From Day One: Why Supporting Girls Aged 0 to 10 Is Critical to Change Africa’s Path

“Joyce Banda presents persuasive evidence, enriched by her first-hand accounts, of the importance of granting the girl child the same openings as the boy from the very beginning. Her important work examines the impact of this unfulfilled potential for the African continent and provides actionable recommendations for government, civil society, international organizations, and individuals.”

— Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President, Republic of Liberia

The case for narrowing the gender gap is well established, and programs seeking to empower women in sub-Saharan Africa have multiplied. Yet a critical piece is missing: a focus on rural girls from zero to 10 years old. Discrimination and social norms that penalize girls and women do not start at adolescence, and by the time girls are 10, it is often too late to undo the damage that has already been done.

As an African woman leader who grew up on African soil, Joyce Banda has seen firsthand how young rural girls face obstacles that shape the rest of their lives. From Day One makes the case of how, if African girls are to realize their potential and become the leaders that their continent so badly needs, gender interventions should and can start from day one.

From Day One: Why Supporting Girls Aged 0 to 10 Is Critical to Change Africa’s Path is available for purchase in paperback and ebook versions from AmazonGoogle Play, and Brookings Press. 6 X 9, 100 pp. paper, 978-1-944691-07-3, $17.95. For review or desk copies, please email

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