AMANDLA! WOMEN TO WATCH EDITION
Rosine Antoinette Bela Eyebe
Technical Expert on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict - Central African Republic.
Why did you decide to study law?
I decided to study law because as long as I can remember, I have always been passionate about Justice and Peace. For me, studying law was a way to contribute to making the World a better place.
What is your proudest professional moment thus far?
I am proud of many professional moments. The proudest one was when I signed my first contract as Associate Legal Officer at the international Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. It was my first contract with an international Court and the result of many years of hard work.
Looking back, what is one decision/action you would have done differently?
Looking back, I only feel grateful for my itinerary so far and would not change anything, because every step I took in my professional experience, every decision I made, good or bad, led me to the professional woman I am today. And I am proud of that woman.
Share some major professional challenges you have faced, or continue to face as a woman in law.
As a woman professional in the legal field, I have faced many challenges. Some of them happened during meetings where I expressed my opinion in front of colleagues and the management. It happened sometimes, that my ideas were not taken into account by the management, but the same ideas expressed by a male colleague later were considered brilliant. These experiences have never deterred me from expressing myself and making my voice heard when I have the opportunity to. Another professional challenge has been how to reach the balance between my professional life and my personal life. As professionals, we do not all have the same conception of what this balance should be and how we can make it happen. Sometimes, it has been challenging to be part of a team where we had different family status and different understanding of how to achieve work/life balance. However, in general, I manage to juggle between both thanks to a good sense of planning and communication.
What are some practical strategies for survival in the legal profession?
We all have different aspirations in life. One thing we should always preserve is our authenticity. Nobody but us should define our goals and limits. As professionals, we should not be afraid of making mistakes, because we learn and grow through them. Focus, hard work, perseverance and faith are keys to success. Acquiring good networking skills and practicing them in a healthy way is also useful.