Our first post under the IBF title, we are honouring Joyce Banda who at the beginning of the month was made the first female President of Malawi, taking over from President Bingu Wa Mutharika who sadly dead earlier this month. Banda also makes history for being the second female to become the political head of an African country.
Banda has come under fierce criticism from the countries oppositional parties for her background as a 'market woman' which Banda is more then proud to acknowledge since more than 80% of Malawian women are said to be in this profession.
Born in the Malawi village of Malemia, in 1950, Banda has a strong academic background and founded the National Association of Business Women, a group which lends start-up finances to female traders; she entered politics in 1999 and prior to her current position as Malawi's President she was in fact serving as the country's elected Vice-President.
Banda married twice, left her first husband in 1981 for being abusive, which serves as a testament to her character since she told the BBC that "most African women are taught to endure abusive marriages. They say endurance means a good wife but most women endure abusive relationship because they are not empowered economically, they depend on their husbands."
A brilliant black female achiever and very inspiring!
Further Reference Links:
Joyce Banda: Malawi's first female president, BBC.co.uk
Joyce Banda, wikipedia.org
Is Joyce Banda the answer to Malawi's problems, blogs.reuters.com
Profile: Joyce Banda, aljazeera.com
Joyce Banda new President Malawi, guardian.co.uk
* See an extended version of this on the Black Feminist UK blog site.