ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia--Malawi supports women’s empowerment, says Vice President Khumbo Kachali.
Kachali, who is representing President Joyce Banda at the AU (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit, made the remark at a fund-raising luncheon for African Women’s Decade hosted for AU delegates in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Saturday.
He said with the coming to power of Joyce Banda, Africa’s second female president, women in Africa were assured of support and that Malawi would donate 25, 000 US dollars to the Africa Women’s Decade.
Also present at the luncheon was Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female head of state in modern times, who, like Banda, has for years played a prominent role in the struggle for the empowerment of women in Africa.
Sirleaf said her work would now be easier because she had a “sister” who was also a president.
The idea of a Women’s Decade was hatched in 1975 by the United Nations at the First World conference on women held in Mexico City.
Since then, African women have been involved and continue to participate in local and international consultations on women’s rights and gender equality.
At their Extra-Ordinary Meeting of Ministers of Gender and Women Affairs in Maseru, Lesotho, in December 2008, the AU Ministers for Gender and Women Affairs called on the AU to declare 2010-2020 as African Women’s Decade and undertake wide consultations to ensure the decade’s success.
The Decade is being implemented in two phases. The first phase is from 2010 to 2015 and the second phase will be from 2015 to 2020.
The aim of the African Women’s Decade is to advance gender equality by accelerating implementation of DAKAR, Beijing and AU Assembly Decisions on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
The initiative focuses on 10 themes: fighting poverty and promoting economic empowerment of women and entrepreneurship, agriculture and food security, women’s health, maternal mortality and HIV and AIDS, education science and technology and women in decision making positions.
The other themes are peace and security and violence against women, governance and legal protection, finance and gender budgets and mentoring youth to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The luncheon raised half a million US dollars in pledges.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.