Highest-ranking elected woman in Africa to speak on women’s progress
Highest-ranking elected woman in Africa to speak on women’s progressMarch 01, 2005Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Gertrude Mongella, president of the African Union’s Pan African Parliament, will speak on “African Women: Struggles and Achievements-The Journey through Beijing to the Present” Saturday, March 5, at 5 p.m. The presentation will be held in Shemin Auditorium in Syracuse University’s Shaffer Art Building.
The event is organized by the Africa Initiative of Syracuse University in honor of Women’s History Month and is free and open to the public. Parking will be available in the Q4 parking lot, located off College Place.
Mongella was elected president of the Pan African Parliament in November 2004, making her the highest-ranking elected woman in Africa. The Pan African Parliament is the legislative body of the African Union.
Mongella, a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, was Secretary-General, U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing, China, in 1995. This year she has been speaking on the issues of Beijing +10 and analyzing the advances for women in all parts of the world. Mongella is an international figure and veteran politician. She is a feminist, mother and teacher who currently represents Lake Victoria’s Ukerewe Islands constituency in Tanzania’s parliament.
She served as a minister-holding five different portfolios at various times-in the governments of Tanzania’s late founding president, Julius Nyerere, and his successor, Ali Hassan Mwinyi. Mongella has also represented Tanzania at numerous international meetings, conferences and seminars. In 1996, she founded a non-governmental organization called Advocacy for Women in Africa.
She served as leader of the observer team of the Organization of African Unity to Zimbabwe’s presidential election in 2002, as U.N. under-secretary and special envoy of the U.N. Secretary-General on Women’s Issues and Development in 1996-1997 and as goodwill ambassador of the World Health Organization for Africa Region in 2003.