International Women's Day

“It is literally impossible to be a woman” – Gloria, the Barbie movie

This quote in a monologue from the recent hit Barbie movie is one that resonated with many people and sparked an ongoing conversation about societal expectations on women. 

While the film may have stirred debate, it’s fair to say it definitely explored the themes of what it means to be a woman today. Just like the characters in the movie, real-life women navigate a landscape filled with barriers and expectations.

And though the movie shows an aspiration towards a world that’s equitable, inclusive and without gender bias, the truth is, sadly, that’s a world that most of us aren’t yet living in. Equality and inclusion for women is something that still needs work, both in the UK and globally.

That’s what International Women’s day is all about – accelerating equality for women by celebrating the achievements of women and challenging individuals and organisations across the world to help support and advance women.

International Women's Day

This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is #inspireinclusion. Truly including women means to ‘openly embrace their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify.’

While progress has been made in many areas, women continue to face obstacles in various aspects of life, including the workplace, politics, education, and healthcare. Gender pay gaps, underrepresentation in leadership positions, barriers to career advancement, gender-based violence and discrimination, all highlight the continued need for advocacy and action towards equality for women.

Despite these considerable challenges, women around the world have achieved remarkable milestones and overcome significant societal barriers. 

In many ways, the message of the Barbie movie aligns with the goals of International Women's Day—to promote inclusivity, challenge stereotypes, and empower women from all walks of life. Recognising and celebrating the diverse experiences and identities of women helps us take a step closer to a society where every individual feels a sense of belonging and worth.

As individuals and as organisations we can all play a part in this. As this quote, attributed to renowned feminist Gloria Steinham, says:

"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."