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High Commissioner of Jamaica to South Africa Joan Thomas Edwards

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to the High Commissioner of Jamaica to South Africa Joan Thomas Edwards, who is concurrently accredited to 18 other countries from Southern and East Africa.

The High Commissioner launched Jamaica’s first High Commission in South Africa in 2006 and today serves as its leader. Jamaica has established several memorandums of understanding with South Africa, in sports, tourism, arts and culture as well as trade. The High Commissioner aims to build and activate these areas.

High Commissioner Thomas Edwards reflects on some of the milestones in her career and lifelong learning, which helps to successively build a basket of skills. For example, in multilateral diplomacy working with institutions like the United Nations and Commonwealth and figuring out how to negotiate your position and contributions, as a small country, with these large organisations.

The High Commissioner shares the following words of advice. Know yourself, don’t be defined by other people. Know your tribe, make sure you surround yourself with the right people. Make sure you know what season of life you are in and make the right choices. Be yourself at all times.

The empowerment of women is a focal point for Jamaica. It has a gender policy and aims to achieve gender equality.

Whilst women have made progress, we cannot forget that women experience discrimination and one in four are victims of gender-based violence. This is a statistic we should aim to put an end to and consider what actions we can all take to stop GBV, particularly during the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

Tune in for more…

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