The Girl Child & Malawi President Joyce Banda

Dear Blog,

Today, I woke up feeling a little blah. But then I read about Joyce Banda, the second female president in Africa, who is kicking some serious you-know-what.

Little girls having fun at school in Malawi.

I ask you, how does a girl raised in one of the poorest nations on earth, who was sent to secretarial school, and then abused by her alcoholic husband end up one of the most powerful leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa? And even more importantly, what will she do for the millions of young girls in her country?

Less than a year into office, President Banda is already succeeding in luring international investors, curbing corruption at the top levels of government, and sending a message that is pro-human rights by asking the government to repeal laws making homosexuality a crime. Check out the article in The Washington Post, “Malawi’s Joyce Banda ushers in a new kind of African leadership.

Blog, if you can believe it, our friends Sarah Greenberg of the Kabudula Education and Empowerment Project (KEEP) and Dr. Kevin Bergman of World Altering Medicine (WAM) got the chance to hang out with President Banda a few months back. President Banda told Sarah and Kevin:

It’s all about the girl child, and it starts in the village.

You can read about their meeting with President Banda here.

Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa cites a UN report to state that just 13% of Malawi’s girls attend secondary school and only a fraction of those graduate. The site asks this poignant question:

Can you imagine a world where less than 7% of the women have attained a high school education?

According to the 2011 Education for All Global Monitoring Report:

Children born to educated mothers are more likely to survive and less likely to experience malnutrition. Universal secondary education for girls in sub-Saharan Africa could save as many as 1.8 million lives annually.

Blog, for the price of four Starbucks frappucinos, you could send a child in Malawi to high school for a year. A whole year! If you want to try that, I happen to know two people who can take your donations and make that happen. You can contact Sarah Greenberg: sarah @  or Erin Mwalwanda: erinmwalwanda @ .

How do you think a nation like Malawi will change when more of the girls are able to graduate high school? How would the U.S. be different if 90% of our nation’s high school graduates were male?


Posted in Africa, Educators, Shana's Posts on 07/29/2012 01:19 pm

1 Comment

  1. Joyce is a powerhouse… really interesting post. Thanks Shana!

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