Leading Women’s Charity Calls Out Empty Gestures and Virtue Signalling on International Women’s Day March 8th 2024


The Women’s Organisation is the largest women economic development agency in the UK. We will not be officially observing International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8th, and here’s why:


We argue that International Women’s Day should be about taking action to create a more equal, prosperous, safe, and inclusive world for women. However, each year, public and private bodies engage in performative actions and events without genuinely addressing tangible issues faced by women, including the gender pay gap, workplace discrimination, and the unequal distribution of public investment in women’s support services.


Women are angry that International Women’s Day is being “hijacked” by organisations who superficially mark IWD through one-off events and social media marketing, while their policies and day-to-day practices consistently neglect the specific needs and challenges faced by women.


“Women are tired of the constant stream of events, panels and social media noise which is a convenient distraction from taking concrete actions that could truly impact women’s lives,” says The Women’s Organisation Chair, Sue Oshikanlu “For example, securing funding when starting a business, affording childcare, public investment in women’s services or providing assistance with their workplace wellness.”


The Women’s Organisation Trading Social Enterprise Chairperson Pat Shea Halson says that International Women’s Day is being used by some as a mere marketing and PR opportunity which undermines and trivialises the significance of the day, overshadowing its core message.


“We celebrate women’s achievement and acknowledge their struggles 364 days of the year and it is outrageous when we see organisations openly celebrate themselves on IWD. However, when checking the Gender Pay Gap BOT @PayGapApp they are paying their female staff 20% less than their male staff and in some cases the gap is much wider,” says Pat.


“We urge everyone to call out and challenge inequality where they see it. We call for real action rather than platitudes and for organisations to take practical and measurable actions to improve gender equality.”


This year, we will be concentrating on supporting women by advocating for the Women’s Workplace Wellness program to SME’s and asking them to take up the training and resources to help their female employees.


“It’s time to call for tangible actions, investments, and support for women, and move beyond mere words” said Sue Oshikanlu


To find out more about our #NothingToCelebrate campaign, follow our social media on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.


About The Women’s Organisation

The Women’s Organisation is the UK’s largest women’s economic development agency providing national and international support programmes for women in the workplace. The Women’s Organisation is an award-winning social enterprise, operating since 1996 and undertakes research, campaigning, lobbying on women’s issues, social value reporting and auditing and delivers support service nationally and internationally.

To find out more about the help and support available for women from The Women’s Organisation call 0151 706 8111 or email hello@thewo.org.uk. Alternatively visit the web site at www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk

International Women's Day Banner