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Coaching Focus Group | Blog

International Women's Day

Trayton Vance
May 6, 2023
4 min read
International Women's Day: Celebrating Achievements, Promoting Inclusion
Who is this article for?
In this article
  • The Historical Context
  • Celebrating Achievements
  • The Need for Inclusion
  • Inspiring Inclusion Across the World
  • Actionable Steps Towards Inclusion
  • Conclusion
  • May 6, 2023
    4 min read

    International Women's Day

    International Women's Day (IWD), celebrated on March 8th each year, is a powerful testament to the journey of women's rights and gender equality.

    This day not only commemorates the achievements of women across various fields but also underscores the ongoing struggles for equality, respect, and inclusion.

    The theme for International Women's Day evolves annually, reflecting the dynamic challenges and milestones within the women's movement. The themes focus on innovation for gender equality, ending gender-based violence, promoting women in leadership, and ensuring gender equality in a rapidly changing world.

    As we celebrate International Women's Day, we must recognise the importance of fostering an inclusive society that values and promotes diversity in all its forms.

    The Historical Context

    The origins of International Women's Day date back to the early 20th century, rooted in the labour movements in North America and Europe. It began as a day of protest and advocacy for women's rights, mainly focusing on suffrage, working conditions, and equality.

    Over the years, IWD has evolved into a global day of recognition and celebration, acknowledging women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. However, it also serves as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to achieve full gender equality.

    Celebrating Achievements

    International Women's Day provides an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary contributions of women in various sectors. From pioneering scientists and engineers to leaders in politics and business, women have broken barriers and set new standards of excellence.

    Their achievements inspire future generations and challenge societal norms that often limit women's opportunities and recognition. Celebrating these accomplishments is essential for promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls worldwide.

    The Need for Inclusion

    Despite significant progress, gender inequality persists in many areas, including the workplace, education, and healthcare. Women often face systemic barriers that hinder their advancement and participation in society.

    These challenges are compounded for women of colour, women with disabilities, LGBTQ+ women, and those from marginalised communities. Inclusion is about opening doors for women and creating environments where diverse perspectives are valued and nurtured. It's about ensuring that all women have the opportunity to succeed and are empowered to make choices about their lives.

    Inspiring Inclusion Across the World

    The call for inclusion is a global one, transcending borders and cultures. It requires concerted efforts from governments, businesses, communities, and individuals.

    Policies and practices that promote gender equality, such as equal pay, parental leave, and anti-discrimination laws, are crucial.

    However, change starts with challenging our biases and behaviours perpetuating inequality. It's about creating a culture that celebrates diversity, encourages open dialogue, and fosters mutual respect.

    Actionable Steps Towards Inclusion

    1. Education and Awareness: Promoting gender equality starts with education. Schools and educational programs should include gender studies in their curriculum, highlighting the contributions of women throughout history and addressing the root causes of gender inequality.
    2. Support Women in Leadership: Encourage and support women in leadership positions across all sectors. This includes mentoring programs, leadership training, and policies facilitating women's advancement.
    3. Challenge Gender Norms: Everyone has a role in challenging stereotypes and gender norms limiting women and men. This involves questioning traditional roles and expectations in families, workplaces, and communities.
    4. Advocate for Policy Change: Support legislation and policies that promote gender equality and protect women's rights. This includes equal pay, reproductive rights, and measures to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.
    5. Celebrate Women's Achievements: Recognize and celebrate the achievements of women in all areas of life. This honours their contributions and inspires others to pursue their goals and challenge barriers.
    6. Engage Men and Boys: Achieving gender equality requires the involvement of men and boys as allies. Engaging them in conversations about gender, power, and inclusion is crucial for changing attitudes and behaviours.

    Conclusion

    International Women's Day is a call to action for everyone, regardless of gender, to create a more inclusive and equitable world.

    It's a day to celebrate the achievements of women, reflect on the challenges they face, and commit to driving change.

    By inspiring inclusion and promoting gender equality, we can build societies that value diversity, offer equal opportunities, and empower all individuals to reach their full potential.

    Let's use this International Women's Day as a reminder of our collective responsibility to forge a more inclusive world where every woman has the opportunity to thrive.