08 Mar Graca Machel
Emine Saner, Guardian.co.uk
“Women have come a long way in the last 50 years. Much of this has been achieved despite, not because of, the attitude of powerful men,” says Graca Machel, freedom fighter, education champion and tireless advocate for the rights of women and children. “Where and when men and women truly come together around an agenda for women’s empowerment in every sphere of life, underpinned by equal access to education, the scope for progress is unlimited. Fulfillment of Africa’s vast potential depends upon such an alliance.” The youngest of six children from a poor family in Mozambique, Machel’s father died before her birth in 1945. She became a freedom fighter after studying in Lisbon and when Mozambique won independence in 1975, she became minister for education and culture, the only woman in the cabinet.