Women in Leadership: Breaking Barriers

To mark International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, MCC presents “Women in Leadership: Breaking Barriers,” a campaign that  features extraordinary women who are breaking through barriers to reach their career and life goals. The year-long campaign includes stories from women leading Millennium Challenge Account programs and implementing critical policy reform to enable women to participate in their economies for the first time.

Valentina Badrajan of Moldova

Defying stereotypes in Moldova

Women were marginalized during the Soviet era in Moldova but are now playing important roles in business and politics—as well as implementing the Moldova Compact and pulling the country out of poverty, the CEO of MCA-Moldova writes.

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Susan Banda of Malawi

Women in Leadership: Susan Banda, MCA Malawi

“Speak up, participate and be part of the process!” These words of advice are offered to young Malawian women by MCA-Malawi CEO Susan Banda, who advises women to set goals for themselves and learn as much as they can about their chosen career paths.

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Pamela Bwalya of Zambia

Women breaking barriers: Women and girls should believe in themselves

MCA-Zambia CEO Pamela Bwalya shares her experiences of breaking barriers during her career, MCC's role in helping women, and her hopes for a future where men and women have the same opportunities.

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Penny Akwenye of Namibia

Women breaking barriers: Tradition without discrimination

MCA-Namibia CEO Penny Akwenye believes Namibian society now offers better opportunities for women and discusses approaches MCC is supporting to offer better services to women living in rural areas.

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Marivic Añonuevo of Philippines

Women breaking barriers: Finding 'Gabriela' within us all

"I grew up in the 50s and 60s, when there was no such thing as "women’s empowerment" in the Philippines as we see it today. Women were relegated to secondary roles in society and women achievers were rare. However, I grew up in a family where my father was an exception—he was a more liberated man. I was one of four daughters, and his philosophy was that his girls be sent to the best schools."

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Sophia Mohapi of Lesotho

Women breaking barriers: Perseverance leads to success

“I grew up in the small town of Maseru in Lesotho. My father was a teacher and my mother was a housewife. My parents were strict and conservative. On Sundays, we went to church in the mornings, and we would sit by the fire singing hymns or listening to my father tell stories from his youth in the evenings. I was third among seven children. My father was keen on us finishing high school and moving out so we could support ourselves. That's what was expected of us growing up in those days.”

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