Pharaoh’s daughter opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. So, the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So, the woman took the baby and nursed him.
March 8 is the designated United Nations’ International Day for Women.
Today, the world literary stops, to commemorate women’s contributions in all the various of sectors of society. And in the next two weeks, women from around the world will converge at the United Nations for the annual Commission on the Status of Women conference. Taking over all activities at the UN, women, some men, and youth, can be found in conference halls, break-away meeting rooms, on the floors of the UN, and on streets around New York City. Even the merchants, restaurants, and shop owners know that the women are in town. Everywhere one looks the women are there, creating a sea of feminine take-over and power.
In the 1980’s when the government of Malawi was introducing the Chitukuko Cha Amai in Malawi (CCAM) non-government organization, the former Official Hostess Cecilia Kadzamira held information-seeking conferences in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu to glean information from women in Malawi challenges they face in the country. I recall standing up and citing that since the establishment of the University of Malawi in 1969, many women had risen the corporate ladder in the country; I advanced that it would be great if we could recognize the achievements by highlighting the achievements women were making and their contribution to development.
Women had come up in society and we must give credit where credit is due was the core of my intervention.
Sadly, 30 years later, women are still the ignored majority in many quarters. Malawians all over the place have these blinders that make it impossible for them to either see or in some cases, they downplay the great achievements of women, their contribution to the developments taking place in Malawi.
A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.
The world is incomplete without you.
You can get her in the form of sister, friend, beloved, wife, in the form of mother, in the form of grandmother. Respect HER. She is a Woman!
These three placards were sent to my cellphone earlier this week. They were from one of my sons. I’m still smiling.
On the day we are commemorating International Women’s Day, please permit this column to introduce the start of a list of great women, women who have gone beyond and endowed us with their massive footprints. We start with the Global Women’s Wall of Fame, the Africa Women’s Wall of Fame and finally finish our tribute with the Malawi Women’s Wall of Fame. While the Global and Africa Walls will be limited to eight laureates, the Malawi list is slightly longer.
The lists are a work in progress and will grow in time as contributions are welcomed.
Global Women’s Wall of Fame: UK’s Queen Elizabeth II (longest reigning monarch), Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Michelle Obama, Indira Gandhi, Michele Bachelet.
Africa Women’s Wall of Fame: Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, Wangari Maathai, Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, Josephine Bakhita, Winnie Mandela, Dambisa Moyo, Lady Ruth Khama, Dlamini Zuma.
Malawi Women’s Wall of Fame: Lois Chikankheni Mbekeani, Emma Mlanga, Molly Dzabala, former President Joyce Banda, Rachel Semu, former Official Hostess Cecilia Kadzamira, Queen Gondwe, Grace Bandawe, Flossie Chokani (Mrs. Kamwendo), Gertrude Rubadiri, Veronica Chisala, Rose Chibambo, Vera Chirwa, Amina Karim.
Barbara Tippett, Amao, Mrs. Doig, Dr. Mrs. Borgstein.
Mbumba Banda, Gogo Thindwa (former Kwelani Nursery owner), Jeanie Mbilizi, Linly Rose Masiku, Mrs. Chokani, Hilda Chiwoza, Lucy Kadzamira (Kangulu), Sakker Sacranie, Hilda Luwani.
Former Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa, Jane ansah, Rosemary Kumitsonyo, Esme Chombo, Yanira Ntupanyama, Mary Nkosi, Esther Chiwoko, Professor Address Malata, Moira Chimombo, Esnath Kaliyati, Mary Shawa, Colleen Zamba, Naomi Ngwira, Rosa Mbilizi, Temwani Simwaka, Etta Mmangisa, Eddrine Kayambazinthu, Isabel Apao Phiri, Sr. Chief Kachindamoto, Rose Gomani.
Edda Chitalo, Margaret Ali, Kate Kainja, Mai Florence Tsamwa, Mai Dorothy Makwinja, Mai Hilda Manjankhosi, Mai Dinala, Lida Maganga, Homba Mbekeani, former IG Mary Nagwale, Shanil Dzimbiri, Ethel Mutharika, Nyandovi-Kerr.
Patricia Kaliati, Calista Mutharika, Gertrude Mutharika, Lilian Patel, Jessie Kabwila, Chrissie Kalamula, Roslyn Makhumula, Emmie Chanika, Mary Kadzamira, Hanna Kawalewale, Doris Chaponda, Ethel Kamwendo-Banda, Mbumba Aisha Banda (Jr.), Emma Kaliya, Emilia Nyasulu, Janet Karim, Stella Mhura, Linda Semu, Mercy Phiri Chipeta, Nyokase Madise, Joyce Ng’oma, Mary Chidzanja-Nkhoma, Emily Mkangama, Nandin Patel.
Chrissie Kalilani Mughogho, Flossie Chidyawonga-Gomile, Julie Mphande, Gomile, Sophie Kalinde, Hawa Masamba, Sophie Kalinde, Sophie Kalimba, Barbara Mchenga Tsiga.
This exercise is to honor the great women of Malawi, pay homage to their contribution and achievements that often go unnoticed, and their sheroicsunsung. There are many more Malawi sheroes out there; and this project of building the Wall of Fame of Malawi’s Sheroes welcomes your contribution.
Let us celebrate Malawi’s sheroes, spread the candle on their sheroism.
Happy International Women’s Day!