to a traditional ruler in Africa, I would have been rejected immediately,” Banda said, explaining that she believed in feminism and in equal rights for women, but also in “doing things the African way”.

“If you want to take the western route, all you will get is rejection, frustration. Confrontation will never work,” she said in a speech at the Sheroes Forum in Dubai.

Banda described how, following the 1995 Fourth World Women Conference in Beijing where delegates called for international efforts to boost women’s political representation, she had printed a banner for a follow-up conference in Malawi with the slogan “99 Women in Office by 1999”.

But she said this prompted instant resistance from many male politicians who felt threatened about the men who would be unseated in order for the 99 women to take their seats.

“If you want to fight men to get equal rights, you will get frustrated,” said Banda.

Banda, who was in power from 2012 to 2014, runs the Elect Her In Africa (EHIA) initiative which aims to encourage women to run for elected offices and to spur governments to appoint women to key positions.

She said the best way the West could help African women gain political power was through helping their economic empowerment.

“When you don’t have the money, you can’t stand for elective power, not in Africa,” she added.

The Sheroes Forum is a biannual event bringing together African women who are blazing a trail in the public and private sectors to discuss how best to promote women’s empowerment in politics and business.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From Nyasatimes

More From the World

11 thoughts on “Joyce Banda urges for African women’s empowerment not lecturers from the West: Malawi’s ex-president speaks at Dubai EHIA conference”

  1. Winston Msowoya says:

    Brilliant comments Malawians.I would like to strongly dispute JBs thoughts about men and women.We Africans respect our women more than any race under the Sun.For instance,where she was talking from,was an Arab nation which officially does not accept woman’s supremacy,she did not bring this issue straight on,but looked on when African men are accused of mistreating their women,by the Western minds.During Iddi Amin’s war with Tanzaniia,it was reported that one platoon consists of women only and led by a woman Lt.Major,withdrew from the front lines within few hours of engagements.The Commander In Chief Mwalimu Nyerere authorized this shift because there was intense pressure from women soldiers to be included in active duties like mens’ folk,they failed to prove their state of worthiness and left the men in front lines engaging Amin’s powerful and brutal forces.Again,this proves that there are some jobs that women cannot qualify to lead.JB,the best thing to do is to come back home and defend yourself over CASHGATE debacle,there is no need remaining outside your country and be used as an expedient of Africa’s detractors.Why can’t you emulate Johnson Sirleaf’s exemplary over her competent leadership on rebuilding her once spoliated nation of Liberia.Come back home to contribute your knowledgable talents in rebuilding our unfortunate and beloved MOTHER MALAWI. After all,you are married to a top-notched Lawyer who would advise you in your predicaments.If really you have no connection with the infamous CASHGATE SCANDLE,what is your fear?

  2. PURE AFRICAN says:

    I really sorry for Africa but I love Africa very much than any other continent. However, it is this wishfull thinking like the one in once former President that has led the West to look at Africa as their PLAYGROUND. Madam Former President, please please I beg of you, if you a Christian, read your Bible and meditate on each and every word. If you are a Moslem then the KORAN will be the best. I need not remind you that our Almighty God, in His own creation realised that differences are bound to be there. Hopefully, you will agree with me that God said and I quote: “Men love your wives and women obey your husbands” GOD is love not so?? Then why always women and not men want to compare themselves with men or better still women want to take the position of a man. I beg of you to know that none of us chose to be born a man or woman. And neither by being a woman it means that God was wrong to create you as such. What is important is that we were all created by the Almighty. By the way is it not from a man that God created a woman??? Now tell me why a mere human being whether from the West, East or Africa want to change this set up. Is is it not the very reason why we are facing alot of challenges today. You know for sure that the West does not want Africa to be more developed than itself or better still at an equal level with them. So stop this madness talk of yours. Let us love one another and maintain foundations that God Almigthy put in place. Is it not a woman who was cheated by the surpent, and was it not the beginning of all these challenges. Remember anything aginst God’s plan will be bound to experience challenges. I just hope that the next theme of your talk will not be ” let us make the West to be Africa the Africa the West or worse still East be West then viza vi.

  3. Chipapwiche Kajhalwiche says:

    Amayi, there is a new tour company in Malawi called Kazhigheti Tours. I saw there buses in the Nation newspaper today. Do you know it?

  4. khwangwi says:

    Is her conscience really clear? Was cashgate her own making or was it merely seismic failure on her part to stop the coordinated looting that took place under her watch?

    Leaders are meant to be strong and they always live among their people in good times and bad times alike. True leaders are ready to die for their people.

    Malawi needs true leaders and people are tired of experimental leaders. When we finally get a true leader the world will know. True leaders make things happen even if it means going against political beliefs of close allies.

    True leaders move mountains for the sake of the common people. True leaders will not fiercely seek office for they do not necessarily work for their personal benefits. If the common people go hungry, they elect to go hungry as well. They identify themselves with the vulnerable of the society. True leaders are identified for their ability to lead in the fight against the enemy.

    Who is our perennial enemy in our country? Answer: poverty and lawlessness

    Who is better placed to fight this enemy? Probably Magufuli

    Do we have Magufuli in this country? I do not know!

