Janet Karim, ’72 – Janet Karim currently works as a diplomat for the Permanent Mission of Malawi to the United Nations, responsible for social, cultural and human rights issues and representing the Mission on a number of social-related bodies and UN executive boards including UNICEF. Janet currently serves on the 2013 bureau of UN-Women Executive Board as Vice President and is the Rapporteur of the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing. She previously led an illustrious career in journalism for close to 20 years in Malawi as senior journalist for The Malawi Daily Times, by co-founding a number of para-media organizations and carving a niche in championing the rights of women and children.
My name is Janet Zeenat Karim and I currently work as a diplomat for the Permanent Mission of Malawi to the United Nations based in New York. I graduated from the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College (Zomba) with a Bachelor of Arts General Degree and a post graduate Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree (History). Upon completion of my education, I taught at various government schools for three years. A foiled attempt to earn a master’s degree in international relations (London School of Economics) caused me to exit the teaching profession and enter the world of journalism where I led an illustrious career for close to 20 years.
As a media practitioner, I joined at the rank of senior journalist at the then sole newspaper The Malawi Daily Times, and rose to assistant editor of its sister paper the Malawi News. But it was as features editor that I carved a niche in championing the rights of women and protection of children and other vulnerable people. I left the national newspapers and launched my own publishing firm (Now Publications Ltd.) and published the country’s first women’s magazine (Woman Now) and later launched a tri-weekly newspaper (The Independent).
During my career as a media professional, I also co-founded para-media organizations such as the Journalists Association of Malawi (JAMA), the Publishers Association of Malawi and the Malawi Media Women’s Association (MAMWA). Two of these JAMA and MAMWA, later established radio stations, which I also helped procure funding assistance and launched (MIJ Radio Station and Dzimwe Community Radio Station).
In 2007 I was posted to the foreign service in New York. I am the Third Committee responsible for social, cultural and human rights issues. During the time I have been working at the UN, I have helped shape some of the outcome documents and resolutions through participation either at country level or through regional groups such as the SADC, the African Group, and the Group of 77 and China. I also represent the Mission on the social-related bodies such as the commissions and UN executive boards of UNICEF, UNDP/YNFPAUNOPS, and UN-Women. I am currently serving on the 2013 bureau of UN-Women Executive Board as Vice President. I am also the Rapporteur of the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (2012, 2013).
I am a facilitator - facilitate resolutions, decisions on behalf of SADC, UN Women and CSW (Girl child resolution; strategic plan; women, girl child and HIV and AIDS CSW decision; UN Women Strategic Plan 2014-2017.
I am also the Malawi Mission’s elections officer and handle all matters relating to elections to the UN bodies.
I am taking the GDSJ MA course to enhance my experience with an academic qualification in the area of social justice and of course global development. I look forward to working with the amazing team of eloquent professors and marvelous Cohort 8 in the coming 24 months: onward to saving the world!
I have three grown sons and eight grand children.