In March 2017, Dr. Joyce Banda launched her paper, “From Day One: An Agenda for Advancing Women Leaders in Africa” as the crux of her research while serving as a Distinguished Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center. As a woman leader and former President of Malawi, Dr. Banda knows the barriers facing women who seek positions of political leadership and the opportunities to remove such barriers.
Towards this, Dr. Banda published “From Day One: An Agenda for Advancing Women in Africa” which details the history of women’s leadership in Africa and some of the challenges and opportunities women face on their leadership journey. The paper includes five key recommendations for promoting women’s leadership in Africa:
- Enhance political will to empower girls, and appoint qualified women to leadership positions
- Mobilize rural leadership, families, and communities to promote the change of mindsets and behavior around women and girls
- Strengthen networks between current and emerging leaders
- Allocate resources towards data collection and analysis, and research around women and leadership
- Create the legal environment to advance women in positions of leadership
As a second phase of her research, Dr. Banda is spearheading the creation of a toolkit to provide actionable steps to implement the recommendations. The toolkit is meant to inspire and provide examples of how policymakers, civil society organizations, community leaders, and the international community can work together to develop a critical mass of women leaders in political positions across Africa to ensure good governance and economic stability, and greater stability overall.