Other recipients included Nike Foundation who received “Corporate Innovator Award” and six Plan international Youth Ambassadors, extraordinary young people from around the world who are creating bold change for girls. They are Rabia, 17 (Pakistan), Lydia, 15, (Uganda), Alma, 18 (United States), Sunaina, 18 (Pakistan), Sadrack, 15 (Uganda) and Kyle, 18 (United States).
Banda has been recognized for being a strong advocate for women and girls’ emancipation and empowerment and as a prominent civil rights campaigner.
In a related development, Banda has been invited to join Council of Women World Leaders, an alliance with the United Nations Foundation.
Former President Banda has since accepted to join the council. Almost all current women Presidents and Prime Ministers are members. Dalia Grybauskaite, the President of Lithuania, is the current chair.
In her invitation letter, Grybauskaite writes that as women leaders of the world, they were were proud of Banda for serving as the leader of her country.
“Your leadership and service was an example and inspiration to women around the world to take their rightful place,” reads the invitation letter, which is copied to Laura Liswood, Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders
Reads the letter: “As newly elected chair, I write to invite you to become a member of the Council of Women World Leaders. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the greatest success in your current and future endeavors! We would appreciate a confirmation of your acceptance of this invitation”.
The Council of Women World Leaders is a network of current and former women prime ministers and presidents established in 1996 by Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland (1980-1996) and first woman in the world to be democratically elected president, Mary Robinson, President of Ireland (1990-1997) and Laura Liswood, Secretary General.
Through its networks, summits, ministerial initiative, partnerships, fellows, and programs, the Council promotes good governance and gender equality, and enhances the experience of democracy globally by increasing the number, effectiveness, and visibility of women who lead their countries.
The Council’s goal is to use the symbolic importance of women leaders and the substantive experience of its members to support women’s full participation and representation in the political process at the highest levels, and future women leaders
The Council is hosted at the UN Foundation.
Before becoming Malawi’s Head of State in 2012, Banda served as a Member of Parliament, Minister of Gender and Child Welfare, and Foreign Minister and Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.
She has been instrumental in the formation of such organizations as the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs, the Council for the Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa, and the American and African Business Women’s Alliance, of which she served as first President. Banda’s mission in life is to empower women and youth through business and education.