Malawi’s former President Joyce Banda says women leaders are “risk takers; they are honest; and that they care about the people they serve”.
“Women appoint fellow women and focus on big projects as well as on small social projects that touch women’s lives,” former President Banda said when she was a panellist at the UN Headquarters in New York, the United States of America (USA).
The panel discussion was held UN, where women from around the globe are meeting at the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
CWS takes place every year around the International Women’s Day.
Countries around the world have just commemorated the annual World Women Day, which falls on March 8. The day was punctuated by various activities as women took the opportunity to celebrate ‘Beijing’ after 20 years.
As a panellist, former President Banda’s presentation centred on the advantages of women leadership with regard to Beijing agreements. It touched on three parameters—women participation in leadership, educating girls and economic empowerment.
She also discussed the five pillars that she feels every female leader should pay attention to such as the generation of income (business) particularly for rural women, education for the girl child, maternal health – HIV/Aids, leadership and women’s rights.
Said Banda: “The world must create space for young leaders. Young leaders should keep the fire burning as their empowerment is work in progress and there is still a lot to be done.
“They must take over from us. Fellow women must be appointed to senior positions and they must be willing to take risks take risks. They must be inclusive on issues of national importance and allow men to be part of the discussion because you need them for implementation.”
Organized by the London School of Economics, the meeting gives women a rare opportunity to share experiences; highlight their achievements; and take stock of their failures.
It also afforded them the latitude to highlight some of the challenges they are likely to encounter in implementing the Beijing Plan of Action and map the way forward from the lessons drawn.
The meeting also discussed women in leadership, especially in public office. The meeting was entitled ‘CSW Above the Parapet – Women in Public Office – Learning from Women who reached the top’.
The recommendations from this meeting will feed into the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
In the light of CSW focus on the Beijing Platform for Action, including current challenges for its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment, the meeting shared emerging lessons and heard from women about their own journeys.
The London School of Economics launched the Above the Parapet project last October to capture the experiences of senior women, who have shaped public life. It aims to identify the contexts and individual factors that shape women’s journeys into senior life in several fields.
In 2012, Banda became the first female Head of State in Malawi and Southern Africa and second in Africa after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :