Gaborone — Genuine leadership contribution from women can make Africa stronger, says Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Gladys Kokorwe.
Giving a keynote address at the first ever African Empowered Leadership Development conference recently, Ms Kokorwe said women have to be strong and to develop the technical and professional ability to deal with gender inequality.
The conference was held under the theme: Powering a new era of women leadership in Africa.
"I believe that today is the opportunity to seriously question our African ways of supporting women and men for gender parity in leadership," she said.
Ms Kokorwe also urged women to find their path and to be passionate about what they do, adding that society should not judge women on their gender but on their capabilities.
She appealed to women to embrace the change and to continue to be counted among their colleagues in sustainable development.
For her part, Dr Tinaye Mmusi, the founder and chief executive officer of the Consortium of Leadership and Gender Experts, said Africans must come up with ways that would give them peace.
"We want to have an inclusive Africa and let us come together and use this initiative and the fruits that it will bear," she said.
She noted that relevant tools could be developed to include women in development, and that women needed to be understood clearly.
Dr Mmusi further said initiatives had to be put in place to help women grow.
For her part, renowned diplomat and author, Ms Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe of South Africa said women must mentor each other and know that they could not do it alone.
She urged women to be brave in order to accomplish their goals.
"We have come together to find a contemporary approach to feminism," she said.
She added that people's minds needed to be transformed so as to improve their lives.
Ms Lujabe-Rankoe highlighted that Botswana could boast of women holding high positions, among them the former Bank of Botswana governor, attorney general and the current Speaker of the National Assembly.
She further said young women must be nurtured and supported in order to grow in politics and businesses.
She said strong advocacy in gender inequality by both society and government was necessary, adding that African women had to be empowered in all spheres.