Perspectives on International Women’s Day: Inspiring Inclusion

Explore the evolution of International Women's Day and what it means to us to Inspire Inclusion

Perspectives on International Women’s Day: Inspiring Inclusion

What does Inspire Inclusion mean?

The campaign theme for 2024 International Women’s Day (IWD) is ‘Inspire Inclusion’. What this means is to celebrate diversity and empowerment. By inspiring others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we can forge a better world. This is even more powerful when women themselves are inspired to be included, which enables a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment. This campaign breaks down the barriers which a cis-heteronormative patriarchal society utilises to marginalise women.  Inspire Inclusion seeks to include all women, especially those with additional intersections such as black women, trans women, and sex worker women. 

How can you contribute to IWD and champion this message all year round? 

Celebrate International Women's Day with enthusiasm! From influential leaders in our creative spaces, such as Paula Scher who revolutionised the graphic design industry to inspirational heroes like Margret Hamilton who led humanity to the moon while being the lead developer for the Apollo, women have left an indelible mark on our world. Whether applauding their triumphs or acknowledging the resilience of mothers and those entering womanhood, let's make March unforgettable. 

But the celebration doesn't stop there. Champion this change throughout the year by fostering a supportive community for women. 

Social Media Impact: With the rise of technology, it has become even easier to amplify your voice! Share inspiring stories, highlight achievements, and build a community of empowerment online. 

Charitable Giving: Make a real impact by donating to organisations supporting underprivileged women and girls. Create a real impact this March. 

Engage in Events: Dive into stimulating discussions. See influential feminist icon, Judith Butler, who is giving a talk in London this March – be part of the conversation shaping our future.

What does international women's day mean to you?

Being women, we are far too often obliged to look at ourselves through the male gaze.I am sure others share the burden of internalised misogyny; in our patriarchal society, we have been taught to pit women against each other and conform to assigned roles.

However, unfortunately for the system, we cannot be contained.International Women's Day prompts us to honour our journey and achievements as women, to be proud of who YOU are and how far YOU have come. It inspires inclusivity within our collective pursuit for inner peace and happiness, whether this means navigating challenging atypical career paths or finding contentment in life’s everyday moments.

For me, music is able to help foster this freedom and self-expression, with groups like 'Women in Music' promoting inclusivity, we can embrace music for its authentic ability to express ourselves. My awareness of this group has instilled in me a sense of security, knowing there are people out there advocating for women creatives provides me with hope, reassuring me it is possible to prosper in the industry. 

Let's use International Women's Day to reflect on our worth and defy societal expectations.

What is the history of IWD?

IWD originated in the early 20th century and initially focused on women suffrage and the advocacy for labour movements in the United States, gaining international coverage through Clara Zetkin’s socialist movements for women's rights in 1910. This has since evolved to broader issues of gender equality, and now a global celebratory day to highlight the achievements of women across all positions in society and a yearly reminder to the actions we have taken as a society to become an equal. 

One of my favourite films that capture this progress and challenge of female inclusion through history is the film “Hidden Figures”. The film is a beautifully constructed narrative that voices the struggles of Kahtherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, three African American women, whose intelligence and contributions are credited in space exploration in NASA’s space race success. This film not only showcases their journey, but also perpetuates a strong message that puts to bed negative stereotypes of women in STEM fields by challenging racial and gender stereotypes that have historically made it difficult for women to find their voice in these organisations. 

In embracing the 2024 theme of 'Inspire Inclusion,' on International Women's Day let us use our collaborative efforts and diverse narratives, to transform inspiration into action, ensuring that we champion the message of IWD year-round. Happy International Women's Day! 

Header Image Credit: KoolShooters

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