Beyond International Women's Day 2024

March 28, 2024

Article written by
Lorraine Lewis
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International Women’s Day happened earlier this month with the theme being "Inspire Inclusion". There was so much noise with people using their platform to speak about being part of a society that strove for equality, broke down barriers and championing amazing women.

However, as a society we should not reserve this level of energy for one day, it should be happening all year round. This made me think about what "Inspire Inclusion" means to me as I live my day-to-day life.

At the very heart of it, this theme is about embracing differences, changing perceptions and creating environments where individuals from all walks of life feel seen, heard and are respected. For a lot of people this will mean challenging what society defines as social norms - biases that have long been in place. Those scenarios where you can't do something because your colour, gender, race etc does not fit.

When I think of inspire inclusion, it reminds of all the incredible women in the past who have stood up for things that were not ok and sparked movements for change, irrespective of the backlash, fear and pain it must have caused them. People for me come to mind like Rosa Parks and the suffragettes. They stood up to make the future better for the rest of us.

What I love about society now more than ever is that as the generations have progressed, I am finding more people are willing to speak up and say this is not right. The power of social media for me has really been a positive force for topics such as this. I am in my 30s, and people did not speak up for each other in my 20's as much as they do now. It feels there is a greater hope that we can start to embed changes in society and say actually how you are treating me and others is not ok.  It is about ensuring no one is left behind.

Whilst this month enables us to celebrate progress, we still need to acknowledge there is still work to be done. Inspire Inclusion needs to be more than a token gesture because everyone is talking about it. It is about making it an all-year-round conversation. It is about committing to ourselves to take action no matter how big or small, to create a world where we all thrive.