International Women’s Day 2024: Why Inclusion for Women Matters

2024 International Women's Day theme is 'Inspire Inclusion' reminding everyone who believes in women's equality to keep fighting for a world where women's voices are heard.

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International Women's Day 2024: Why Inclusion for Women Matters

International Women’s Day is a special day celebrated globally on March 8, and this year’s theme is ‘Inspire Inclusion.’  International Women’s Day has been around for over a century, starting in 1911. It’s not just for one country or group – it’s a day for everyone who believes in women’s equality. 

The question we should always ask is, “Why fostering inclusivity for women is so important, and how everyone can contribute to making the world a more inclusive place?” To truly include women means to openly embrace their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify. Worldwide, women must be included in all fields of endeavour.

Challenges Women Face

International Women's Day 2024: Why Inclusion for Women Matters

Despite progress, challenges persist for young women, especially in the workplace. A 2022 Calmerry survey of 150 women in leadership positions highlighted unique challenges faced by women leaders. Some of the key challenges include:

Wage Disparities

Women often earn less than their male counterparts for performing the same job roles. For every dollar men make, women make around 82 cents. The gap is even bigger for women of color, like Black and Hispanic women. This pay disparity is a significant barrier to financial inclusivity.

“Women are still paid less than men in virtually every country in the world. Equal pay for equal work should be a fundamental principle of modern society.” – Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Women often deal with wrong ideas about them at work. People might think they are not as capable as men or that they can only do certain kinds of jobs.


Out of 150 women, 33% stated sexism as a hindering factor in the workplace. Women face discrimination based on their gender. They deal with unfair treatment, double standards, inappropriate comments, and even things like being objectified or made fun of. Gender stereotypes can lead to biased perceptions about women’s capabilities, limiting their access to certain roles, responsibilities, or opportunities.

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” – Audre Lorde, Writer and Civil Rights Activist

Discrimination based on gender is a pervasive issue that can affect women’s opportunities, advancement, and treatment in various environments, including the workplace.

“The stereotypes that women deal with are not just about looking pretty but being pretty powerful. If you’re in a position of power and you’re a woman, you get judged for it.” – Reese Witherspoon, Actress and Producer

Work-Life Balance Struggles

Many women find it hard to balance their work and personal lives. According to Calmerry 46% of women feel pressured to do well in both areas and often feel exhausted. 

Balancing work and personal life can be challenging for women, especially when societal expectations and workplace structures do not adequately support flexible schedules and family-friendly policies.

“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.” – Naomi Remen, Physician and Author

Lack of Access to Education

In some parts of the world, girls may face barriers to accessing quality education, limiting their opportunities for personal and professional development. UNICEF estimates, around the world, 129 million girls are out of school, including 32  million of primary school age, and 97 million of secondary school age.

 “Ensuring that all girls and young women receive a quality education is their human right, a global development priority… “- World Bank 

“When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.” – Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States

Violence and Harassment

Gender-based violence and harassment remain pervasive issues, affecting women’s physical and mental well-being. Harassment can be verbal, physical, or psychological. This can happen in various settings, including the workplace and domestic environments.  According to the International Labour Organization, young women were twice as likely as young men to have faced sexual violence and harassment, and migrant women were almost twice as likely as non-migrant women to report sexual violence and harassment.

How To Foster Inclusivity For Women

Image: @thewiesuite

To truly inspire inclusion means celebrating the diversity of women. This year’s campaign theme emphasizes breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and creating environments where all women feel valued and respected. It’s about recognizing the unique perspectives and contributions of women from all walks of life.

Promote Diversity in Leadership

Let’s promote diversity in leadership and decision-making positions. By doing this, we unlock the full potential of different perspectives, leading to better decision-making and innovation. Research by Bain & Company based on the study of over 10,000 people showed that women who feel included are three times less likely to resign. 

Address Gender Pay Equity

Highlight the significance of addressing gender pay equity through regular pay equity audits and taking corrective measures to demonstrate a commitment to fairness and equality.

Education and Awareness

Initiatives like mentorship programs and educational workshops play a crucial role in empowering women. By providing support and resources, we help women overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential.

Representation in Film

Filmmakers have a special role in promoting diversity and representation on screen. By telling diverse stories, they can inspire audiences and challenge existing stereotypes. Le-Van Kiet’s ‘The Princess’ starring Joey King is a true example of breaking societal norms by creating a fantasy movie about a strong-willed princess who fights to protect her family and save the kingdom.

Empowering Young Women

Investing in the empowerment of young women is an investment in a more inclusive future. By recognizing their challenges and fostering an inclusive environment, we pave the way for a world where every young woman can realize her full potential.

Create a Supportive Environment

Emphasize the importance of creating a work environment that supports and values every employee, fostering genuine respect and trust regardless of gender identity.

Men as Allies

Encourage the education of men to become allies in the pursuit of gender inclusivity, promoting collaboration and understanding.

Why Women’s Empowerment Matters

International Women's Day 2024: Why Inclusion for Women Matters
Image: @thewiesuite

Boosting women’s empowerment is crucial for reaching gender equality. This involves enhancing a woman’s belief in herself, her ability to make decisions, her opportunities to access resources, her control over her life at home and in the broader community, and her capacity to make a positive impact. Here are reasons why women empowerment is important:

Economic Growth

Gender equality directly relates to economic prosperity. When women are empowered, they contribute actively to the economy, driving growth and creating opportunities for everyone.

Diverse Perspectives

Women offer unique insights that lead to innovative solutions. A diverse workforce, with a balance of genders, fosters creativity, enhancing problem-solving and decision-making capabilities.

Social Progress

Empowered women play a pivotal role in societal development, championing positive changes in health, education, and overall well-being.

International Women’s Day 2024 calls on all of us to #InspireInclusion. Let’s celebrate diversity, break down barriers, and work towards a world where every woman, regardless of age, race, or background, feels valued, included, and empowered.

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