Kenyan women honour Malawi leader Joyce Banda

Kenya and Africa’s largest Women organization Maendeleo Ya Wanawake (which translates Women in Development) has Honoured Her Excellency President Mrs. Joyce Banda, describing her ascendancy to the Presidency as “a fulfillment of decades old struggle of African women.”

Patron of the Organisation, Mama Jean Kaino made the remarks during the launch of the 60th Anniversary Celebrations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

“We are very proud of President Joyce Banda. She has fulfilled decades old struggle of African women. We celebrate with all Malawian and African women, that our continent can spearhead such a development and create hope among the future generation of an equal society between men and women,”  Mama Jean -as she is fondly referred to – was quoted as saying in a statement signed by Kondwani Munthali, press secretary to Malawi Vice President Khumbo Kachali who  represented President Banda in Kenya.

Kenyani President Mwai Kibaki said Southern and East Africa were proud of Joyce Banda’s record, describing her speech delivered at the just ended summit of Comesa Heads of State and Government “powerful and insipiring.”

Kenyan women with President Kibaki and Malawi VP Kachali

While Malawi VP Kachali said: “Malawi today, is a nation that can tell Africa not to hesitate to vote for women leaders at all levels, as they are more capable to deal with issues that relate to community and national development better in many cases than those that were in office before them.”

He said “People of Malawi are proud to have produced a female leader for the highest office in the land, as the impact of having a President who is a mother can be felt within the months she has been in office.”

Maendeleo Ya Mwanawake has a membership of 4 million individual Women in Kenya and 25,000 affiliate organisations, making it the largest on the African continent.

Banda has been associated with the organization since the 1970’s as a champion of Womens Rights and Empowerment, according to the Maendeleo ya Mwanawake Patron.

The Malawi leader personally funded four women who include Traditional Authority Chitera of Chiradzulu to attend the celebrations and learn and network with her colleagues in Kenya. The Kenyan government is funding the participation of the Malawi’s vice president and the Malawi delegation which includes Minister of Gender and Social Welfare Honourable Anita Kalinde

President Banda was presented with a Jubilee Certificate of Honour in recognition for her work in protecting the rights of women, seeking justice and equity and economic empowerment of women.

Malawi plans to re-open an embassy in Kenya, this was disclosed by President Banda when she held talks with Kibaki in Uganda last week.

President Banda also announced that “President Kibaki will be visiting Malawi in January.”

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