Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Thinking Global

I think of myself as a global citizen. I have always been a foreigner; growing up Jamaican in America and now Jamaican-American in South Africa. When I would go back to Jamaica every year, I would be happy and there would be a strong sense of identification with the land and the people but it would never feel like home. Home for me is where the heart is and I need to decide what my heart needs.

The issue of thinking global is not about me deciding where to reside but in terms of my career, I need to think about the impact I can have not just locally, or regionally but globally. Kuseni Dlamini, from Richards Bay Coal Terminal,in his discussion on Monday, stated that globalisation has a major impact on our daily lives, whether we acknowledge it or not. Think about Coca-cola, Nike, MTV, Microsoft … (those were off the top of my head); all these multinational corporations finding their way into our lives. What about issues that are uniting the world? For instance, the fight against HIV/AIDS, poverty, wars (Iraq).

There are issues about globalisation that make the phenomenon very unnerving and invasive. Dlamini talked about “America-phobia” and increasingly “China-phobia.” There are perceptions that these countries, or the multinational corporations in these countries, have fair (or rather free) play in developing and undeveloped markets and societies. Think about the China’s textile industry or the States entertainment industry (Hollywood or MTV) and their existence and impact throughout the world. Depending on who you talk to globalisation is either “progressive” or “dangerous.” Check out this website:

I have to think about how globalization can work for me. As I previously stated, I have a philosophy that I am a global citizen, my passion for social justice and human rights run across borders and regions. My multicultural background has definitely facilitated this thinking. My interest in the empowerment of women is a global issue. Young women in our global community are generally less educated and have less access to information and this affects our health (think HIV and sexual reproduction rights). This is a global cause. I cannot solely think about women in the city I grew up. I need to connect the issues of women in Kingston (Jamaica), Philadelphia (USA), and Soweto (South Africa) etc; creating a global network. There are many of these networks mobilizing women across the globe (see, and I want to add to the strength of these networks.

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world”
~Virginia Woolf


Blogger Cyrille Mutombo said...

Hi Rochelle,
Just want to side with you that, at this space of transformation and globalization, finding or creating opportunities is crucial.

9:15 AM  

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