When Joyce Banda unexpectedly ascended to the presidency of Malawi last April, after the death of President Mutharika, many in her country and around the world wondered what her impact would be as Malawi’s first female president. Among the many challenges, her government faces high rates of maternal mortality, high total fertility rates, and high HIV prevalence among women and girls, combined with low levels of women’s economic empowerment and widespread violence against women.
CSIS wanted to learn more about how women leaders in Africa are bringing new attention to women’s health and empowerment in their own countries, and to bring those voices into the discussion about U.S. policy priorities for women’s global health. To do this, we sent a small team to Malawi and Zambia in December 2012.
In this interview, Malawi's President Joyce Banda talks to CSIS about the importance of women's health and empowerment in Malawi.