Celebrating International Women’s Day with Hannah Alper!

Hannah tells us about the women who have inspired her most over the last year
Hannah Alper international women's day Hannah Alper is a powerful voice for change in her own right. Today, she tells us who makes her feel empowered. (Courtesy of Hannah Alper)

This Sunday, March 8 is International Women's Day. Over the last 100 years, IWD has grown from a local demonstration in New York City, to a holiday in places like Russia, China, and Germany, to being the most important day in women's rights around the globe!

As we get ready to celebrate tomorrow, we'd like to turn OWLconnected over to one of our favourite young Canadian activists (not to mention OWL magazine advisory member!), Hannah Alper. Hannah's own hard work and dedication inspires us everyday, but as she would be the first to tell you, heroes have heroes, too! In fact, that is exactly what she's about to tell you in this exclusive post for OWLconnected.

Take it away, Hannah!

Hannah on International Women's Day

Coming up is International Women’s Day 2020, and role models have been the centre of my own activism, showing me what is possible. They pave the path and their journeys have guided mine.

Some of my biggest role models are women, showing me that I truly can do anything and so can you. For IWD 2020, I am shining a light on some of the women who have inspired me this past year. What I want you to realize, now more than ever, is this: while there are many famous women who are inspiring role models for girls like me, there are also many women among us who create change locally and globally that are to be admired.

While I have chosen five women, I could have very easily featured hundreds of them!

Malala Yousafzai

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Malala turned her own tragedy into a platform to inspire millions. (Getty Embed)

Malala is, without a doubt the most powerful, inspirational, motivational, empowering, and loudest voice for young people and young girls of my generation. She stood up for her education and what she believed in, and after being shot for it, she kept fighting even harder. She is the founder of the Malala Fund and remains a huge advocate for girls' education around the world. I had the chance to interview her in 2017 when she was here receiving her Honourary Canadian Citizenship and it was incredible. Did I mention she is the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize?

Greta Thunberg

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Greta's actions in 2019 made her one of the world's best known activists. She was even TIME magazine's Person Of The Year. (Getty Embed)

This girl has been taking the world by storm. At just 17 years old, she has made powerful world leaders listen to her pleas for climate action. She began #FridaysForFuture, going on a school strike alone. It was not long before her passion inspired millions around the world to go on strike to encourage climate action. She will not take no for an answer, and that is beyond inspiring.

Autumn Peltier


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Autumn is creating a massive amount of change representing the Indigenous community and urging the global community to respect the urgency and importance of clean water. She is 15 years old and not afraid to ask leaders the tough questions to get the solutions.

Alessia Cara

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Alessia is more than just a terrific singer and performer — she's a real force for change and inspiration. (Getty Embed)

Not only does she make awesome music, but Alessia is a true and powerful example of using your platform and gifts to create change. She is real and talks about the struggles she went through as a teenager, giving the messages of hope and self-love that we all need.

Julie Payette

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As Governor-General, Julie visits countries around the world, spreading Canada's message of peace and collaboration among nations. (Getty Embed)

As the current Governor-General of Canada and a former engineer, scientist, corporate director, and astronaut (she spent 25 days in space), it is safe to say that Julie has literally reached the stars. She shows that women are powerful and can do anything. Fun fact: if you didn’t think she could get any cooler, Payette can converse in six languages, play the piano, and has sung with four musical groups!

A bonus one: You!

Perhaps the most powerful woman to shine a light on International Women’s Day ... is you. You can be or do anything you want. Find role models that will inspire you on your journey as you continue to grow and dream and become.

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