UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett interviews Kelly Clements, UNHCR's highest ranking woman.



so Kelly its International Women's Day today in a day in which we're celebrating the massive achievements of women all over the world women like yourself you know who are making massive strives to to ensure the protection of refugees particularly women and girls so I'm Cate Blanchett and I'm Kelly Clements the deputy at UNH Sierra now that is a big job that is a massive job how did you get that job and how do you weave that into your everyday life I mean there's some it's an it's a remarkable responsibility so I mean firstly I suppose what what inspired you to get in into the the job you know Kate this is a journey that began a lot earlier than starting this position as the deputy in this amazing organization mm-hmm 28 years ago somehow walking into it in terms of serendipity and the field and the work that this organization is doing you know in so many places around the world I think 130 countries we're in now more than 450 field locations and women including women working for this organization and other partners are in some of the toughest places in the world and they're working to make the lives of millions better in very difficult circumstances it must be um heartbreaking but also rewarding to be able to sort of be there right at the coalface and give those people you know that their very basic forms of protection because of course they're all fleeing persecution well the majority of refugees are women and children and some of the greatest needs that we see when we're out in the field sometimes right at the border as people are crossing is what those immediate needs are you asked earlier about what what has motivated or what has inspired and some of the work of this agency to be sure that we've got the systems in place so that women have a voice that they're actually able to control they take care of their families and hopefully get their families back on their feet very quickly they've been through some enormous traumas yes horrible experiences and then through it all incredible resilience was really interesting when I was in Zurich camp i am i took my my not been nine-year-old son with me and my son was a bit nervous because you know the world out there has a lot of stereotypes and cliches which you know often false about refugees but the minute he went in there there were you know there were other boys and girls and he was out there playing soccer with them and there was no point of difference and and just seeing that as a as a mother you know the way that life goes on for refugees they have to they have to you know make a life and make a life they they do i mean you have an extraordinary job and you know obviously working with an amazing team but as a woman have you had any particular challenges either getting into this line of work or you know during your time here at the organization it's interesting because i've found that actually my gender has been less important over the years in this line of work than my age because i started you know fresh out of graduate school i have a youthful expression and somehow that has been a bigger challenge than being a woman in this profession you know advice that i would give for those because there are many who want to do this work and i that doesn't surprise me at all be patient look for these opportunities don't turn them down even if they don't look ripe at the moment be hungry you know and get to the field do as much as you can in the field to to to be able to see the sorts of circumstances we're working in that kind of experience then of course serves one well as they as they progress in their careers you inspire me i hope that this has inspired those that have been listening and that you all stand with refugees

3 thoughts on “UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett interviews Kelly Clements, UNHCR's highest ranking woman.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *