BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Former Malawi President Dr. Joyce Banda joined the rest of women in a network of women forming the Supporting Advancement of Gender Equality (SAGE) Initiative in congratulating President Mahammadu Buhari and the people of Nigeria for the support rendered to the effective processes of electing Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the first female Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Dr. Banda said this at an event to commemorate World International Women’s Day. Both President Buhari and Dr. Joyce Banda attended the event held virtually.
Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, organised the courtesy meeting on behalf of the Supporting Advancement of Gender Equality (SAGE) initiative.
According to Tallen, the meeting was organized in a quest to thank President Buhari for his work to advance women’s representation in Nigeria and call for President Buhari’s support for a gender quota in the Nigerian parliament.
Dr. Banda who was invited to the meeting as a special guest delivered her address calling upon all relevant stakeholders to work on finding means that would provide fertile ground for women empowerment.
“As a member of the African Women Leaders Network Steering Committee, I would like first to thank you most sincerely for the role you played in supporting the candidature of Dr Ngozi Okonyo-Iweala that led to her appointment as the first African and African Woman to assume the position of WTO Executive Director. Secondly, I would like to thank the young people of Nigeria, men and women who fought gallantly through their voice to make this happen,” said Banda.
The former Malawi leader further said, “ Let me reiterate what our Nigerian colleagues have stated, we know that with a leader like you, Nigeria has all it takes to join 14 other African countries that have at least 30 percent of seats held by women in their national legislatures.”
Currently, Nigeria is placed 185 out of 190 ranked countries in the world for its percentage of women in parliament.
Dr. Banda said the ongoing constitutional review process provides a unique opportunity to improve women’s political representation.
“We join the women and men of your great country to ask for your support for a 35 percent gender quota in the ongoing constitutional review process,” said Banda.
The former Malawi President believe that the leadership in Nigeria will see to it that the constitutional amendment proposal is passed at the national and state parliaments.
“You have already done so much for Nigeria, West Africa and Africa, and as a former president, I can say Mr. President, this will be one of the greatest legacies for which you will always be remembered for,” she said