International Women’s Day 2017

Mar 08, 2017

Today is International Women’s Day. A day which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women around the world. This year’s theme is #BeBoldForChange which encourages people to be leaders within their own communities by taking bold action to accelerate gender parity.

While each of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners and runner ups are working to bring about change in their communities, they are often helped and supported by other people within their families, workplaces and social circles. This International Women’s Day they wanted to take a moment to say thank you to the women who have inspired them on their Queen’s Young Leaders journey so far.

Nandini Kochar, Botswana: “Malala Yousafzai unflinchingly stood for what she believed in, even in the face of death. I hope to muster such courage and conviction one day.”

Nandini Kochar


Fisayo Ajisola, Nigeria: “My mum has been so passionate about my progress and she’s ever ready to support whatever project I decide to embark on, knowing full well that it is for the betterment of underprivileged lives out there”.

Fisayo Ajisola

Haider Ali, Pakistan: “When I first entered university Zara Abbasi was the person who helped me on the very first day. She has been a teacher, a mentor and my best friend. She has been an immense support and form of motivation.”

Haider Ali

Elijah Amoo Addo, Ghana: Naomi Amiokor Ntreh, my late mother, single-handedly raised me and my siblings. She didn’t always have money to give me the best things, but she gave me the greatest gift by teaching me the art of believing in myself.”


Ruth Nabembezi, Uganda: “Leading Change course director Frances Brown has been helping me through her amazing co-ordination and communication skills when it comes to the course.”


Chukwuebuka Obimma, Nigeria: “Whenever I encounter challenges in life, my mum Angela Obimma’s positive spirit inspires me to be strong”

Chukwuebuka Obimma

Jonathan Andrews, UK: “The politician Helga Stevens inspires me with her disability advocacy and breaking down barriers in Parliament.”

Jonathan Andrews

Bukola Bolarinwa, Nigeria: “My biggest inspiration has been my Maman! She is my biggest fan, teacher and motivator. She does everything diligently and has taught me how important patience and consistency are in achieving my goals.”

Bukky Bolarinwa 2

Siddel Ramkissoon, Trinidad and Tobago: “As a young person I have always appreciated HM The Queen’s resilience and adaptive abilities, which she executes with unmatched grace and majesty.”

Ifrah Faiz, Pakistan: “My mother who encouraged, believed and gave me confidence to go beyond my ease and comfort.”

Ifrah Faiz

Saddam Hussein Kiiza, Uganda: “Through her priceless devoted love and encouragement, my mum Sawiya Ndikuyeze has contributed to my journey as a Queen’s Young Leader.”

saddam hussein kiiza

Ashleigh Smith, New Zealand: “Karla taught me that as a young person my views and opinions matter, and that to make a difference you have to be prepared to stand up and share them.”

Ashleigh Smith

Samantha Sheoprashad, Guyana: “My mother is always the sustaining force of our family. She is very loyal, resilient and works to the best of her ability.”

Samantha Sheoprashad

Jamilla Sealy, Barbados: “Karen Sealy-Cox, my mother, has and continues to support me throughout my journey as a young leader in several ways; especially during the extremely rough times and I applaud her efforts.”

Jamilla Sealy

Farai Mubaiwa, South Africa: “The actress Jada Pinkett Smith can be seen acting, raising her children, boycotting the Oscars, fighting against sex trafficking and encouraging black women across the world to persevere no matter what challenges may come. These are some of the reasons why she has inspired me.”

Farai Mubaiwa

Eman Borg, Malta: “My mum is the backbone of what I do. Although she may not always understand everything I do, she always supports my ventures.”

Eman Borg

Kevin Vuong, Canada:My mother showed me how leadership is not about who is standing behind you but with you and how we’re all stronger when we stand together.”

Kevin Vuong

Nyeuvo Amukushu, Namibia: “A true ‘leader in heels’, Mavis is the true outcome of work ethic and self love.”

QYL Nyeuvo Amukushu Womens Day

Desmond Atanga, Cameroon: “This woman single-handedly raised me with love and care.”


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