News / Africa

Women's Empowerment Network Launches in Zimbabwe

Conference guest speaker, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, seen in Pretoria, South Africa, March 23, 2012 (file photo).
Conference guest speaker, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, seen in Pretoria, South Africa, March 23, 2012 (file photo).
HARARE -- "We have the power." That was the war cry of about 300 women meeting in the Zimbabwean capital after President Robert Mugabe officially opened the GlobalPower Women Network Africa conference.

Composed of African women who aim to stop HIV infections and establish zero-tolerance for violence against women, the network includes ministers, lawmakers, entrepreneurs and several civil society leaders.

The group wants African leaders to make the continent a better place for female children. And although the conference is about women, men were invited to speak.

"Reproductive health status of Africa remains poor," said African Union Deputy Commissioner Erastus Mwencha in his conference address. "Our continent, where the path of child and motherhood are traditionally celebrated, records the highest ratio in maternal- and infant-mortality rates worldwide. No woman should die while giving life."

African leaders, he said, must invest more in health care if Millennium Development Goals are to become a reality.

According to United Nations figures, more than half of all maternal deaths are estimated to occur in Africa, with an average maternal-mortality ratio of 620 per 100,000 live births -- a significant proportion by AIDS-related causes.

Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former managing director of the World Bank and the conference's guest speaker, said technology already exists that can vastly improve African mortality rates.

"Investing in women is smart economics, and investing in girls is smarter economics," she said. "Investing in the education and health is critically important -- no one should die of HIV in this modern day when we have technology to stop this from happening."

After the meeting, attendees will present what they call "Harare's Call to Action” to African Union leaders when they attend June meetings in Malawi. The women want AU leaders to commit to work on key issues affecting young African girls in regards to HIV, sexual and reproductive health rights, and to accelerate action on the Millennium Development Goals, such as equal gender representation in political positions.

The meeting was jointly organized by the African Union and the U.N. AIDS program.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid