As Zambia became the 29th country in Africa to have an African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) chapter, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf voiced her hope that it would help draw attention to the leadership potential of Zambian women.
Speaking at the recent launch of AWLN’s Zambian chapter, Madam Sirleaf said that this new step will help more Zambian women find their way into leadership positions in the legislature, cabinet, and local authorities. She added:
“We continue to listen to all of the AWLN sisters and supporters to ensure that women have equity and justice.”
Madam Sirleaf—a patron of AWLN—said that the network reflects the needs and issues encountered by women in each of its chapters. By demonstrating clear convening power and strong advocacy, AWLN addresses many of the challenges that women encounter in Africa, from gender-based violence to the impacts of climate change that exacerbate existing inequalities.
Congratulating “all those who did all the hard work” to establish AWLN’s Zambian chapter, Madam Sirleaf called on Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema to continue to focus on his “core constituencies”—women and young people.
The launch ceremony saw interventions from the First Lady of Zambia Mutinta Hichilema, and UN Resident Coordinator for Zambia Dr. Coumba Mar Gadio.
AWLN has established 29 national chapters since 2017. The national chapters include women’s networks and organizations, and are led by local Steering Committees. Each national chapter has its own set of national priorities which it advocates for.