JB in historic public lecture at London School of Economicsand Political Science

Former Malawian president
Joyce Banda on Wednesday
made a historic public
lecture at the prestigious
London School of
Economics and Political
Science, titled “Investing
women’s journey in/to
public life.”
Maravipost produces her
lecture, sent by JB press
office:
“Let me thank the Institute
of Public Affairs of the
London School of
Economics and Political
Science, for offering me
“Above the Parapet Visiting
Professor in Practice” at
this distinguished academic
institution.
“Allow me to acknowledge
the presence of my
husband, Africa’s first and
only former First
Gentleman, His Excellency
Chief Justice Richard Banda,
retired.
“I am here to give a public
lecture on: “Investigating
women’s journey into
public life: Above the
Parapet”: where I will look
at the following questions:
“Why is it important in my
view that women feature in
public life? What difference
does it make if women do
hold senior positions? How
has this worked in Malawi
and in Africa? And what is
my experience of coming
into the Head of State role
in Malawi, especially
surrounded by men and
how I dealt with any
adverse responses from
senior men and the male
public?”
“As I was thinking about
what I should share with
you, I thought about what
Robert K. Greenleaf said in
his article titled The Servant
Leadership:, and I quote: “…
the servant leader is
servant first…it begins with
the natural feeling that one
wants to serve, to serve
first. Then conscious choice
brings one to aspire to
lead. That person is sharply
different from one who is a
leader first, perhaps
because of the need to
assuage an unusual power
drive or to acquire material
possessions. For such it will
be a later choice to serve-
after leadership is
established. The leader-first
and servant –first are two
extreme types. …”
“This quote aligns with my
philosophy about
leadership. For your
information, at 30 years I
drew my mission statement
in my life which says: to
assist women and youth
gain socio and economic
empowerment through
business and education.
“The question of whether
a leader is born or made is
an ongoing debate. What is
important is the need to
nurture, support and
mentor those that are
spotted with leadership
instinct even though they
may be marginalised. And
this includes women most
of whom are indeed
marginalised.
“With this debate in mind,
there cannot be any better
time than now when many
global initiatives that
sought to strategically
empower women are
either being reviewed or
evaluated.”

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