Washington D.C., USA - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says that the burst of women leadership in Africa cannot be stopped, and she called upon women to work towards the fulfillment of whatever goals they set for themselves.
According to a dispatch from Washington, D.C., President Sirleaf was speaking Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at a program in “Celebration of African Women Leaders,” honoring her and former Malawian President Joyce Banda.
The well-attended event, held at the African Union (AU) Mission in Washington, D.C., was hosted by Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, Permanent Representative of the AU to the United States.
Amid spontaneous applauds and standing ovations from the predominantly female audience, including African women ambassadors accredited to the United States, President Sirleaf said African women have made great strides in political participation at virtually all levels of government.
The Liberian leader, however, cautioned that while major strides have been made, there was still more work to be done regarding the empowerment of African women. “We don’t yet have the equality we seek as women,” she added.
Also speaking at the event, former Malawian President Joyce Banda said Africa will be fully development when women are empowered to play their roles in the political and development processes.
Lauding President Sirleaf for being a strong supporter and mentor when she took over the Presidency of Malawi, President Banda said women must be each other’s keepers because it is through unity of purpose that African women will be able to overcome hurdles they face.
In welcome remarks earlier, AU Permanent Representative, Dr. Chihombori-Quao, said the occasion was intended to celebrate women who have dared to succeed by overcome whatever challenges they have faced.
Also making brief remarks, Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, Lois Brutus, said: “Let us in collective rejoice over the accomplishments of women who have broken through the glass ceiling.”
The event was also characterized by a question and answer period, during which the audience posed questions to President Sirleaf and former President Banda.