I would not consider myself a feminist as such but I do pride myself in supporting everything that is woman.So just like everyone else I am proud that Africa now has two African president to show for, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Malawian President Joyce Banda to be more specific.
These two extraordinary women have committed themselves to using their position to improve the lives of women across the continent. They made this pledge two years into what the African Union declared the “Women’s Decade”
. The two presidents will be using the United Nations Millennium Development Goals as a barometer to achieve their goals of enhancing women’s roles in society by ensuring improvements in gender equality, education for girls and maternal health.
But there are some very real challenges that each country still faces and need to fix. According to a 2010 United Nations Development Programme report on both countries, Liberia is only likely to meet certain goals on equality and education while Malawi remains unlikely to meet its targets for any of the three MDGs that focus on women…Now aint that a bummer.
But the presidents are not bothered, with Banda stating that there is no better time to advance women’s rights in Africa but now. And Sirleaf who focused her first term to reconstructing the country devastated by two civil wars says she is now shifting her focus to women’s rights and health national priority in her second term.
So like every other women facing an uphill battle in the workplace, Sirleaf and Banda govern countries with significant development challenges, such as civil wars, corruption and mismanagement. But in the short time they have been in office they have been doing a great job in raising the voices of women in their nations.