|Who We Are|
“To inspire a new generation of African women leaders, we must be intentional about preparing them for success.” – Yawa Hansen-Quao, Founder of Leading Ladies’ Network
Leading Ladies' Network (LLN) is a nonprofit that supports African women through programs and resources that enhance their development as leaders. LLN prepares women to occupy seats at every leadership table including home, businesses, government, civil society and grassroots movements. For women seeking success through pursuits outside the traditional roles of wife and motherhood, LLN is a resource and relationship hub offering support, guidance and connections.
Very few role models of African women leaders exists for girls thus they often grow up believing they cannot or should not be leaders; resulting in passivity, disinterest and a repetitive cycle that perpetuates the leadership gap. We envision a world where women are normalized as leaders while promoting healthier gender relationships, stronger families,communities, and a more just society for all
LLN exists to close the women’s leadership gap as well as:
We strive to develop and nurture a network of socially conscious women leaders that will bring positive transformation to Africa and the rest of the world.
We recruit, mentor, equip, and connect women in order to realize their leadership potential, and leverage them to improve their circumstances and the circumstances of others.
Our direct aim is to bridge the women's leadership gap that exists in Africa and to promote the models of servant leadership and social entrepreneurship among emerging women leaders. In doing so, we hope in turn to promote women’s equality more generally, impacting areas such as education, healthcare, and economic opportunity.
In recent years, philanthropy for and by women has intensified, accompanied by a growing recognition that philanthropic investments in women and girls are some of the best investments available to combat poverty in the developing world. Focusing resources and energy on women and girls has proven to contribute to the long-term health of families and communities; continuing to do so promises to address the root causes of social ills by transforming systems, attitudes, and social norms.
Systematized discrimination and violence against women and girls continues to siphon off societies’ best hope for overcoming poverty. Women are less likely to be educated, less likely to receive the healthcare and nutrition they need, and less likely to wield influence in their homes and communities than their male counterparts. As a result, they often have little or no voice in the social and political systems that shape their lives. Consider the following:
*Statistics compiled from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs – The World’s Women (2010), the World Health Organization – Women and Health (2009), the Inter-Parliamentary Union – Women in International Parliaments (2011), and the New York Times Magazine – “The Women’s Crusade” (2009)
Despite these hurdles, women demonstrate a remarkable ability to improve their own circumstances – and the circumstances of others – when given the tools and opportunities to do so. A woman with even some education is likely to have fewer children and a healthier family, and is better equipped to contribute to the local and global economy. She is less likely to become infected with HIV, less likely to be married off at a young age, and more likely to participate in political processes. Studies show that women in developing countries invest more of their income in the education, nutrition, and healthcare of their children, and are more likely to contribute to broader livelihood improvements in their communities, creating better opportunities for future generations.
Through women’s leadership development in Africa, LLN strives to promote healthier relationships, stronger families and communities, and a more just society for all. Working with women is both an end in itself, as well as a means to a more vibrant and equitable future. We base our work on the fundamental conviction that the entire world stands to benefit from the creative and productive potential of empowered women.
What Makes Us Different
In the wave of projects and funding measures targeting women in the developing world that has arisen in recent years, few focus on women in the educational system and professional endeavors. Our focus on high school, college and professional women addresses a section of the population that top-down initiatives, like advocacy and policy efforts, and bottom-up measures, such as microfinance programs at the local level, tend to overlook. We empower women to make the changes they want to see in their own communities by rallying them to engage in social change projects as well as encouraging them to take on leadership roles within their personal endeavors and chosen professions- eventually impacting the issues traditionally targeted by NGO’s and international organizations in a more sustainable way. Our beneficiaries have the cultural know-how to address issues in an effective and appropriate manner; we provide the tools and support they need to effect lasting social change. Women in the educational system represent a vast store of potential that LLN promises to unleash.
The LLN movement is a collaborative effort that is organized around shared core values; we welcome men at our seminars and as associate members of our network. We believe that knowledge and understanding must be cultivated across gender lines in order to achieve positive social change. We encourage leaders that are bold but not offensive, assertive but not divisive, resolute but not dogmatic.
|LLN will host a screening of the award-winning documentary Miss Representation on June 22 at the Silverbird Cinema in Accra. Email email@example.com for ticket information.|
|LLN Founding Director speaks at the World Economic Forum on Africa|
|Learn more about our Founding Director in a recently published article,Yawa Hansen-Quao Leading the Way.|