International Development

Aspen Institute Global Reproductive Health Councilor Becomes President of Malawi

April 12, 2012  • Marissa Mommaerts

On April 7th, Joyce Banda, a founding member of The Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health (GLC), was sworn in as the first female president of Malawi. President Banda – a dedicated advocate for women’s empowerment – is only the second woman to serve as head-of-state in Africa, joining fellow GLC member President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.

President Banda spoke passionately at a September 2011 GLC event about her personal story and motivation for working to achieve universal access to reproductive health care.

Loading the player…


Read more about President Joyce Banda:

MSNBC: Joyce Banda, new Malawi president, a champion for women

BBC: Liberian leader Sirleaf gives advice to Malawi’s Banda

“New Malawi President Joyce Banda offers hope for women,” by Aspen Global Health and Development Senior Strategist Lyndon Haviland

Blog by Joyce Banda: International Women’s Day 2012 – Reaching out to Malawi’s rural families

Global Pulse Blog Interview with Joyce Banda


The Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health is a group of sixteen sitting and former heads of state, high-level policymakers and other leaders committed to advancing reproductive health for lasting development and prosperity. Chaired by former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, these leaders work to mobilize the political will and financial resources necessary to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015 – a key target of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Follow the Council activity and updates on Twitter at @GLCRHresolve, and join the conversation using #whywecare.