Women's International Month - A Spotlight on Trailblazing Women Helping Women

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Women's International Month is more than a commemoration; it's a glimpse into a future shaped by women's leadership and unbridled potential.  We celebrate the trailblazers who shattered ceilings and fought for equality, paving the way for today's dynamic changemakers. Still, the unfinished work of gender parity calls for renewed commitment and investment.

This year, we honor the determination of women-led organizations and startups. Their innovative solutions address the unique challenges women face, from health care access to financial inclusion. They are building a world where every girl can envision herself as a scientist, a CEO, or a changemaker, knowing that her dreams are within reach.


Nonprofits Lighting the Way - Women-led Initiatives Creating Change


1)  Pathways PA (Renee Toussaint)


Under the compassionate and visionary leadership of Renee Toussaint, Pathways PA stands as a beacon of hope for women and children experiencing the unimaginable trauma of domestic violence and other forms of crisis. This organization's impact comes from its wide range of support services.

From providing safe shelter and counselling to championing legal advocacy and offering critical resources, Pathways PA empowers survivors to bravely reclaim their lives and build a future filled with safety and the opportunity to thrive. Their unwavering mission is to shatter the cycle of violence and pave the way for futures where everyone has a chance to flourish.

Impact - PathWays PA highlights the significant impact of donations on improving services and changing lives for women and children facing homelessness. The organization values all contributions, big or small, and emphasizes that every donation helps in their mission to support the community.


2) PeaceJam (Kate Cumbo)


Founded by a dedicated group of Nobel Peace Laureates and fueled by Kate Cumbo's passionate leadership, PeaceJam is on a mission to transform the lives of young people, empowering them to become agents of positive change in the world. Their work centers on education, mentorship, and inspiring service projects, tackling deeply-rooted issues like gender inequality.

Impact - PeaceJam's impact ripples across the globe as they cultivate the next generation of leaders, equipping youth with the tools to address challenges in their own communities and work towards a world where justice and peace prevail.


Startup Founders Breaking Barriers


True Culture Consulting (Shawna Gann)

True Consulting

Shawna Gann’s True Culture Consulting is a pioneering force championing diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Recognizing the intrinsic value of a truly inclusive workplace, Shawna and her team collaborate with various businesses to dismantle systemic barriers and cultivate environments where every individual is acknowledged and valued.

Their strategies and solutions are tailor-made to promote a sense of belonging and mutual respect, essential components for any organization aspiring to thrive in today's diverse societal landscape.

Shawna's relentless pursuit of a more just and equitable professional world is a testament to her dedication and visionary leadership.

Impact - True Culture Coaching & Consulting transforms workplaces by bridging diversity with organizational psychology, fostering inclusive environments where every unique identity is valued and nurtured. Their direct, impactful approach ensures real, lasting change, enabling all individuals to contribute, thrive, and grow.

Educational Initiatives Paving the Future


Girls Who Code (Reshma Saujani)


Girls Who Code stands at the forefront of educational initiatives aimed at bridging the gender gap within the technology sector. Founded by Reshma Saujani, this nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing young women from diverse backgrounds with opportunities to explore and excel in computer science.

By offering specialized learning environments, Girls Who Code empowers participants to delve into the intricacies of coding, develop problem-solving skills, and engage with a community of like-minded individuals.

Impact - The impact of Girls Who Code is evident in its growing alumni network and the increasing presence of women in technology fields previously dominated by men.


Health and Well-being Champions


Women for Women International (Zainab Salbi)

Women For Women

Founded by the visionary Zainab Salbi, Women for Women International stands as a testament to the power of female solidarity in the face of adversity. This pioneering organization is devoted to aiding women who have endured the horrors of war and conflict, offering them not just hope, but tangible means to rebuild their lives and communities.

By providing access to education, resources, and support networks, Women for Women International helps these survivors to transition from states of crisis and poverty to positions of stability and self-sufficiency.

Impact - Women for Women International's impact extends beyond individual participants. By empowering women, they catalyze broader community development and advocate for change, contributing to the creation of more resilient and equitable societies.


The Power of Women Supporting Women

By amplifying the voices and stories of these remarkable women and their initiatives, we can contribute to a groundswell of support that propels the movement for women's rights and gender equality forward. The dedication, resilience, and compassion of these women are driving significant changes, offering hope, and setting new standards for empowerment and equality.

