8 March 2024

More than March

International Women's Day 2024: Empowering Women for a Sustainable Future

By Jenn Wint

International Women's Day (IWD) is more than a stock photo of women smiling or a day to celebrate the achievements of professional females. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge and amplify ongoing issues of gender inequality, discrimination, and violence against women and gender diverse individuals.

March 8th is an annual, global call to action for gender equality. 2024 marks the 108th anniversary of International Women’s Day, which began as a protest, not a celebration. While it’s important to reflect on the progress made, it’s critical to acknowledge the current state of gender equality both in the workplace and elsewhere and the continued challenges ahead towards a more inclusive and sustainable world. Inequity is a reality. The United States is one of 8 countries that doesn’t have an Equal Rights Amendment in the Constitution.

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Over the years, significant strides have been made towards gender equality. Women have climbed corporate ladders, shattered glass ceilings, entered male-dominated fields, and fought for our rights in politics, media and across industries. However, progress has been uneven, unsupported and often stalled by persistent inequalities, especially for underrepresented communities. Economic disparities, gender-based violence, lack of access to education and healthcare, and underrepresentation in leadership positions persist globally. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities, disproportionately affecting women and girls.

Achieving gender equality is not only a matter of justice but also essential for sustainable economic development. When women are empowered and supported, societies thrive. 

To Achieve Sustainable Change and Gender Equality We Need:

  • Policy Reforms: Governments must enact and enforce policies that promote gender equality. This includes laws against discrimination and violence, equal pay measures, and support for women's leadership.
  • Investment in Girl’s Education: Access to quality education is key to empowering women and girls. Governments and stakeholders should invest in girls' education, ensuring equal opportunities from early childhood to higher education.
  • Economic Empowerment: Support for women's entrepreneurship, access to finance, vocational training, and equal employment opportunities are crucial for closing the gender gap in the workforce.
  • End Gender-based Violence: Efforts to combat gender-based violence must be intensified through legal reforms, awareness campaigns, and support services for survivors.
  • Promote Women's Leadership: Encourage women's participation and leadership in all sectors of society, including politics, business, and civil society.
  • Address Gaps in Female Healthcare: Allocate funding and research to women’s and maternal healthcare. 

Empowering women and girls is not only the right thing to do, it’s a strategic investment in building more prosperous and sustainable societies. When women are empowered, they contribute to economic growth, community development, and progress. By investing in women's rights and creating space for opportunities, we are benefiting women, families, and communities which leads to global change. 

To achieve progress in gender equality it’s essential to amplify the voices of women from diverse backgrounds. This includes recognizing unique challenges faced by women of color, indigenous women, LGBTQ+ women, women with disabilities, and others. Acknowledging the interconnected nature of gender, race, class, sexuality, and other identities, is central to achieving true equality and justice for all women.

While there are challenges, there is progress. From grassroots movements to international initiatives, the momentum for gender equality continues to grow, fueled by the passion and dedication of activists and advocates everywhere. This International Women’s Day, we celebrate how far we’ve come and we rest. The fight is not over. 



Donate to the Milaan Foundation, a non-profit, social impact organization working with and for adolescent girls and young women to impart girls the knowledge, skills, and the social environment needed to pursue their aspirations. 

Check out the International Women’s Day website and follow their social accounts


Connect with the Alice Paul Institute and see how you can get involved in securing lasting and legally protected equal rights for all.

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