By: Maya Kanigan, WIL President
Last week in Vancouver, Denise Young (WIL Kelowna Chapter Chair), Stephanie Slaman (WIL Kelowna Executive Member) and I had a great day of learning, inspiration, and growth at the Art of Leadership for Women in Vancouver last week featuring female visionaries, best selling authors, and accomplished female executives.
Malala Yousafzai was the keynote who closed the event. When she entered the stage, she received a standing ovation. She is the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, an international best selling author with her book, I am Malala and has won numerous awards for her work fighting for girls education and to make the world a better place.
Malala is an incredible role model in our time. It was so inspiring to hear her wisdom and her story from her courage and strength. Her fight for girls education began at age 11 when she started speaking out. Today, we still don't have over 132 million girls engaged in education and it is costing countries trillions of dollars, a huge loss in the world economy. Her powerful message to the audience was, "when we allow women to move forward, we all move forward."
When asked what her favourite book was, Malala replied, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho because the book is about believing in yourself and pursuing your dreams. Her message to young girls, "believe in yourself; believe in your voice." I have already shared Malala's story and message with my daughter and I am grateful for the country we live in. I look forward to hear from more future leaders like Malala.