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International Women's Day

This Friday, the 8th of March, marks this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD)! This Friday is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women all over the world, while also calling for better gender equality across all spheres of society. The first International Women’s Day took place in 1909 and continues to make a crucial impact on women across the globe.



Why does it matter?

As a predominately women led charity, we strive to recognize the achievements of other women across the UK and further abroad. We believe that IWD spreads confidence to women of all ages and brings solidarity between them, while also asking those who are less educated on women’s achievements to listen. Gender equality is something that The Matthew Hackney Foundation takes very seriously. As someone whose parents enabled me to achieve my life goals, both in education and sport, I understand the importance of boosting women’s confidence and self-esteem to reassure them that anything is possible.




BBC's 100 Women 2023

What follows is a just few examples of amazing women who have made positive changes to society and achieved astonishing feats. These women were commended through BBC’s 100 Women 2023.


Aitana Bonmati – Spain

Aitana is a Midfielder who plays football for Barcelona and her country, Spain. She was detrimental in winning the Spanish League and Champions Leage with Barcelona FC in 2023. As well as this, Aitana won the World Cup with Spain, scoring 3 goals and being awarded player of the tournament.



Aged just 25, Aitana won both the Ballon d’Or and UEFA player of the year. Given the controversy during the World Cup ceremony regarding Luis Rubiales (Spanish Football Federation President) who kisses one of Aitana’s teammates on the lips, Aitana used her UEFA acceptance speech to show support form her teammate and other women facing similar challenges.

 

Zandile Ndhlovu – South Africa

Zandile is a storyteller, filmmaker, and ocean explorer. As South Africa’s first black female freediving instructor, her mission is to help a diverse range of people access the ocean freely. Founder of The Black Mermaid Foundation, Zandile exposes local communities and young people to the ocean to help achieve a new and diverse group of people explore these spaces both professionally and recreationally.



Zandile is a magnificent example of how women across the world are helping those around them. She uses her skills and knowledge of the ocean to help create and shape the next generation of Ocean Guardians. These are individuals who learn and acknowledge the dangers of ocean pollution and rising sea levels. As a result, they become actively involved in the protection of the ocean and their environment, enabling them to strive for a better future for themselves and others around the world.

 

Justina Miles - USA

Justine is a deaf performer who went viral at the Super Bowl LVII last year for singing and signing American Sign Language to Rihanna’s famous lyrics. Her energetic and positive performance made big headlines and confirmed Justine as the first deaf woman to perform ASL at the Super Bowl’s infamous half time show.



As a result of her fame, Justina hopes to open her own practice to train more deaf nurses. She wants to show the world more authentic representations of deaf people going forward.

 

Kera Sherwood-O’Regan – New Zealand

Kera is an indigenous rights and disability advocate based in New Zealand. As a Kai Tahu indigenous and disabled climate expert, Kera advocates for greater recognition of indigenous people and people with disabilities in climate negotiations.



Kera is the co-founder of Activate which is a social impact agency which specialises in climate justice and social change. Her work revolves around Maori approaches to land and ancestors which have long been ignored. Kera has built strong relationships with officials, ministers, and broader citizens to illustrate the negative effects of climate change on local communities.


How to get involved in International Women's Day

There are various events and for International Women’s Day across the UK. Getting involved in these events is a brilliant way to show your support for women across the world, while also helping to spread awareness of women’s achievements and gender inequality. Here are a few ways you can get involved in this year’s International Women’s Day:


Your Heart Matters (8th March 2024)

On the 8th of March Valve for Life, Heart Valve Voice, Medtronic and St George’s Hospital () are offering members of the public free heart checks in order to raise awareness of Heart Valve Disease in Women. This will take place in Battersea Park, London,


Women of the World: One Night Live in London (8th March 2024)

This event will take place in Shoreditch Town Hall. It is set to be an evening of celebration for women’s achievements. You can look forward to a lot of fun and positive conversation at this event.


Artist talk & poetry reading: "This Delightful Woman" (8th March 2024)

‘This Delightful Woman’ is an exhibition created by artist Susannah Goulding. Her exhibition explores her experience living with cancer and explores identity, the body, gender, and illness. Susannah will give a talk, which will then be followed by a reading of poems from her book, alongside performances from the City Lit Writing community members.


There are also many online events that you can take part in throughout March. You can search for these events, both in person and online, here.


Inspire Inclusion

This year’s International Women’s Day motto is ‘Inspire Inclusion’. The aim of this years IDW is to encourage society to include women in the wider conversation whether it is in the workplace or decision making in the public. They are encouraging people to use #IWD2024 and #InspireInclusion to spread awareness of International Women’s Day!

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