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Ambassador of Mexico – Sara Valdés Bolaño discussing international relations, gender equality, women empowerment…

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to the Ambassador of Mexico Sara Valdés Bolaño. She is accredited to twelve countries in Southern Africa. Prior to this appointment she was Ambassador to Vietnam. Some of her previous roles include director general for Africa and the Middle East at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, director of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Paris, DCM at the Embassy to Ireland and political counsellor at the Mexican Mission to the European Union.

We discuss trade exchanges between Mexico and South Africa, noting the establishment of integrated global value and supply chains between the two countries that create opportunities for international trade in the global south.

Ambassador Valdés introduces us to the MIKTA alliance between Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia. One of the initiatives of this grouping of countries is to build capacity to empower women economically. We discuss micro-financing as an important solution, noting that fintech and new technologies have enabled new ways of doing business as well as financing.

In 2020 Mexico adopted a feminist foreign policy, which amongst other elements strongly advocates for gender equality. Mexico has been a forerunner in the feminism movement, with notable efforts in the 1970s. Ambassador Valdés remarks that gender based violence is a major challenge to women world-wide and impedes their human rights. She draws our attention to two Mexican women that have made significant contributions in addressing GBV. Anthropologist Dr Marcela Lagarde who identified the concept of femicide in Latin America; and activist Olimpia Coral Melo, who succeeded to have legislation passed to punish people that perpetuate digital violence and abuse.

In closing, Ambassador Valdés reminds us that human rights are not a pie, it is not a case that if somebody gets a larger piece of the pie that they are taking it away from someone else. Human rights benefit all humankind.

Tune in for more.

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