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Ambassador of Austria to South Africa, Romana Königsbrun

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to the Ambassador of Austria to South Africa, Romana Königsbrun, who is also accredited to nine other countries in the region: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Ambassador Königsbrun shares some of the landmarks in her career, remarking on the positive impact of good bosses. Mentors nurture development and encourage mentees to stretch beyond their comfort zones and embrace opportunities for growth. Sometimes women are reluctant to apply for positions where they do not yet possess all the capabilities of a role, which is a disservice to themselves, rather see this as a chance to acquire new skills and advance yourself.

Austria is involved in several projects in Africa, which include the renewable energy sector (SOLTRAIN), support for the interparliamentary forum for SADC and advocacy for women’s rights. Part of the Austrian Development Co-operation’s focus is on gender equality, for example, in relation to gender-based violence (GBV) it has programs to improve victim protection, where public prosecutors, judges and police receive training to sensitise them to various facets of GBV. Additionally, Austria has collaborated with SADC to create model law on GBV. This provides scalable benefits, where countries do not have to derive their own laws and can instead use systems that have already been created.

Ambassador Königsbrun remarks on the importance of sisterhood and building relationships throughout your life. Networks are valuable constructs that you need to invest into; they are reciprocal. Women of today should look out for the next generation, offer them guidance so they can rise to their full potential.

Tune in for more…

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