    We should pray for such a true leader.

  5. ndangodutsamo says:

    get the money and run run run zoona amayi? you needed to balance your advice … there is indeed what we can copy and what we cannot

  6. khwangwi says:

    Clean up politics first and all will be well. Multiparty politics as preached by the West has destroyed Africa. There is unending poverty due to corruption and hypocrisy brought about by multiparty.

    The first time I heard about the word corruption as applied in daily parlance is after multiparty was enshrined in our statute books. People go into government to loot and there is no political will to stamp out corruption as almost every politician is corrupt.

    The only way to root out corruption, nepotism, cronyism and other bad isms is to find another Kamuzu under a SINGLE party democracy.

  7. Thitherward 'wendo says:

    She’s probably right. If women want political empowerment, the best ‘key position’ to assume is the missionary position.

  8. Masozi Mwenifumbo says:

    We all need to learn from the BIBLE about VIRTUOUS WOMEN!!!

    We cannot be acting against God’s Word as men and women, and expect to be honoured by God, even if the whole wicked world backs our ungodly characters!!! Compare for example Sarah, Shiprah and Puah, Prophetess Deborah, Naomi, Ruth, Hannah, Prophetess Huldah, Queen Esther, Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Evangelist Priscilla on the one hand; with the Women of Noah’s Generation, Penninah, Jezebel, Athaliah, Daughters of Jerusalem years before exile, Queen Vashti, Herodias, Sapphira: AND WHAT COMES OUT CLEAR IN THESE EXAMPLES IS THAT THE GOOD LOT WERE COMMENDED SO BY GOD NOT BECAUSE OF ANYTHING, BUT THEIR GODLY CHARACTER, THEIR MORAL EXCELLENCE AND VIRTUOUS LIVING AMONGST MEN AND ALL!!!! IT WAS NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR RICHES (FOR MANY OF THESE GOOD EXAMPLES WERE RICH WOMEN, OTHERS GREW FROM POOR TO RICH), SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY LIVED ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD AMONGST MEN OF THEIR GENERATIONS!!!! AS FOR THE OTHER BAD LOT, NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT THE RICHES OF THESE WICKED WOMEN EXAMPLES DID NOT HELP THEM OUT WITH THEIR CHARACTER-BUILDING, DESPITE MOST OF THEM BEING VERY RICH INDEED!!!!! Therefore, whilst it is said in Ecclessiastes 10:19 that MONEY (which Her Excellency Honourable Joyce Banda is asking for from the West) ANSWERS ALL THINGS, this verse should not be MISINTERPRETED to mean MONEY IS A CURE OR SOLUTION FOR ALL OUR PROBLEMS!!! IN OTHER WORDS, THE VERSE SIMPLY MEANS MONEY CAN EITHER BE PUT TO GOOD USE OR BAD USE, DEPENDING ON THE USER. UNFORTUNATELY, NOWADAYS, MONEY HAS OFTEN BEEN PUT TO MORE EVIL USE THAN GOOD, AND PEOPLE HAVE IN THE NAME OF MAMMON-WORSHIP, THROWN TO THE DOGS ALL THEIR MORAL DECENCY JUST FOR A MORSEL OF BREAD. FOR EXAMPLE, MALAWI HAS ACCEPTED BAD LEADERSHIP AND BAD LIFESTYLES LIKE HOMOSEXUALITY FROM THE WEST JUST BECAUSE OF THE SILVER PLATTERS BEING DANGLED BY THESE DEMONICALLY-LED NATIONS AND UNO!!!! Therefore, the money Malawi has been CRYING FOR AT THE EXPENSE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THEIR OWN SOULS, HAS IN THIS INSTANCE, INDEED ANSWERED, BUT IN AN EVIL WAY, DUE T THE EVIL ATTACHMENTS ACCOMPANIED THEREBY!!!! God, therefore, says to you Madam Joyce Banda and all, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things (THE PAGANS/HEATHENS ARE BUSY SEEKING CONTRARY TO GOD’S WORD) SHALL SURELY BE ADDED UNTO YOU!!!” AND THEY WILL NOT ENSNARE YOU, AS YOU WILL USE THEM ACCORDING TO THE VIRTUES THE KINGDOM OF GOD CLEARLY TEACHES IN THE HOLY BIBLE/ SCRIPTURES, THE ONLY USER’S MANUAL FOR ALL CREATION FROM YAHWEH, THE ONLY TRUE GOD AND CREATOR OF ALL THINGS!!!!

    1. Koma Ya says:

      I tried to read this comment but got tired along the way. Capital letters are just hectic.

  9. masa masina says:

    This is a philosophy of Political prostitution!. Do not learn anything from the azungu. Just get their money and run! run! Amayi bodza!!!. The west has la long history and Africa has a lot to learn from the west, both what not to do and what should be done for us to develop.

  10. Nyambalo Jackson says:

    Do you that three quarters of staff at MACRA is Seventh Day Adventist – why is it like this?. This is religious segregation. It begins with Director General himself and Chairperson to Advisors simply because jobs are offered at the church , not on merit. MARCRA jobs are hardly advertised in the newspapers, but they get filled up. This is one of the worst statutory bodies in the country.

Comments are closed.