As we commemorate Women's International Month, let us honor these trailblazers and the collective endeavours of women across the globe. Engaging with this cause can take various forms, from financial support and volunteerism to education and advocacy.


Historical Roots of International Women's Day

The inception of International Women's Day (IWD) can be traced back to the early 20th century, originating from labor movements in the United States and Europe. Initially, it was a result of the Socialist Party of America, designating the first National Woman’s Day in 1909, acknowledging the garment workers' strike in New York.

This day was marked by mass meetings advocating for women's rights, especially suffrage. The UN has sponsored IWD since 1975, recognizing it as a day to honor the achievements of women and promote women’s rights globally.


UNESCO's Commitment to Gender Equality

In 2024, UNESCO is commemorating International Women's Day with the theme "Invest in women: accelerate progress," which aligns with the broader goal of achieving gender equality as a critical component of sustainable development. UNESCO emphasizes that gender discrimination is not only a violation of human rights but also a significant barrier to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals.

The organization asserts the necessity of ensuring equal opportunities, choices, capabilities, power, and knowledge for women and men as equal citizens. This commitment underlines the importance of equipping all individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to address gender disparities, thereby contributing to a sustainable future for everyone.

Source: https://www.unesco.org/en/days/women


Ways to Support International Women's Day


1) Educational Initiatives - Participate in formal educational programs and campaigns focused on women's rights and gender inequality, such as UNESCO events. Look for local workshops or seminars hosted by universities and community groups that address gender-related issues. Encourage schools to integrate gender equality teaching into the curriculum, and advocate for guest speakers or educational events specifically during Women's History Month.

2) Research and Advocacy - Investigate how you can support research that uncovers gender bias and proposes solutions – this may include both large-scale academic projects and smaller, grassroots research initiatives. Reach out to local organizations working on gender equality to identify advocacy needs in your community, whether it's policy change, raising awareness, or supporting campaigns that challenge gender-based discrimination.

4) Community Involvement - Beyond large global events, seek out local rallies, marches, or demonstrations organized by women's rights groups in your area. Support women-owned businesses, consciously choosing to spend your money at establishments led by women entrepreneurs. Consider joining a community group focused on providing specific support to women in need, such as a shelter, mentorship program, or a crisis hotline.

5) Financial Support - Research reputable non-profits dedicated to various aspects of women's empowerment, from those providing education to girls in developing countries to those tackling domestic violence in your own neighborhood. Find causes that resonate with you and consider setting up a recurring donation, even a small amount, as it makes a significant impact over time.

6) Mentorship and Networking - If you have experience or expertise in a particular field, offer mentorship either formally through established programs or informally to young women in your personal networks. Attend networking events that specifically champion women in business and seek out opportunities to connect with and support other professional women to create a strong community of empowerment.

7) Promotion of Women's Achievements - Beyond simply sharing inspiring stories on social media, look into becoming a more active content creator. Start a simple blog, write for your company newsletter, or contribute to a local publication to spotlight women's achievements in your community or field.

8) Cultural Engagement - Support women artists by attending events and purchasing their work. Seek out cultural programs hosted by libraries, universities, and community groups that offer a platform for women's voices and perspectives. Recommend books penned by women authors, and consciously curate your entertainment choices to include films, documentaries, and theater productions that center women's stories.


How to Participate in Women's International Month


1) Donate: Support the work of women-founded organizations working on issues pertinent to you.

2) Volunteer - Offer your time and skills to support a local organization committed to lifting up women.

3) Educate yourself - Learn about the challenges that women and girls still face across the globe and how to support gender equality.

4) Amplify their voices - Share the stories of these remarkable women and the organizations they champion on social media and with your networks.


Together, we can create a world where all women and girls have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Celebrating trailblazers and supporting initiatives that uplift women should not be confined to a single month but integrated into our daily lives. By donating to meaningful causes, volunteering our time and skills, educating ourselves on the ongoing challenges, and amplifying the voices of remarkable women, we contribute to a world that values equality, justice, and opportunity for all.

Let this month be a reminder of the collective strength and resilience of women around the globe and a call to action for everyone to participate in building a more equitable society.


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