March 8 is International Women’s Day, celebrated around the world as a focal point in the movement for women’s rights. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, encouraging us to call out instances of inequality and gender bias. It’s one national day I always acknowledge – it’s so important to celebrate women’s achievements and push towards creating a more inclusive world.
When you look back over the decades, it’s clear we’ve come a long way. There have been so many successful, powerful women who have made a difference. Literary history is full of phenomenal female writers whose observations on society and politics enlightened the women of their day and paved the way for current feminist thinking. Coco Chanel revolutionised fashion. And closer to home, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden were beauty-industry pioneers. All these women demonstrate the exceptional power of female achievement in what was once a man’s world.
So in 2021, as we celebrate another International Women’s Day, what’s the way forward? What should we be aiming to achieve? We need to ensure that girls today have strong role models. Michelle Obama has done so much to help young women all over the world to recognise their potential. And Malala Yousafzai, speaking out about the rights for girls to education, is already influencing the course of history.
The knowledge that we are powerful isn’t a revelation to us. If we channel that power – look for the strength inside, practise mindfulness – we can achieve even more. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come. Happy International Women’s Day to you all.