"It is our time to claim our place at the main table where Africa's fate is being decided, where decisions on distribution of resources are being made, and Africa's contribution to the fate of the world as a whole is being determined," Madonsela said.
In a speech prepared for delivery at the Africa's Most Influential Women in Business and Government awards, she said that by shying away women would be dishonouring the women who came before them and failing to provide an example to the girl child.
She lauded women across the continent as pioneers, effective leaders and examples to young girls, who had shown that it was possible and within their reach.
Looking back at the continent's history, women had led nations well and the continent had seen the bravery of persons such as Queen Nzinga of Angola, Princess Mkabayi of Kwazulu, Queen Asantewaa of Ghana, and Basotho Queen Manthatisi.
Madonsela said South African women such as Charlotte Maxeke, Mirriam Makeba, Helen Joseph, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Helen Suzman had also shown fortitude and resilience as leaders.
She expressed her gratitude to women who were being honoured at the event.
Madonsela said because of them, Africa and its countries were getting better every day even though there was still war, hunger, starvation and abduction of young girls.
"But because you are taking part at the main table and bringing your ideas into all spheres of life, I have no doubt in my mind that things will get better."