International Women’s Day

The theme of the International Women’s Day 2024 campaign ‘Inspire Inclusion’. Celebrated on 8 March, the intention of this year’s day is to inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, so that together we forge a better world.

The first International Women’s Day (IWD) was held in March 1911 in Europe, when more than one million men and women attended rallies to campaign for women’s rights and to end discrimination. Today, IWD isn’t country, group, or organisation specific. It’s a day of collective global activism and celebration that belongs to all those committed to forging women’s equality.

World-renowned feminist, journalist and activist, Gloria Steinem, reportedly once explained: “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation,
but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

Worldwide, organisations, groups, and individuals play an ongoing role in improving women’s lives, in the community, at work, at home, and beyond. This includes openly embracing their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify. Individually, women aspire to understand, value and seek other women and girls, sharing their knowledge, support and encouragement, while on an organisational or group basis, there are many ways to ensure the needs, interests and aspirations of women and girls are valued and included.

Some of these are:
• Forging women’s economic empowerment
• Recruiting, retaining and developing female talent
• Supporting women and girls into leadership, decision-making, business and STEM
• Designing and building infrastructure meeting their needs
• Helping them make informed decisions about health
• Involving women and girls in sustainable agriculture and food security
• Providing them with access to quality education and training
• Elevating participation and achievement in sport
• Promoting creative and artistic talent
• Addressing further areas supporting the advancement of women and girls
Did you know?
In 1911, a fire in New York killed more than 140 working women, drawing attention to poor working conditions and legislation. The pursuit of workers’ rights and the right for women to vote and to hold public office became the focus for International Women’s Day causes. These days International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women, and recognises the continuing disparity between women’s and men’s income levels, and the need for more women to participate in both political and economic spheres.

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