First Lady championing women worldwide

Published: 4 Jun 2014

Secretrary General of The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation with the First Lady of Mozambique

First Lady of Mozambique visits Award House to hear how the Award is empowering young women worldwide.

HE Maria Da Luz Dai Guebuza, First Lady of the Republic of Mozambique, today visited The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation to find out how the Award is helping to develop the lives and aspirations of young women across the globe.

Attending an event at Parliament in London to raise awareness of the burden of cervical cancer and the need for access to the HPV vaccines, particularly in Africa, the First Lady was keen to hear how the Award is helping to empower young women, build their self-worth and provide them with opportunities that in turn help to improve their social and economic circumstances.

Bridging the gender gap

“Research shows that women are paid less and often excluded from employment and education in many parts of the world,” says Secretary General of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, John May. “The Award can address the gender gap by empowering marginalised young women through engagement in positive activities such as sport, community service and through socialising with their peers; in 2012, more than 50% of Award participants were female.

“We are thrilled to welcome the First Lady of Mozambique to the Foundation, to support her work in promoting access to better healthcare for women, and also to share with her our many examples of how the Award continues to champion and transform women worldwide.”

Partnerships 

The visit also seeks to build connections for the Award in Africa, providing further volunteering opportunities for participants with the GAVI Alliance, an international public-private partnership that aims to increase access to vaccination in developing countries, which the First Lady is promoting. 

Speaking to staff at the Foundation's headquarters, the First Lady recognised the value of the Award as a tool for non-formal education and thanked all those whom are involved in its delivery. “We would like to thank you for your kind invitation to cooperate in developing our youth. Young people are truly the lifeline of a nation as they will be the ones who will continue to develop it. We must trust in our young people and provide them with the education they need to develop a country. We are grateful and appreciative of the work that you do - instilling in young people a sense of solidarity and love of one’s neighbour, virtues that are above academic training.”

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