Sisterly Advice on International Women’s Day.

Rana Aldibs -Health and Wellness Coordinator at YWCA Hamilton “To all women, everywhere in this world, especially new women to Canada…… I want to tell you that you need to trust yourself, as you have survived a lot, and, you’ll survive whatever is coming. Accept the change and never give up. Believe in yourself!”

Ora Markstein 92 year old Holocaust survivor, wife, mother, and sculpture. ” Women are stronger then men. They have to be, because they are mothers.” If mothers work outside of the home they should spend the first 2-3 years at home with their child” creating a strong mother/ child bond is the best thing a mother can do for her child and for society.” After those first few years then you can go back to work.”

Gemma New – Conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra “Enjoy experiencing music and other creative arts as much as you can. Take the time to create balance in your life, and remain close to good friends. Pursue your career with the love and dedication.”

Dr Chitra Rao, one of the first female forensic pathologists in the world. Dr Rao recently retired. “Live up to your dreams and don’t let anything or anyone to deter it. Determination and hard work will make you realize your goals”

Kia Nurse is a student at University of Connecticut where she plays for the UCONN Huskies women’s basket ball team. She was also a member of the Canadian Women’s National Basketball Team at the PanAm Games. “I would say it’s okay to be fiercely competitive and to want to be great at whatever your passionate about. My mother taught me to be confident in who I was, earn everything I wanted and to truly believe I could be or do anything. There will be obstacles so embrace the fight and just keep reminding yourself it’ll make you stronger.”

Jehan Yozbasha-13 years old student (Syrian refugee) who has been in Canada for 5 months “My message to all girls & women is to speak up, let your voice be heard, and, don’t be shy to ask for your rights and fight for it.”

Queen Cee- mother, entertainer, entrepreneur “Woman, your path in life, your passions, your wants and needs are not carved in stone. Knowledge is infinite, change is inevitable, so always dream big, manifest and take age out of the equations.”

Eleanor Harvey – Ohio State University student and Olympic Fencer “So many of us are taught to be very self-critical, and often magnify each flaw we see in ourselves. Self-condemnation can be exhausting; never tell yourself something you wouldn’t say to your daughter or your best friend!”

Margaret Houghton – Retire Archivist and Local History Department at The Hamilton Public Library ” Shit Happens, Deal with it.”

Kate Sawford -childhood cancer survivor, left leg amputee, veterinarian, IFSC internationally ranked rock climber. ‘The older I get the more often I find that I am capable of far more than many presume I am. ‘I include myself amongst the many.’

Karmela Krivosija Owner of First Class Driving School Stoney Creek-  “You don’t need to be perfect, nobody is.Just do your best and keep trying.”

Lina El-Ali – Family Settlement Counsellor at Immigrants Working Centre ” Education is the key! Learn, grow and believe in your strength and will power.”

Najalaa Yozbasha 19 years old student at Sir. John MacDonald ( new to Canada from Syrian. She has been here 5 months ) “I advise all girls & women ….. to follow your dreams and never give up. “

Dr. Carys Massarella – Emergency Room Physician ” We need to encourage young women to go in to the STEM careers and to teach young women and girls coding at an early age. We need to see more women in leadership positions in STEM careers and even though Medicine has many more women pursuing medical careers it is still mostly men in senior medical leadership.”

Kira Alexanian -15 year old high school student and artist. “I think the most important advice I could give to young women is to be completely and unapologetically yourself. There’s nothing more refreshing and liberating than standing up against the norms and displaying your individuality to the world.”

Sarah Jama -Co-President of the McMaster Womanists, anti racism activist, disability rights activist and civic leader.“There is no revolution, no societal change that was not pushed for, faught for, or bled for by women. We are fire meant to blaze trails. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.”

Merle Baird Kerr -Merle Kaleidoscope of Life Blog “Don’t worry about things you have no control over.”

Theresa Burns -Head Coach of the McMaster Women’s Basketball team “Don’ let anyone else tell you that you can’t…listen to your own heart,stay true to yourself and believe in how strong you are.”

Astrid Hepner – An Instrument for Every Child “As a creative, but also pragmatic person my philosophy of life is perfectly summed up in a quote by Golda Meir: “Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” We all have these ‘tiny, inner sparks’ in us, but the real challenge is to keep the fire burning…the fuel is confidence, belief in ourselves, and persistence.” Cathie Coward/ Hamilton Spectator 

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