Former Presidents of Malawi, Nigeria Address Women’s Forum in Nigeria

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Malawi’s former president Joyce Banda has recently said that the time has come for the vicious circle of poverty among women to end.

She made this statement while presenting a Keynote Address at the 2016 ‘Women’s Power Lunch’ in Lagos, Nigeria with the theme “Women in Solidarity: A New Paradigm for Inclusion”.

Banda told the gathering that she was pleased that the organizers of the annual event, Murtala Muhammed Foundation, continue to “tirelessly work on sustaining the current wave of women in leadership positions in Africa and championing policies of inclusivity on the African continent”.

Also speaking at the event was Nigeria’s former Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo who in his address, hailed Banda for the active role she continues to play to support and promote women and women leadership in Africa.

Obasanjo is the Chairman of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation although it is run by Mrs. Aisha Obedeya, daughter of the late Murtala Muhammed, who was President of Nigeria in the 1970s.

Former President Banda said she has observed that women face the full blunt of poverty, diseases and climate change, among others.

She urged women leaders to take up the responsibility and ensure the elimination of all policies, harmful practices, beliefs, traditions, customs and systems that form the genesis and perpetuate exclusivity policies and tendencies against women.

Banda said meaningful success, in this regard, would be achieved when political leaders involve chiefs who are the custodians of tradition and culture, citing her own experience when she was Head of State when maternal mortality significantly reduced through the involvement of traditional leaders.

Indeed, many African women are caught up in the vicious cycle of poverty resulting from lack of income, education, poor health, maternal mortality and HIV/aids, among others, she said.

“I call upon and encourage African leaders, especially Heads of State and Government, the clergy, civil society and the media to step up efforts to ensure the protection and development of the girl child in the context of the recently adopted United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.

“I personally believe that governments and nations must strive to achieve the full implementation of the SDGs if the war against poverty, inequality, injustice and adverse effects of climate change is to be truly won by 2030”, said Joyce Banda.




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