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6 Inspiring Voices on International Women’s Day

In honour of International Women’s Day, we at S/ salute the fearless and intelligent self-identifying women around the world. We are thrilled to spotlight individuals who have carved a niche for themselves in their respective fields, while acting as a source of inspiration to others. Throughout the month of March, we will reveal what this day means to a selection of trailblazing and captivating women, starting with the influential individuals below.

Nadia Gohar, Artist

Photographed by Maya Fuhr.

“I don’t always celebrate holidays for their exact intended purpose, but I think those few days a year are a good opportunity and reminder to call, text, think about, or meet up with people you love. My mom lives in Istanbul, and each year on women’s day, someone from the neighbourhood leaves a single red rose on every doorstep in her building which I think is such a sweet gesture.”

Charlie Wang, Model

Photographed by Nelson Huang.

“While I take this day as an opportunity to celebrate the brave women who have devoted their lives and passions to the mission of women’s liberation, I think it is even more important to reflect on the progress that can still be made to better the lives of marginalized women across the world. There is still so much basic work to be done in terms of ensuring access to healthcare, fair employment, and protection from violence and discrimination, especially for trans women of colour like myself. Standing in solidarity with each other on the basis of our shared struggles is vital to building a better future for us all.”  

Stephanie Kersta and Carolyn Plater, Co-founders of Hoame

Photographed by Hovan Stepanian.

“International Women’s Day to us is a day that celebrates all things feminine.  We all have inner feminine energy and International Women’s Day is a day for us to honor and cherish the femininity in all of us.  It allows us a day to recognize the trailblazing women who have fought for women’s rights, because of them we have so many amazing female entrepreneurs.  We also recognize those women who have raised us, our role models and supports in our lives, both of our role models are our mothers, women who not only raised children, and managed a household but also followed their passions and dreams career-wise.  It’s also an occasion to remind women everywhere to bring more mindfulness into their lives; as women, we care for so many, and we cannot forget to care for ourselves first… that’s why we created Hoame, to be able to make that difference in other’s lives.”

Jill Andrew, Co-Founder of Body Confidence Canada

Photographed by Jessica Laforet Photography.

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate our existence and purpose. It is an ode to our survival within a society that more often than not would prefer our silence, ‘respectable politeness’ and that we take up as little space as possible. On IWD I draw inspiration from women – past, present and forthcoming – who draw outside the lines. I am grateful to the women who dare to challenge the status quo and who refuse to go quietly into the night. I salute the women who are often labeled as ‘rude’ ‘disruptive’ ‘angry’ ‘loud’ and the ones whose occasional silence is misread as weakness or disengagement when in fact they are the smartest in the room listening and strategizing towards change for the better for women they don’t even know or may never meet. On IWD and every other day, we meet each other where we are at and we fight for our rights and we mobilize to ensure we get every single one of them – and then some.”

Aisha Fairclough, Co-Founder of Body Confidence Canada

Photographed by Omar Fairclough. 

“International Women’s Day (IWD) means celebrating those that have helped to create footprints that guide us today. But it is also a reminder for every woman to help encourage women and girls who doubt their own strength. We must lift every woman up and call out systemic injustices like sexism, racism, poverty, transphobia and size discrimination. Today we celebrate trailblazers and pledge to shine a light on future change-makers to come.”

Ash Foo, Model

Photographed by Michael Woloszynowicz

“A unity of celebration and recognition of every achievement, big or small, for all of womenhood. A day that we allow ourselves to acknowledge and reflect on our abilities to overcome, survive, grow and change. A day for remembering the women before us who shaped our path and inspired the continuous growth of equality that we carry today. I believe in using this day to connect with women so that we can make the most of our strengths and unique abilities to rise for gender equality.”