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Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to South Africa, Joanne Doornewaard

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to the Ambassador of Netherlands to South Africa, Joanne Doornewaard. Prior to this role, she served as Ambassador to South Korea and before that as Ambassador to Sri Lanka. She had an atypical entry into foreign affairs, having previously worked as a landscape architect, and at the onset of her diplomatic career considered representing the Netherlands abroad was a way to combine her interests in travel, culture and people.

Ambassador Doornewaard shares some of the landmarks in her career, such as promoting car free Sunday in Colombo (Sri Lanka) with the city’s mayor, dealing with the aftermath of the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, and finding a sense of community with other diplomats in South Korea during the Covid-19 years.

The Netherlands has several initiatives in South Africa that are aimed at establishing co-operation between the two countries to co-create solutions #cocreate. For example, co-create MyCity develops joint solutions for urban challenges, such as coping with water resilience. Co-create Identity seeks to open meaningful dialogue around questions of identity transformation.

The Netherlands actively promotes women’s rights. In South Africa their focus is on equal rights for women and LGBTI communities; eliminating violence against women and girls, promoting the protection of women human rights defenders, promoting economic empowerment of women, increasing women in leadership, strengthening the role of women in conflict and peace-building. If women work together as part of the solution, then that solution is far more sustainable.

Ambassador Doornewaard remarks on the importance of economic independence and freedom of choice, which starts with women acquiring their education and deciding on their career path.

Tune in for more…

#16DaysofActivism #WomenEmpowerment #Diplomacy #EqualityInAction

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