Monday, 21 March 2016

"We need an Africa where women participate fully in decision-making and shaping the African inclusive growth story," Geraldine Fraser Moleketi - 2016 New African Woman of the Year

"We need an Africa where women participate fully in decision-making and shaping the African inclusive growth story,"   Geraldine Fraser Moleketi -  2016 New African Woman of the YearThe New African Woman Forum, which drew some of the most influential women on the continent, concluded with a powerful message: Women's empowerment is a human rights issue and it makes good business sense


Ghana's Foreign Affairs Minister Hannah Tetteh emphasises a point during the session discussing how African women are "Changing the game and changing the future". Other Panelists from left to right are: Mareme Mbaye Ndiaye - MD Ecobank Rwanda; Bineta Diop - Africa Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security; and Razia Khan - Chief Economist, Africa at Standard Chartered Bank  
LONDON, UK, 18 March 2016, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The publishers of one of Africa's most influential women and lifestyle magazines, New African Woman, convened a high level Forum in London last week under the theme "changing the game" - where gender equity, women empowerment and entrepreneurship were some of the key issues spotlighted.    

Among the high level attendees and special guests were Malawi's Former President, H.E Joyce Banda; Ghana's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Hannah Tetteh; Special Representative of the President of DR Congo on Sexual Violence and Child Recruitment,  Jeanine Mabunda Lioko, and former Nigerian Minister and social activist, Oby Ezekwesili. The forum took place the day after the New African Woman Awards, a ceremony that honoured some of Africa's ground-breaking women. 

Malawi's former president Joyce Banda deemed it an 'absolute obligation' for women's participation to be part of the continent's strategy and blames the traditional belief systems that prevent women from serving as active citizens and leaders. "We need to strengthen the Women's Movement. We need to encourage and support fellow women when we get into leadership. We must realise that there is a growing concern globally regarding violence against women in politics. This is the reason why Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who is currently the Chair of National Democratic Institute, is spearheading the Campaign to Stop Violence against Women in Politics, launched at the '#NotTheCost' Conference.   

A key message coming out of the New African Woman Forum is that gender is an issue that needs to be embraced as much by men as by women, otherwise the outcome will not change. In a candid discussion about her life and how she has come to be who she is today, Ghana's Foreign Minister HannaTetteh mentioned the key role her father played in her life. She also mentioned the lead role played by two heads of state - Ghana's late president John Atta Mills and the country's current president John Mahama - in giving her high level ministerial positions, trusting her competencies and making a case for her in a field still dominated by men.  Men, therefore, are key actors in furthering women's empowerment. Read more....

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