Women, It’s Our Turn: Celebrate IWD

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International Women’s Day is a time of unity, celebration, and action. Celebrated in most countries worldwide, the first IWD took place in Austria, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. More countries followed suit and in 1975, the United Nations recognized March 8 as International Women’s Day.

The need to recognize women

The need for gender equality is peremptory. There is no reason for further debate nor dispute. All over the globe, women, girls, gender minorities, and marginalized groups experience disproportionate crises that are preventable. Gender equality ought to be a fundamental human right and yet every day we hear news of women being discriminated against or being recipients of physical and sexual violence, or emotional and mental abuse. A survey of female journalists from 125 nations found that at least 73% had suffered online violence in their line of work. A global analysis found that 44.2% of 133 AI systems across industries are gender-biased. This constant injustice robs women and gender minorities not only of their identity but also of their basic human rights.

The struggle is real and the path forward is uniquely difficult. However complex and challenging the fight for gender equality may be, the only acceptable future is one that is inclusive, sustainable, and resilient. The only path forward is recognizing women for all that they are and all that they can be.

 What is International Women’s Day?

 In the early twentieth century, labor movement activities in Europe and North America lobbied for equal participation of women in society. On the first International Women’s Day of 1911, over a million men and women showed their support in public events across Europe. Today, IWD represents the dream of a gender equal world. This March 8, 2024, #InspireInclusion and join women across the globe in fighting for an equitable, diverse, and inclusive society.

Equality is fought for, and forged. Recognize discrimination and take action towards inclusion.

 What remains to be done?

 This March 8, 2024, the International Women’s Day campaign theme is #InspireInclusion. As humans, we all need a sense of belonging and a feeling of empowerment. Regardless of the field, we must call out poor practice and fight against discrimination. Where there is inequity, we must take action. You and I, regardless of gender, can inspire inclusion.

In the words of Gloria Steinem, a world-renowned feminist and activist, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

 This fight belongs to all of us, and is for all of us.

 It’s Our turn.

 The #InspireInclusion pose. Strike with this pose to show your solidarity.

 Celebrating women means openly embracing the diversity of race, age, body image, faith, ability, and identity. Awareness and self-correction are just the first steps. Share the knowledge. Support and encourage others. All IWD participation is valid and we are together in this good fight.

Need some ideas?

Visit the Government of Canada’s International Women Day’s learning toolkit or internationalwomensday.com’s official planning toolkit IWD 2024.