AMANDLA! VANGUARD EDITION
Ambassador (Dr.) Namira Negm
Legal Counsel of the African Union
Ambassador of Egypt to Rwanda
Legal Advisor to the Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in NY
My Story, Your Inspiration
Being a woman is still not an easy task in the workplace. In my junior years, I had to work with a boss who told me to my face, ‘I don’t like working with women’. I did have a hard time, yet I kept to my principles and did my work to the best of my ability. In the end, he acknowledged my good work in my appraisals. This experience taught me how to resist a discouraging environment and concentrate on my personal development (I was working on my Ph.D.) which assisted me a lot in the future. Recently, my challenges at work have become different— they can come from a subordinate or from political actors. Yet persistence and honesty are the backbone of my success.
My advice for other women in law is, in the work place, forget that you’re a woman. We are humans above all else, despite being discriminated against based on gender. I recall, I used to tell my men colleagues that I sat for exams and joined the foreign service just like any of them. We are equal before the law— we have to believe in ourselves and our abilities in order to really believe that we are equal. Don’t run away from challenges, but go through with a target that you want to reach and always look to the future. Every experience in life, either positive or negative, teaches us a value or a principle, what to do and what to avoid... all these should encourage us to move forward and never cry over spilt milk.