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While we celebrate the strides made towards gender equality, it’s vital to acknowledge that many women still face challenges on various fronts. Image: Unsplash

International Women’s Day: Remembering And Supporting Those Facing Adversity

As we celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 Mar, it’s not just an opportunity to honour the incredible achievements of women worldwide but also a time to reflect on the journey towards true gender equality as well as those facing adversity.

This year, the International Women’s Day campaign theme, “Inspire Inclusion,” takes centre stage, urging us to go beyond mere acknowledgment and actively champion diversity and empowerment.

Founding of International Women’s Day

What are the roots of International Women’s Day? The idea of commemorating women’s contributions and advocating for their rights gained momentum in the early 20th century. The movement grew out of the labour movement in the United States and Europe, with the first National Women’s Day observed in the United States on February 28, 1909.

The concept gained global recognition at the International Women’s Conference in Copenhagen in 1910, where activists and thinkers from around the world united in their quest for women’s rights. The proposal to establish an annual International Women’s Day was met with unanimous approval, and the first official International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 19, 1911.

Over the years, International Women’s Day has evolved into a platform for raising awareness about women’s achievements and challenges, fostering discussions on gender equality, and mobilizing support for women’s rights worldwide.

Celebrating diversity and empowerment

The theme for International Women’s Day 2024, “ Inspire Inclusion”, goes beyond the traditional narrative of women’s empowerment. It calls for a deeper commitment to recognising and celebrating the diversity of women’s experiences, backgrounds, and contributions.

To truly inspire inclusion means breaking down barriers that hinder the progress of women from all walks of life. It means challenging stereotypes and dismantling the societal norms that perpetuate inequality.

The theme encourages us to create environments where every woman is not just acknowledged but valued and respected for her unique perspective and contributions.

Support women in Singapore

While we celebrate the strides made towards gender equality, it’s vital to acknowledge that many women still face adversity on various fronts. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to shine a light on those who continue to struggle against discrimination, violence, and inequality.

We must remember that the fight for women’s rights is not one-size-fits-all; it encompasses the challenges faced by women from diverse backgrounds, including those from marginalised communities.

Here are ways to show your support in Singapore:

  • Make a donation to Daughters of Tomorrow, which supports underprivileged women by offering the resources to pursue livelihood opportunities and financial independence.
  • Make a donation to iC@RE HUB, which supports homeless women, ex-offenders, and women in recovery from addictions by providing them with temporary shelter, focusing on empowering them towards gainful employment, permanent housing, and financial independence.
  • Make a donation to Gladiolous Place, a non-profit organisation under Presbyterian Community Services (PCS), which provides teenage girls therapeutic interventions and offers programmes to help them overcome trauma.
  • Volunteer as a Playmaker at Glyph Community Limited, which offers disadvantaged mothers valuable childcare support.

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