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Recognizing inspirational women for IWD 2020 — as told by the Global News audience

On this International Women's Day, we asked you what women in your life inspired you the most.
On this International Women's Day, we asked you what women in your life inspired you the most.

Women have been striving for equality over the last century, and March 8 — International Women’s Day — celebrates how far women’s rights have come.

International Women’s Day began March 8, 1911. The suffragettes created this day as they strove for voting rights and equality, according to the International Women’s Day website.

It was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland that year.

This year marks the 109th celebration of International Women’s Day.

GIRLS ON BOARDS
GIRLS ON BOARDS

We asked the Global News audience to send a shoutout to inspirational women in their lives. Here is a selection of your stories.

1. Global News Anchor Farah Nasser chooses to remember her great grandmother on International Women’s Day.

“Meet my great grandmother (or big Nani as we called her) Nurbanu Jinah Rajan, born in India, raised in East Africa,” she shares.

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She’s the one on the left holding a shawl looking directly into the camera, which unbeknownst to her, her great-granddaughter Farah Nasser would do decades later nightly on the evening news.
She’s the one on the left holding a shawl looking directly into the camera, which unbeknownst to her, her great-granddaughter Farah Nasser would do decades later nightly on the evening news. Farah Nasser

“Big Nani was something else. Larger than life. She was confident, funny and slightly inappropriate.

Once a month we’d visit. She would tell me to make my own decisions in life, that I didn’t belong to anyone. 

She was the first one in her town to trade in her sari for a Western-style dress, shocking many. Judging from this photo she clearly started a trend.

Big Nani, thank you for being the original stereotype smasher.”

2. Wendy Swinton –  “I would like to give a shout out to my daughter-in-law, Laura Kosakoski.

Dr. Laura Kosakoski
Dr. Laura Kosakoski Wedny Swinton / Email

Laura lost her life in an avalanche near Lake Louise in January but “Kos,” as she was known, has left her mark far and wide and continues to inspire so many to live the life they want to, with no holding back.

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Her husband, Adam Campbell, came up with a catchphrase slogan “JUSTBEKOS” that was made into stickers and handed out at her celebration of life. 

“People across the globe have put these stickers on their hockey sticks, skis, climbing helmets, bicycles, phones, and anything you can stick something to as we all strive to live each moment to its fullest.”
“People across the globe have put these stickers on their hockey sticks, skis, climbing helmets, bicycles, phones, and anything you can stick something to as we all strive to live each moment to its fullest.” Wendy Swinton/Email

READ MORE: Remembering Laura Kosakoski

3. Catrina Stephen – “I would like to shoutout Shauna Muldrew,” writes Stephen.

Shauna Muldrew, owner of Infinity Nutrition and Health Coaching.
Shauna Muldrew, owner of Infinity Nutrition and Health Coaching. Catrina Stephen/Email
“[Muldrew] is a Winnipeg entrepreneur who is passionate about what she does and loves helping others achieve their health and wellness goals. She has helped numerous women over 40 get in the best shape of their lives and is truly inspirational in the area of healthy living.”
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READ MORE: International Women’s Day 2020: Who is the inspiring woman in your life?

4. Canada Soccer, the official governing body for soccer in the country, is inspired by Women’s National Team captain Christine Sinclair.

5. Kia Nicolaou – “I am recognizing my mom this International Women’s Day. She survived the Germans during World War II, came to Canada with no money, not knowing how to speak English, and nowhere to live. She worked hard, raised four girls and is now helping me raise my own children.”

6. Bill Webber – “My life partner and mother to our kids. I look at our children, our grandchildren and my great-grandchildren and see what a great mentor and role model she is.”

7. "I have watched my daughter Amanda Pope grow throughout the years.  She has grown with compassion, integrity and worked persistently towards her dreams. She will continue to inspire others around her with her energy and love."
7. "I have watched my daughter Amanda Pope grow throughout the years. She has grown with compassion, integrity and worked persistently towards her dreams. She will continue to inspire others around her with her energy and love." Angela Oelkuch/Email
8. "The woman in my life who inspires me most, is my best friend Janita Van Maren. Her career goal was to become a paramedic, and she left everything she knew, including her entire family, and moved to Fort St. John, B.C. to pursue her goal."
8. "The woman in my life who inspires me most, is my best friend Janita Van Maren. Her career goal was to become a paramedic, and she left everything she knew, including her entire family, and moved to Fort St. John, B.C. to pursue her goal." Corne Vanhoepen/Email

9. John Fisher – “My wife is an inspirational woman. She lost her battle to cancer last month but she taught me about love and gratitude and I am a better person now.” 

