ICRC International Women's Day IWD2021

ICRC celebrates International Women's Day #IWD2021

This year, in celebration of International Women's Day, we asked some of our incredible colleagues to share their wisdom and experience with us: "What advice would you give to your younger self?"

Adriana Pulido, Inclusion Advisor, ICRC Colombia

Don't believe everything people say with their different prejudices and points of view. Don't let yourself be paralyzed by fear. Seize opportunities and do everything you want for your life.

Dr. An Na, Obstetrician, ICRC Yemen

Don't be afraid to fight for what you really want to do. Remember that the happiest moments are with the patients you've helped. They are your biggest motivation.

Anastasia Papachrisyou, Detention Doctor, ICRC Greece

You should not be afraid of change, especially when that means changing your way of action and thinking in order to overcome the obstacles. 

Andrea Zamur, Restoring Family Links Officer, ICRC Brazil

Flexibility, empath, and very strong work ethic are just as important as formal knowledge.

Keep your eyes, ears, and hearts open to what's happening everywhere, including other parts of the world, then roll up your sleeves and get to work. 

Bunny Rose Manlod, Water and Habitat Engineer, ICRC Philippines

Gender is not the measure of how effective you are in your field of work.

It is giving all of your heart to whatever you are doing and making the best out of it to uplift others as human beings.

Catherine Gendre, Head of Mission, ICRC Mozambique

Do the things you feel and think are right, no matter what others may think or do.

Helen Durham, Director of International Policy and Law, ICRC Headquarters

Humanitarian work is often about building change over time — have a long view on the range of skills you want to develop.

Careers today are rarely linear so think creatively. Have passion, patience, and persistence. 

Israa Elajail, Economic Security Officer, ICRC Libya

Invest in yourself, be creative and speak up your mind. Being a woman is a challenge in our context. To cross this obstacle, do not let others underestimate you — be who you are.

Kiona Bolt, Weapons Contamination Delegate, ICRC Cambodia

Be open to all kinds of learning and let go of the idea that others are better than you.

You might get it right the first time or even the twentieth time, but that should not stop you from trying at all.

Rehema Bashir Haji, Economic Security Generalist, ICRC Kenya

Learn as much as you can by doing, take on as many challenging tasks as possible. Don't be afraid to fail. It all pays off in the end.

Rima Nasr, Fleet Driver, ICRC Lebanon

As a woman, and the only woman driver, I used to hear a lot of comments.

My advice is to stay strong, no matter what you hear. Be confident of your skills.

Yulia Porohnia, Water and Habitat Field Officer, ICRC Ukraine

If you believe in something and if you are sure this will work out — push for it. It is fine to have some doubts, but there is nothing wrong in being assertive. 

Amalid Chebly, Health Coordinator, ICRC Libya

I am motivated by the belief and the joy that my everyday work might be alleviating suffering somewhere.