Malawi strongly believes in women empowerment -VP

Malawi has always been a strong supporter of women empowerment, Vice President Khumbo Kachali said in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa Saturday.

Kachali, who is representing President Joyce Banda at the AU  Heads of State and Government Summit, was speaking at a fund-raising luncheon the African Women’s Decade hosted for AU delegates.

Also present at the luncheon was Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She and president Banda have for years played a prominent role in the struggle for empowerment of women in Africa.

VP Khumbo Kachali speaking at the fundraising luncheon hosted by the African Women's Decade in Addis Ababa . Photo by by Felix Washon/Mana

Kachali, who represented President Banda at the luncheon, said with the coming to power of Africa’s  second female president in the Malawi leader, Africa’s women were assured of total support.

He told the luncheon that Malawi would donate 25, 000 US Dollars to the Africa Women’s Decade. He assured the initiative of greater support at the highest level now that Africa had two female presidents.

In her remarks, President Johnson Sirleaf said her work would now be easier because she had a “sister” who was also a president.

The idea of a Women’s Decade was hatched in 1975 by the United Nations at the First World conference on women held in Mexico City, according to the background on the initiative.

Since then, African women have been involved, and continue to participate in local and international consultations on women’s rights and gender equality.

At their Extra-Ordinary Meeting of Ministers of Gender and Women Affairs in Maseru, Lesotho, in December 2008, the AU Ministers for Gender and Women Affairs called on the AU to declare 2010-2020 as African Women’s Decade and undertake wide consultations to ensure the decade’s success.

The Decade is being implemented in two phases. The first phase is from 2010 to 2015 and the second phase will be from 2015 to 2020.There will be reviews in 2015, back to back with the MDG Review and at the End of the Decade in 2020.

The aim of the African Women’s Decade is to advance gender equality by accelerating implementation of DAKAR, Beijing and AU Assembly Decisions on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

The initiative focuses on 10 themes–fighting poverty and promoting economic empowerment of women and entrepreneurship, agriculture and food security, women’s health, maternal mortality and HIV and AIDS, education science and technology and women in decision making positions.

The other themes are peace and security and violence against women, governance and legal protection, finance and gender budgets and mentoring youth to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The luncheon raised half a million US dollars in pledges.

Mines Minister of Ethiopia Sinknesh Ejigu breifing Vice President Khumbo Kachali upon arrival at Bole International in Addis Ababa.-. Photo by by Felix Washon/Mana

ice President Khumbo Kachali arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at Bole I nternational Airport ahead of the 19th AU Summi.. Photo by by Felix Washon/Mana

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