International Women’s Day 2024

This year’s International Women’s Day UN theme is “Count her in. Invest in women. Accelerate progress.” This theme intends to address the challenges women all around the world face. It stands to spark conversations around what workplaces, governments and policymakers can do to ensure that women are financially independent, healthy, safe and empowered.

International Women’s Day began through labour movements in the early 1900s across North America and Europe. It is celebrated every year on March 8th to recognise the achievements of women and to start conversations on what needs to change.

We spoke to four women from around CMY’s offices to hear what investing in women means to them.

“To invest in women, we need to invest in changing patriarchal foundations embedded in our systems. I also think it’s important to acknowledge there’s economic disparity among women. We won’t be able to achieve gender equity if we don’t achieve equity across intersecting aspects because it’s all interconnected. So, when I think of investing in women, it also means investing in social justice.”

Stephanie Wong, Knowledge and Systems Administrator

“The core of investing in women for me means involvement of community and accepting one another as we are. Growing up with strong female influences in my family who had empathy and understanding for the women and people around them planted the seeds of inclusion in my journey. My Grandmother was a prime example of this, in her community she always held space for women and other people of all walks of life, from different ages and backgrounds, dedicating her time and compassion to investing in her community. This taught me the prime importance of how powerful it is to use our empathy in making inclusion and investment for women possibility for our communities, and this has supported and helped me to give back in any aspect of my life and career to this day continuing to advocate passionately about the investment in the women in our world.”

Roo Mirzaabbasi, Project Officer, Youth Leadership

“When I think of investing in women, what that means to me is being able to embrace and celebrate the rich dimension of diversity within each individual and place positive value on the places we are to feel a sense of belonging.”

Isara Loful, Multicultural Youth Worker

“Every IWD, I think of an incredible young girl I met while working in rural Thailand who dreamed of being a doctor to support her community. I found out the next day she was trafficked into the sex industry. She was 9 years old. She reminds me of the devastating discrimination women and girls continue to face today, while also the unimaginable resilience and strengths women have, and why we must all ceaselessly fight for gender equity.


‘Count Her In: Invest in Women, Accelerate progress’ to me means:


·        Investing in young women as the most powerful way to change the future: educationally, socially and professionally empowered girls and women uplift their families, communities and countries.


·        Investing in women’s health: from menorrhagia to menopause and everything in between so women can function and thrive at their full capacity.


·        Investing in women’s leadership: lifting up the intersectional experiences and brilliant minds of women including from our multicultural, multifaith, neurodiverse and rainbow communities. As our Seat at the Table Board directors reflect: having multicultural young women on their Boards has been invaluable, brings fresh perspectives and leads to better outcomes. We need safe spaces for genuine voice, quotas until they are no longer needed, until diverse women are represented and influential at all levels of power as the norm.”

Kim-Thi Ho, Program Manager, Youth Participation and Special Projects