Dear President Barack Obama
We the Swaziland Young Women’s Network are quite honored to have a sister, a leader and an anchor , Her Excellency Ambassador Makila James.
On the 15th of March 2012 we had the honor of commemorating the International Women’s day together with the Ambassador at one of the communities where we work at Mbasheni in the Hhohho region. The ambassador poured her heart out to about sixty participants who also kindly shared their experiences and asked questions on issues including Gender Based Violence, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, culture, marriage, decision making, relationships and independence.
We can not overlook the positive attitude, passion, energy and sisterhood spirit by Ambassador James. She has made deliberate efforts to understand Swazi culture as it relates to women’s rights issues. She has thrown herself selflessly in the struggle against patriarchy; she continues to engage with government on making women’s rights a reality. In all her endeavors the ambassador relates with the issues on the ground and we believe that her background in law and serving the vulnerable has made her in touch with the issues of young women and girls on the ground.
We can not thank you enough for choosing her to come serve in the country at a crucial time when we have organized as young women and put our arms against patriarchy. Whilst we suffer backlash from our own people who accuse us of a radical approach to addressing such issues the ambassador has opened her arms to us, to walk with us and support our course not only because of her passion but also because she believes that it is an injustice to discriminate against women. Our struggle is coupled by emotions since we have first hand experience of sexism, gender stereotypes and many other gross women’s violations and we can not miss the emotions, empathy and urge to make a difference in her life as she challenges us to create our own solutions and not to accept such injustices.
We thank the entire team from the Public Affairs Department for working with the Ambassador to ensure that her dreams, vision and passion for this country is realized. We are blessed, honored and favored to have her at this time.