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10. Juan Jimenez Vaca –  “My mom and my younger sister are the two most important women in my life.  My mom raised both my sister and [me] by herself because our father was never in the picture.

She was in university in the day, working at night and raising us, all at the same time.  My little sister is now in university studying psychology with plans to help those with mental health illness after she graduates. They both have shown me how strong woman are.”

What’s in store for next generation in terms of gender equality?
What’s in store for next generation in terms of gender equality?

11. Nicole Thibideau‘s mom inspires her:

READ MORE: 680 CJOB hockey analyst Leah Hextall joins ‘historic’ Sportsnet Hometown Hockey broadcast

12. Riley Aaron – “My wife is an amazing woman.  Despite being diagnosed with a genetic disease that gives her only five more years to live, she keeps a smile on her face every day and does the most she can for our children.”

13. Patricia Phillips – “Cynthia Garvey is very inspiring to me.  She is a single mom who works 24/7 to be successful but is also incredibly involved in the community. She helps many community groups and causes.  This woman is a caring machine and an amazing role model for all business owners. She does not have to do it, but she does.”

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14. “I am so proud of the woman my daughter Samantha Kennedy has become. At just 25 years old she is a corrections officer at the Penitentiary.”
14. “I am so proud of the woman my daughter Samantha Kennedy has become. At just 25 years old she is a corrections officer at the Penitentiary.” Dorothy Kennedy/Email

“Samantha inspires me every day.  I am amazed at how she takes so much pride and responsibility in her role and how she does the best job she can do.  She is my role model.”

15. Darla JaworskiMy mom inspires me every day.  My dad was unhealthy and she took care of him for two years at their home, before she put him in a long term care home.”

16. Amanda Leliever – “My mom Betty deserves to be recognized. She is a breast cancer survivor and my hero.  She has always been there for me no matter what, with open arms and an open heart.”

17. “My mom Lori Delaurier is such an inspirational woman. She works hard day in and day out to raise her eight children, five of which still live at home.”
17. “My mom Lori Delaurier is such an inspirational woman. She works hard day in and day out to raise her eight children, five of which still live at home.” Meagan Delaurier/Instagram Direct Message

18. Megan Federick “My mom, Helen Frederick, is the most inspiring woman I know. She has spent her whole life caring for others, being a nurse for the majority of her career.   She has always been the best role model and support person to me and her grandchildren. I am in awe of her strength and resilience and am so thankful to call her my best friend.”

19. Lisa Ryle – “I am acknowledging my daughter Justice. With determination, sacrifice and commitment; one can persevere. For all that you are and will become; I am extremely proud of you, admire you and would love to be half the woman you are today. Keep striving.”

20. Shannon Woodhouse – “When I grow up I want to be just like our “GG” Millie Woodhouse.  On March 2, she turned 100 years old.  She is a fierce and independent woman who still lives by herself and only just decided to not renew her driver’s licence.

“When asked about what the most amazing thing she’s experienced in her 100 years she was at a loss, “there’s been so many things… I come from a time when I used to hand scrub my clothes, now you just push a button.
“When asked about what the most amazing thing she’s experienced in her 100 years she was at a loss, “there’s been so many things… I come from a time when I used to hand scrub my clothes, now you just push a button. Shannon Woodhouse /Instagram Message

Her love for her family is unmatched and I will forever be grateful to have had her as a role model in my life.”

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21. Kristina Florendine – “My mom Janice Florendine has been a single mom since I was born. She is turning 70 in October and still works six days a week.  She is the hardest worker I know and I am so grateful to have her as my mom. She has given up everything to give me the best life.”

Who inspires you? Share in the comments below or reply on Twitter or Facebook.