International Women’s Day – Faiza Amin drives change through storytelling
This year, for International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating some of the amazing women who are turning possibilities into realities. As a CityNews reporter, Faiza Amin has the responsibility of keeping Canadians connected to the news and information that matters most to them, and the opportunity to use her voice to drive change.
Recently, Faiza shared the importance of amplifying voices, and how her personal experiences have shaped her perspective on inclusion and diversity.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I grew up in a household that’s been dominated by the strength, love and influence of women my entire life. So in one way, it makes me reflect on how grateful I am to have some amazing women in my life, and it’s also about celebrating the many women around the world who inspire me. But I also think about the different ways that society is failing women, the little progress made towards achieving gender equity, and how far we have to go until women of all races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities. These inequities became even more pronounced during COVID-19.
Tell us about your role at CityNews.
I’m a Journalist with CityNews, and I actually just participated in my first documentary that aired on Citytv in February. This has always been my dream job. My favourite part about being a journalist is getting to meet new people and getting the opportunity to share their stories. I think it’s especially important to share the stories of people who don’t always get their voices heard and don’t have access to media.
Starting March 15th, we’re airing a one-week long series on family violence, alongside our sister station OMNI Television. The stories will feature the voices of victims and survivors, and part of it will look how they struggled to navigate systems that failed them.
I also have to add that I work with some of the most amazing women at CityNews, who work in front of the camera and behind the scenes. They are strong, supportive and doing incredible work.
Who has been an inspiration in your life, and why?
Hands down my amazing mom Zekiya. A young single mom who raised seven kids on her own. Now she’s the primary caregiver to my grandmother. I don’t know how she did it all.
She’s my source for inspiration, strength, and courage. She’s always been my biggest supporter. Though at times it felt like we didn’t have much growing up, she still gave me an upbringing that allowed me to dream big. And that is priceless.
What would you say to young girls of today?
I would say to believe in yourself. I can’t stress how important this is. I struggled feeling like I belonged when I was younger, and on some occasions, I still do. Sometimes we are our harshest critics, but we should also have that same energy when it comes to loving, celebrating and appreciating who we are. Sometimes I tell myself: if you don’t believe in yourself, who will.
Tell us a little more about yourself, and any personal interests or details you’d like to share.
By the time I immigrated to Canada, my siblings and I were fluent in four languages. We lived in and traveled to a number of countries. I don’t speak all four languages anymore, but I have such a deep love and appreciation for the different cultures I was lucky enough to experience, and am always eager to learn about more places.
I have a huge family! Four sisters and two brothers. I always felt it was crowded when I was young, but now that I’m older, it’s so nice to have such a huge support system. I’m very grateful.
During the pandemic, I ventured into the world of YouTube to create content for curly haired girls. I hope I can go back to it someday, because I want to encourage people of all ages to embrace their curls!