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Dr. Tomoko Kitagawa – Embassy of Japan – “The Lady Samurai”

This week we talk to Dr. Tomoko Kitagawa who is visiting South Africa with a lecture series called “The Lady Samurai”, The Role of Women in the Diplomacy during the Unification of Japan. We discuss the application of Dr Kitagawa’s work for women in contemporary society recognising the contribution of their consultative and diplomacy skills in peacemaking and negotiating. We consider economic empowerment of women noting that women must be given the space to work and realise their full potential. Dr Kitagawa remarks that household economics need a makeover, where traditionally unpaid work, such as child rearing and home cleaning, becomes paid work, and thus creates economic opportunity. Education has taken Dr Kitagawa around the world; we emphasise education as a key enabler for women’s development and contend that it should be incorporated into every women’s schedule, even if this means embarking on part-time learning to balance multiple commitments, in order to acquire essential knowledge and new skills.

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