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).
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid