NAIROBI (HAN) August 27.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. African women want their share of leadership positions, warning that male dominance “will not be business as usual.”
Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, told the inaugural African Women’s Leadership symposium in Nairobi that Africa needs transformational leadership from both men and women for the continent to prosper.
“No goal, no strategy, no vision for Africa can come true until we have sustainable leadership that delivers for women in every sphere of our lives,” said Ms Byanyima.
She said it is time the male-dominated leadership in Africa heeds the call for transformative leadership that will not create barriers for women but instead create space and a conducive environment for equal representation of women and men at all levels in all sectors.
The participants at the African Women’s Leadership Symposium discussed strategies to transform the lives of women and girls by equipping them with the skills that can propel them to leadership.
Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, called for sacrifices to be made if the final destination in the long journey to transformative leadership is to be reached.
Singling out Rwanda as the only country in the region with high numbers of women in leadership, Ms Mohamed expressed concern that only 17 out of 54 African countries have closed the gender gap.
This view was echoed by Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, special envoy on gender and vice president at the African Development Bank.
“We are ready to make change and be part of the collective. We have to break barriers, boundaries and the glass ceiling. If you don’t include women, you are actually undermining the change,” said Ms Fraser-Moleketi.