AAJ Magazine's International Women's Day Exclusive:
9 Empowering and Inspirational Women Role Models
Inspiring messages from Women Leaders
Hon. Abhilasha Joshi, Consul General of India
There are many women in our community, who are very inspiring and stands out as a role model for the younger generation. I am proud of the fact that many non-profit organizations and initiatives across Vancouver, which are intended to help the community, are led by women. Many women continue taking up their reins and are excelling in all platforms such as Academics, Politics, Medicine, Technology and many more. Even though we are living in a world having many contradictions, women have the potential to break the barriers and to reach the forefront in any field.
President & Founder of SPICE RADIO
My advice to society is to encourage women to women mentoring and be a support and guidance to each other. If you’re a parent or guardian, you should take the first step in teaching their son to know that men and women are equal. Developing a healthy attitude towards a woman starts at home, right from the toddler to adult. As our sons learn to deal respectfully with the women in their lives, like mom, sister, friend, wife, co-workers, it helps to bring change in everyone’s attitude towards women around the world. There is no substitute for a parent’s example in teaching their son the importance of respecting women.
Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains
Director of the South Asian Studies Institute
University of the Fraser Valley
My journey has been marked by tenacity, resilience and progressive thought. As a feminist I am keenly aware of power and privilege and the intersectionality of race, identity, ability, and migration in the lived experiences of South Asian Canadian girls and women. Equity, diversity and inclusion are three legs to a stool that guide our work in decreasing inequality, demanding diversity and working towards greater and greater inclusion of all in our conversations and our work. I have been inspired by ordinary women like my mother who had to work to break down societal barriers and taboos through a strong will and great determination. It has been my life’s goal to uplift all girls and women and through that uplift society in ways that are far reaching and impactful. This work is part of our legacy and continuation of many generations of strong women who have paved the way for women like me. My work and my personal life’s commitment to leave the world as a better place in some small way has shaped both my career and my family life. I seek to inspire young women to lead by learning from the past and by creating a better future for all of us and future generations.
Member of the Legislative Assembly for Surrey- Panorama/ Teacher
I envision a world where women and girls can achieve their dreams, no matter what national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political background they come from. I am fortunate be part of a five generation family of women who inspire me to work my hardest every day to make the world a better place. I’ve been very blessed to have had so many incredible opportunities and experiences, and I believe it is important for me to do everything I can to empower the women and girls in my life to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed.
Dr. Balbir Kaur Gurm
Founder of NEVR/ Chair of the Canadian Punjabi Legacy Project/ Member of the BC Parole Board and CPP & Disability Tribunal
Dr. Balbir Kaur Grum focusses on the health and social epidemic of relationship violence. She has witnessed physical, emotional, spiritual, financial violence in the form of oppression both in the community and workplace. Dr. Gurm consistently presents at conferences, writes in the popular media, and makes appearances on radio and television to bring awareness to relationship violence. Later this year, she will release a free open access book that defines relationship violence, brings an overview of what is known about the issue, applicable legislation, and effective programs. Her goal is to change society so that we do not accept relationship violence.
My advice to other women would be to give yourself permission and allow yourself to be who you were meant to be! Be happy with who you are and celebrate your uniqueness and what makes you-YOU! Most importantly, set boundaries for yourself and others and don’t try to change or conform yourself to someone else’s version of you or what they think you should be.
Executive Director of Ontario Association of Art Galleries, Toronto
Zainub Verjee is an accomplished leader in the art and culture sector and over four decades has shaped culture policy at all levels of governments and contributed to building of cultural institutions and organizations in Canada and internationally.
The following two decades saw major cultural policy work in Canada, and it is appropriate to mention Zainub’s central role in making the case of racial equity right at the centre of this development. She further connected these issues with trade through her work with the International Network for Cultural Diversity included promulgating the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted in 2005. Going beyond her call of duty, she selflessly enabled forming alliances.
Community Activist/ Business Owner/ Writer
My advice to the woman is first to become painfully self-aware. Not self-conscious but self-aware. Once you know who you are, the battle is almost won. The essence of true freedom is getting to a place in your life where you no longer care what other people think and to do that; you have to be strong in who you are. You have to know your strengths and your weaknesses
Holistic therapist/ Yoga teacher
I always loved to inspire and be inspired by many positive things around the world and I believe there is no end to education. Education is not that you read a book, pass on examination and finish with education. The whole life from moment we are born to the moment we die is a process of learning.