Girl Up would like to give a big high five to President Joyce Banda of Malawi!
Banda was sworn in on April 7 and takes her place as the second female head of state in Africa. The fact that Banda is president is both historic and hopeful.
Malawi has the fourth lowest GDP per capita in the world, with more than 50 percent of the population living below the poverty line. Instead of flashing her presidential wealth, Banda sold off the jet AND 60 Mercedes!
Banda rejected the extravagant lifestyle of her predecessor and recognized an opportunity to reinvest back into Malawi. She founded the National Association of Business Women, a group dedicated to supporting Malawian women who wish to become involved in business.
When Banda was 22 years old, she was married off to a psychologically and physically abusive man. For 10 years, she endured his abuse until she made the brave decision to leave her husband, something that was not only uncommon but also frowned upon in Malawian society.
Banda has even said she wants to overturn Malawi’s ban on homosexual acts, which would make it the first African country to do so since 1994.
We love President Joyce Banda for her unwavering courage. She is strong, she is vocal, and she is unafraid to stick to her beliefs.
Even when it is scary, never be afraid to stand up for what you believe is right. Be like President Banda and let your voice be heard!