Former President of Malawi Joyce Banda presented at the 177th annual Landon Lecture on Monday.
Banda is the first female president of Malawi and the fourth in African history. She titled her lecture “America’s Role in Promoting Gender Equality Worldwide: Lessons from Africa.” In her lecture she talked about gender equality, comparing her nation to the US.
“It is our collective task to promote gender equality and development around the world,” said Banda, “I’ve been fortunate that everything that I’ve championed in my life comes from personal experience.”
Banda also said in her lecture that the US has had a great impact on her development as a woman and her country. She also talked about cooperation from everyone when it comes to these issues.
“Each one of us has our story that shapes us, and it is our individual responsibility to contribute to the common good and positively impact the world,” she said.
Banda said her biggest question for the United States is why in a country with over 200 years of democracy, has there not been a woman president. She also asked why in the US that only 19% of legislatures are female.
“I must draw your attention to the fact that Africa is taking the lead in women’s position in leadership,” said Banda,” In Africa we have had four woman presidents.
Banda also talked about her accomplishments for the women in her country which include better care for pregnant women, school uniforms, and better accessibility to education for women.
Banda has received many honors including being named one of the world’s most powerful black women by Forbes magazine in 2013 and 2014; one of the most influential people in the world by Time and Forbes; and one of the most inspirational women in politics by CNN.
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