Female Empowerment Key – Jill Biden

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Wheels down in Zambia, where Dr. Biden is kicking off a three-country trip to highlight women's empowerment
Wheels down in Zambia, where Dr. Biden is kicking off a three-country trip to highlight women's empowerment

VISITING United States vice-president Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, has said the US is committed to ensuring that girls and young women have tools needed to thrive in their communities.
Dr Biden said it was on the agenda of her country to improve women’s lives through educational opportunities, access to healthcare, combating gender-based violence and empowering women.
Dr Biden, who touched down at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 22:20 on Tuesday aboard a US Military Aircraft, said this was because a nation could not reach its full economic potential unless women reached theirs first.
She is accompanied to Lusaka, the first leg of her three nation tour, by Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Rajiv Shah, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women Issues Catherine Russell and her granddaughter Finnegan.
Dr Biden said at Shalom school in Kanyama Township that many countries around the world were  recognising that bringing more women into the workforce was key to economic growth, productivity and prosperity.
“From Japan to Italy to Mexico and certainly in the United States, governments and business leaders understand that we cannot afford to leave growth on the table and are pursuing new policies to make sure that women can enter, stay and contribute to the economy,” she said.
She told the pupils at Shalom school that because of the education they were getting, they were being set on a lifelong path where most of them would have confidence and tools needed to succeed.
Dr Biden and her delegation also held private talks with Vice-President Guy Scott’s wife, Charlotte at Government House where they discussed matters relating to women’s and girls’ leadership, education, and empowerment.
She said she was proud to stand with her counterpart Dr Scott, whom she said was a leading voice in Zambia in raising awareness of gender based violence and girls’ education.
“Earlier this year, Dr Scott’s efforts brought together thousands of young people, the First Lady, celebrities and the UN, for a “Bring Back Our Girls” event to show solidarity for the kidnapping of young Nigerian girls from their school,” Dr Biden said.
Dr Biden said that the horrific kidnapping in Nigeria had captured the attention and anger everywhere as the story reminded people that girls around the globe risked their lives to pursue their ambitions.
Earlier, Zambia and the US signed an internship and mentorship programme dubbed “Women at Work”  which would enhance the leadership skills needed for young women to enter into mid-and senior-leadership public, private, and civil society positions throughout Zambia.
In attendance was Minister of Information Joseph Katema, Inonge Wina, the Minister of Gender and Child Development, Nkandu Luo, Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and Obius Chisala, Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development and US Charge d’ Affaires in Zambia, David Young.

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