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UPDATE: International Women’s Day
The International Women’s Day event organized by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute, Calgary Chapter, in partnership with the Association for Women Lawyers was held March 7, 2014 at the Calgary Elk Lodge and Golf Club. The topic this year was, “Challenges for Women in Professional Life
” Cheryl Foggo, host for this special occasion welcomed guests and thanked the partnering Association for Women Lawyers and introduced dignitaries such as MLA Heather Forsyth, Councilors Joe Magliocca and Sean Chu and of course, guest speaker Minister of State for Western Economics Diversification, Michelle Rempel. Public Relations Director Emine Gurbuzer gave the opening speech, who spoke on behalf of ICD Calgary expressed gratitude for all present when she said: “Today’s International Women’s Day event is a firm example of IDI’s commitment to dialogue and facilitating human celebration. Women from across diverse cultures share a vital role in promoting values that cross boundaries and create homes, communities and environments - in short, the world that we all can feel affirmed and welcomed in.” In additional, an invitation was extended to all to participate in Turkish Cooking and Turkish Language classes offered thorough Anatolian Culture Centre. After a self-serve lunch, Ms. Foggo introduced Honorable Michelle Rempel, who was elected to the House of Commons in 2011 and appointed Minister of State for Western Economics Diversification in 2013. For many of us, Honorable Michelle Rempel remains best known as the youngest female appointed to Cabinet in Canadian history. Some of her points included: Start with an appreciation to be Canadian and a woman in Canada.
Accept challenges and opportunities equally. Ask yourself, do I want to work hard or work smart? Where am I going and what are my dreams and my vision?
Make choices, as with choice comes initiative. Choices are equally valid and need to be celebrated and one must know the broader landscape around you because it helps to make better decisions.
Have a vision and work towards it. Value time above else and build a team of people that share your values.
Respect women’s choices without being judgmental. It is possible to respect someone without liking them. Always make allies in unexpected places as you may need another person’s point of view. Network for information gathering.
Protect yourself professionally, your credibility and your reputation.
Honorable Michelle Rempel closed her message by sharing her vision with us. She asked where in the world do women do best? The simple but effective answer which everyone agreed on, was Canada. She wished us a happy International Women’s Day. As a token of appreciation, Emine Gurbuzer, presented her with framed art titled, “One Race Human,” which won an school Art and Essay contest sponsored by IDI in Toronto Time was given so that everyone had a voice to discuss the topic ”Identifying Challenges for Women in a Professional Life” along with some solutions. The 10 tables then presented brief summaries. Here are some ideas expressed:
Stop stereotyping the way women are perceived.
Speak up to racial and/or sexist jokes.
Address social media on culture change to respect one another.
Learns ways to raise a point.
Address initiatives on how to get things done.
Have visible role models.
Women in politics represent us all.
Have clarity of vision.
Be aware of weak female mentors vs. strong female mentors.
Inequality hurts everyone including the privileged.
Fire stations now have women’s washrooms.
Stand up and let our voices be heard. In Canada women are polite thus not heard. We must learn to speak up for change.
The International Women’s Day program ended with closing remarks of gratitude, a ”family photo” and a gift of Turkish Delight from IDI given to guests as they departed.
[Show as slideshow]
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Anatolian Heritage Federation