Young women leaders are shaking up the public governance landscape across Africa. Learning from the experience of the women leaders who preceded them, they are overcoming obstacles and creating new leadership legacies.
As the youngest woman Member of Parliament in Zimbabwe’s National Assembly, Amujae Leader Joanah Mamombe has set a new benchmark for the heights that can be reached by young women leaders. As a determined political and human rights activist, she is an inspiration to many women and girls in her country.
In her recent participation in the African Women Leaders Network’s (AWLN) ‘High-Level Regional Intergenerational Dialogue and Solidarity Forum on Women’s Political Participation,’ Ms. Mamombe shared her experience as a young woman navigating the political landscape in her country and discussed the women leaders who have inspired her journey.
Emphasizing the importance of intergenerational exchange between women leaders, she described the inspiration of those “who refused to be bystanders” as a defining moment in her leadership journey:
“This is what kept me going to say, as a young woman, ‘I can also do it’… So, every day of my life, I live to inspire other young women.”
Ms. Mamombe also discussed ways to enhance women’s political participation, encouraging young women to “invest in a strong support system” and engage in networking activities. The EJS Center, she added, expanded her network and offered mentorship opportunities “from those who have walked the [leadership] journey.”
As a member of AWLN Zimbabwe’s youth steering committee, Ms. Mamombe worked on expanding the reach of AWLN to include women leaders from all walks of life. She is also focused on creating an environment where senior women leaders can impart their experience to the younger generations.
Drawing from her journey in public leadership and her experience as a youth and human rights advocate, she called on young women who aspire for political leadership to prepare for the journey ahead by building inner strength and “political muscle.”
“The journey can be long and rough. The leadership tank needs to be constantly refueled within you. You need to refuel yourself. ”
Ms. Mamombe also highlighted the key role that information sharing between women leaders plays in helping the youth among them make informed decisions and create their own leadership path.
The intergenerational dialogue forum was organized by the AWLN Zimbabwe Chapter and UN Women Zimbabwe. Established in 2017, AWLN brings together organizations from across the African continent to support women’s leadership and increase women’s participation in decision-making roles in all sectors. In March 2019, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became a patron of AWLN.
Ms. Mamombe is a believer in Zimbabwe’s youth and their potential to transform their country into “a great nation.” Learn more about her distinguished leadership journey here.