International Women’s Day, recognized annually on March 8, provides a wonderful platform to celebrate the acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in advancing women’s equality in their countries and communities.
Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day, 2022, is “Women Inspiring Women” which celebrates all the women and girls who inspire us by demonstrating leadership through the choices they make in their day-to-day lives that contribute to the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres.
When I think about the women who have inspired me, the first person who comes to mind is my mother, Jenny. She was an amazing mother and grandmother. My mother was a strong woman who was able to overcome many challenges in her lifetime with grace and determination. As a single mother, she worked two jobs to support my two brothers and me. She was an intelligent woman who said little and listened large. She helped those who came to her for advice to find their own solutions and supported them in their decisions. Aside from her unconditional love, this is something I miss most about her. My daughter, Julie inherited many of my mother’s strong qualities and uses them for the greater good. She is intelligent, driven, compassionate, and a fearless leader in our community. She is raising another strong leader, my granddaughter, who inspires me to be the best I can be for her and my family. My sister-in-law is another intelligent, strong woman whose organization and creativity inspires me to be more capable in these areas. I also have four nieces who have found their voice and speak up for their rights and possess the leadership skills to affect change in our community.
There are also many women who inspire me in my work. These are the women who have come before me and the ones I work alongside each day. The YWCA Board members and staff keep the needs of women and their families at the forefront of everything they do. They are hard-working, intelligent, compassionate change makers who advocate for equality and an end to gender-based violence. They inspire not only me, but the many women who access our programs and services.
Today, I encourage you to think about and celebrate the women who inspire you.
Here’s to strong women,
🙌 May we know them,
💪 May we be them,
🦸♀️ May we raise them.