Joyce Banda addresses members of US Congress, promotes women’s leadership

Malawi’s former president Joyce Banda on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, addressed some members of the United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, United States of America.

JB addresses US Congress members

Congresswoman Jan Schakows of Illinois with Banda and Dr Garbriella Bardall

Joyce Banda making her speech

She becomes the first Malawian high-profile political leader to officially participate in a panel discussion before distinguished members of the US Parliament since Malawi attained political independence from colonial masters, the British, in July 1964.

In her discussion, Banda shared her own experience in running for political office; the challenges and triumphs of building the people’s confidence in democratic institutions; and the positives of female leadership to developing countries.

Banda suggested ways on how the United States government would contribute to preventing and mitigating violence against women in politics.

The former Malawi leader took the opportunity to share the contents of her most recent publication at the Wilson Center titled, “From Day One: An Agenda for Advancing Women Leaders in Africa”.

In that paper, Banda addresses the ways in which the girls and women who are born to be leaders are prevented from reaching their potential in sub-Saharan Africa, and proposes recommendations to ensure that more African women are represented in leadership and decision-making in government and elected office across the continent.

Banda was invited to the panel discussion at the US Congress on Capitol Hill by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to discuss “preventing and mitigating violence against women in politics”.

She was joined by the former Attorney General of Guatemala, Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz, Chief of the Leadership and Governance section at UN Women, Begona Lasagabaster, and the Permanent Observer of the Inter-Parliamentary Union at the UN, Paddy Torsney.

The event was hosted by Congressman James McGovern of Massachusetts, Congressman Randy Hultgren of Illinois, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Congresswoman Ann Wagner of Missouri, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon, and Congressman Salud Carbajal of California.

An entrepreneur, activist, politician and a philanthropist, Banda is the former president of Malawi, making her the country’s first female president and Africa’s second. Voted as Africa’s most powerful woman by Forbes magazine and voted as one of the most powerful women in the world by TIME magazine, she is a champion for the rights of women, children, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups.

She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of current and former women prime ministers and presidents, whose primary goal is to use the symbolic importance of women leaders and the substantive experience of its members to support women’s full participation and representation in the political process at the highest levels, and encourage future women leaders.

Banda is a motivational speaker. She has spoken at a number of high-profile international conferences and forums, including the International Conference on Women in Beijing, the American and African Business Women’s Africa Conference in London, the Women Deliver Conference in Washington, DC and renowned universities and institutions of higher learning across the globe.

Continuing her tireless work encouraging women to enter political office and championing the rights of women and the disenfranchised, Banda has taken on a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Global Development, jointly with the Woodrow Wilson Center, where she brings her invaluable experiences as a leader in African politics.

 

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8 thoughts on “Joyce Banda addresses members of US Congress, promotes women’s leadership”

  1. Mmihavani says:

    Where is her friend Hilary Clinton? Paja ankamulimbitsa ntima. Ngati yakanika America za woman president ndiye muzitiuza ife zoputsazo.

  2. nanyati nanyati says:

    If JB was the best of the best, Smart, why make too many postings the same? Shame on you!! May be I should do the same.

  3. nanyati nanyati says:

    If JB was the best of the best, Smart, why make too many postings the same? Shame on you!!

  4. mtete says:

    @nyasapaper, point taken. Let us agree to disagree. I have my reservations about her leadership style

  5. nyasapaper says:

    @mtete and all like-minded: JB was the best president Malawi ever had. She was the most suitable to move Malawi’s economy forward. No one will ever replace her – she was just so good as a leader. When her predecessor Bingu had messed up the economy through cashage and losing donor confidence, JB reversed the the country’s odds and restored both the economy and donor confidence is less than 100 days of her stay in office as president. This included investigating cashgate suspects and arresting them. She was moved out office not because she lost the election but the election was blatantly stolen from her by DPP machinery. But JB was such a nice leader that she accepted ‘defeat’ and allowed the new ‘leader’ take over office. If it were in Ghambia or other African country the chaos which characterized the 2014 elections would have culminated in deaths of the innocent citizens. When the new so-called president took over office, he orchestrated theft, killings and abductions (typical of DPP). The drive to seal loopholes of cashgate and corruption stalled. The economy began once again to be crumble and donors left Malawi like they did under Bingu’s regime. We, the people who love Malawi, cry for JB, our leader, our economic saviour, our hope and our future. Those who despise JB are part of an evil machinery that has slowed down Malawi’s attainment of economic emancipation. Long live JB. We miss you so dearly, but we can brave your absence for the sake of your safety – Malawi is in the hands of hounds and cruel wolves that are not amused with people who love others.

  6. mtete says:

    No comments. Funny how others think she is a true leader. Well, she failed miserably here at home. All she was good at was distribution of cows, goats. maize, etc, using public funds. And, by the way, she had her share of Cashgate. This is why she is scared to return home. Some prophet not recognized at home? Well, for good reasons. This woman is bad medicine. Let her continue addressing those who do not know the plight of Malawians.

    1. smart kamdakoma says:

      JB was the best president Malawi ever had. She was the most suitable to move Malawi’s economy forward. No one will ever replace her – she was just so good as a leader. When her predecessor Bingu had messed up the economy through cashage and losing donor confidence, JB reversed the the country’s odds and restored both the economy and donor confidence is less than 100 days of her stay in office as president. This included investigating cashgate suspects and arresting them. She was moved out office not because she lost the election but the election was blatantly stolen from her by DPP machinery. But JB was such a nice leader that she accepted ‘defeat’ and allowed the new ‘leader’ take over office. If it were in Ghambia or other African country the chaos which characterized the 2014 elections would have culminated in deaths of the innocent citizens. When the new so-called president took over office, he orchestrated theft, killings and abductions (typical of DPP). The drive to seal loopholes of cashgate and corruption stalled. The economy began once again to be crumble and donors left Malawi like they did under Bingu’s regime. We, the people who love Malawi, cry for JB, our leader, our economic saviour, our hope and our future. Those who despise JB are part of an evil machinery that has slowed down Malawi’s attainment of economic emancipation. Long live JB. We miss you so dearly, but we can brave your absence for the sake of your safety – Malawi is in the hands of hounds and cruel wolves that are not amused with people who love others.

    2. smart kamdakoma says:

      @mtete and all like-minded: JB was the best president Malawi ever had. She was the most suitable to move Malawi’s economy forward. No one will ever replace her – she was just so good as a leader. When her predecessor Bingu had messed up the economy through cashage and losing donor confidence, JB reversed the the country’s odds and restored both the economy and donor confidence is less than 100 days of her stay in office as president. This included investigating cashgate suspects and arresting them. She was moved out office not because she lost the election but the election was blatantly stolen from her by DPP machinery. But JB was such a nice leader that she accepted ‘defeat’ and allowed the new ‘leader’ take over office in the interest of peace. If it were in Ghambia or other African country the chaos which characterized the 2014 elections would have culminated in deaths of the innocent citizens. When the new so-called president took over office, he orchestrated theft, killings and abductions (typical of DPP). The drive to seal loopholes of cashgate and corruption stalled. The economy began once again to crumble and donors left Malawi like they did under Bingu’s regime. We, the people who love Malawi, cry for JB, our leader, our economic saviour, our hope and our future. Those who despise JB are part of an evil machinery that has slowed down Malawi’s attainment of economic emancipation. Long live JB. We miss you so dearly, but we can brave your absence for the sake of your safety – Malawi is in the hands of hounds and cruel wolves that are not amused with people who love others.

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