Women are ‘servant leaders’, says Joyce Banda: Malawi ex- leader speaks at WIP summit

Malawi’s former President, Joyce Banda says she believes that leaders must be servants of the people because power is with the people and that power is based on the trust vested upon the leader by the people.

Banda in a group photo with WIP summit delegates

Banda in a group photo with WIP summit delegates

Sharing notes: Banda with AU secretray general Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the Founder of the Global Women in Parliament Forum

Sharing notes: Banda with AU secretray general Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the Founder of the Global Women in Parliament Forum

Banda with nd the Commissioner for International Development Mr. Neven Mimica.

Banda with nd the Commissioner for International Development Mr. Neven Mimica.

Banda in roundtable discussions

Banda in roundtable discussions

Banda with WIP delegates

Banda with WIP delegates

“There are two types of leaders—servant leader and authoritarian leader. These two types of leaders look at power differently. The servant leader is inspired and motivated by the people they serve because they realize that power is with the people.

“The authoritarian leader uses authority to exert power upon the people. Whether the people consent to that pressure or not, it does not matter much as long as his or her ambitions and desires are met. It is a well-known fact that this type of leadership is not sustainable. Anybody who ignores the wind of change is doing so at their own peril,” she said.

Banda was presenting a keynote address at this year’s Women in Parliaments (WIP) at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopiaon Tuesday, March 24. Her Keynote Address centred on the theme ‘End of Power? Re-defining Leadership’.

‘New Leadership for Global Challenges’ is the theme of the WIP Summit 2015, co-hosted by the African Union and co-financed by the European Commission.

It focuses on new leadership for change; on the need for variety of different leaders, men and women, that are willing to work together, and share insights and innovations on how best to deal with the global challenges of today and navigate the future.

Said Banda: “On my journey of public life, I have seen that most women leaders are servant leaders. They assume leadership to serve people first and not seek to be served first. Women by nature are born leaders as in most cases they seek to serve starting from the home through all levels—in communities, private sector, Parliament, cabinet and even at Presidential level. Their services are transformational”.

She thanked the African Union, the European Union and Women in Parliament for hosting the forum “at this critical moment in our history”.

“This summit is taking place at a time when the African Union and her people are working towards vision 2063 where we seek to realise a peaceful, integrated and prosperous continent. Furthermore, the African Union has declared this year as a ‘year of women”.

“As we take stock of Beijing Platform for Action this year, it is my hope that our discussions will take cognisance that we have not achieved Millennium Development Goals 3 that promotes gender equality and empower women and 5 which improves maternal health.

She said it was therefore important that the outcomes of the Summit influence and feed into the Post 2015 and the Post Beijing +20 processes.

Former President Banda said Beijing was the beginning of shifting of power from traditional patriarchal hands to a new generation of leaders. She said power in the hands of women meant power in the hands of the masses; meant better life for everybody, better human rights and better governance.

She noted that the participation of women and women leadership is becoming critical as women constitute more than half of the world’s population.

However, Banda noted that despite the growing number of women into leadership roles in different disciplines, most leadership positions are still occupied and therefore defined by men.

“As a woman leader, 20 years after Beijing, I have learnt that from the beginning we should have engaged men at discussion level. The challenge is that since men were not initially engaged at the beginning, it has been difficult to secure their support in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action in advancing women’s leadership and in closing the gender gap.

“My experience in following women leaders who have made it to Parliament, to Cabinet and even to State House has revealed that most of them have characteristics of a servant leader. They emerged from the women’s movement,” said Malawi’s first female Head of State.

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Ufulu K

I am beginning to like former President Joyce Banda.

Magede Siwandale

Im so peplexed with my dpp. Instead of focusing on delivering the promises we made during the campaign period, we seem to be focusing much on Oyce Banda. In so doing we are giving her free publicity. Inu achina ben phiri, chisale, mukhito even bwana APm cant we for once take the former president out of picture? Best way to move forward is not to make JB as our subject matter, we will derail. We shall one day wake up suprised and confused.

william makwama

She is strunded there why running away her home Muluzi did not run after stepping down his power but problem is with Joyce Banda could not understand and she cannot forgive her enermies why are you not born again shame mama accept your failure and failing to attend what has happened in malawi floods kkkkkk you dont like people of malawi bola akupase GreenCard kumeneko


For ever on the move while President and now still on the move. ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss’ as the proverb goes. JB loves to move around the world promoting women leaders, but what is she doing for Malawi? Absolutely NOTHING, ZILCH, NADA, ZERO! She is just a big noise but producing nothing by way of good works that benefit her homeland. Another proverb: ‘Empty vessels make the most noise’. She should be back in Malawi championing democracy, freedom of speech, development, the rights of women, education for girls, etc. etc.

Sekani Magombo

Why is dpp and its agents so obsessed with the return of JB to malawi? You have a country to run just focus on that. If you really think Joyce Banda will waste her time with petty politicking them think again. She has lots pf things to do. She can decide to stay away the way she wants. There is nothing wrong with that after all she is not using government resources. So leave JB alone she is enjoying what she is doing after leaving the state house. Viva JB Viva.

Prudence Lungu Wambina Kuposa Getu

Below are the advantages of having women leaders in decision making positions are: Viva JB Viva.
a. They appoint fellow women into leadership positions.
b. They are risk takers in their desire to solve problems.
c. They pay attention to development and social protection programmes to ensure inclusivity of policy programs, and
d. Studies have shown that women leaders feel the urgency of doing something about situations.
• They bring a human face into policies and programs where issues of women and children are concerned.
• Women leaders have an inclusive, team building leadership style in solving problems and in decision making.
• Women are peace builders.
• Women leaders put people’s interest first

Prudence Lungu
First and foremost JB is very right by not engaging men during and after the Beijing conference 20 years ago a gap was created as most most men felt left out. JB is also right most women leaders are servant leaders. She is the living example. In the two years she was at statd house JB never for single day did she stop working for betterment of poor malawians. She introduced various intervention programmes aimed at lifting the poor from poverty. She introduced the pararell subsidy programme which enabled poor farmers more access to farm inputs. She also pumped in… Read more »
Hot Iron

Tabwelani mai milandu ya cashgate kuno ikudikila. Ozilemeletsa okha kuzunzisa anthu owasankha lero kuno mawa uko. Zero tolerance zili kuno.


Bravo. Jb did it again day in day out enawo akulira

matako m'mwamba

Chefourpence, if you don’t have anything to comment you better find something good to do. Pali chotukwanira apa? Are you a christian, muslim or a pegan?

She indeed was right when she said power is with the people, those who don’t do the will of the people do so at their own peril. Exactly what happened to her! The people said you are travelling to much, you didn’t listen: so the people made you travel out completely. The people said tell us who stole our money and why since you said you know them, you later backtracked: so the people said we stood by what you said earlier and since you don’t want to tell us go and some one will. The people said where is… Read more »

Keynote address! What the fuck is a keynote address?

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