Joyce Banda was sworn in as Malawi’s first female president, assuming control after the death of former President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Banda becomes the first female president in southern Africa, and has promised to “defend and preserve the constitution” as well as the people of Malawi.

Banda was the country’s vice-president (elected in 2009), but was very critical of former President Mutharika and had joined the opposition party. After his death on Thursday, many wondered if President Banda would assume control of the nation or if her rule would be usurped by his brother, Malawi’s Foreign Minister, Peter Mutharika. Foreign Minister Mutharika initially said that Banda could not be Malawi’s president because she joined the opposition party, but the UK, US, and EU urged Malawi to respect its constitution and inaugurate Mrs. Banda as president.

During her swearing-in ceremony, President Banda told her countrymen, “It is with a great sense of humility and honour that I accept the huge responsibility of that the people of Malawi have entrusted me with,” and told her constituents that they must now focus their efforts on burying their deceased former president.

With President Banda now at the helm in Malawi, she becomes the 18th woman to head a nation across the would. From Jamaica and Germany, to India and Brazil, women are making political headways and are leading some of our world’s most influential nations.

But is America Next?

Do you think we will have a female president of the United States soon? 

  • TheVoiceOfReason

    Can I have her sword? OMG! It’s so pretty.

  • Ocean Blue

    “Do you think we will have a female president of the United States soon?”

    I don’t know really. It doesn’t seem likely to happen soon.

  • African Mami

    she is dripping in gold!!!!! Congratulations Mama Joyce! SO PROUD!

  • Dalili

    I second African Mami’s sentiment! I was so proud that Malawians upheld their constitution and swore her in despite the contentious relationship with the late President Mutharika. Viva Malawi and Africa….A luta continua! :-)

    As for the US having a female president, I believe it can and will happen. Just not sure when; but the first female president of these United States of America walks among us today.

  • carole

    Female POTUS? You’d have to first have her as the Vice president, and then the president dies of heart attack, that is how it went down in Malawi.

  • Mendi

    Note that she wasn’t elected into power, she succeeded as a result of the death of the former Malawian president. I think it’s fantastic that Africa has her second female president, but I question whether she would have been elected in a general election. The times are changing, but not fast enough in my opinion.

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