International Women’s Day, the only day in our calendar year that is allocated to celebrating the achievements and resilience of women around the world, but also a day with a powerful call to action, dedicated to advocate for gender equality and inclusivity in all aspects of life. The theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is “Inspiring Inclusivity”. In this article we honour the spirit of IWD and this years theme, by bringing to your attention some of hard hitting facts of women’s health, explore the barriers that women face to accessing reliable and research-led information, and discuss how every woman deserves to be educated about her health and feel supported in making informed decisions about her health and well-being.

The History of International Women’s Day

Lets look at the key points of IWD’s history:

Why is International Women’s Day important?

International Women’s Day holds a very special place in our hearts at Blossom Wellness. It is the one day in the entire calendar year that is dedicated to women, and we mean every woman.

It is a day that honours and celebrates the achievements of women all across the globe, and in the true style of women, we’ve turned a day that is supposed to celebrate us into something progressive. 

International Women’s Day shines a light on issues that still need our attention for true gender equality. This one day of the year serves as a reminder of how far we’ve come in the fight for women’s rights, but also how much further we need to go. 

Each year there is a different theme and this year the theme is Inspiring Inclusivity, which couldn’t be any more aligned with Blossom Wellness.

 

International Women’s Day 2024 Theme – Inspiring Inclusivity

This years theme #InspiringInclusivity emphasises the importance of creating a world that holds no barriers to women… and by that we mean ALL women. 

A world that is inclusive of every single woman regardless of her ethnicity, religious choice, race, lifestyle choices or status. Every single woman deserves to live freely and without facing discrimination or barriers to their success, progression, or even something simple as accessing help or information. 

We understand the theme this year as a global call to action, to address and dismantle the systematic inequalities that hinder women’s progress in:

  • The breakdown of barriers
  • Challenging stereotypes
  • Creating environments where women are valued and respected

With particular reference to the diversity and empowerment of women, which is right up Blossom Wellness’ street!

 

What are people doing about International Women’s Day this year?

United Nations

 

In December 2023, United Nations Women launched their #InvestInWomen campaign which aims to combat the lack of financial support for initiatives that will benefit women somehow. 

For example: Ending poverty, an interesting mention being the effects of COVID on finances.

Since 2020, it is estimated that 75 million people have been pushed into severe poverty. If this continues, it is estimated that 342 million women and girls will be living below the poverty line by 2030.

Prince’s Trust

In support of International Women’s Day, Princes Trust launched their #ChangeAGirlsLife campaign, in bid to raise funds to support young women to build better futures for themselves, through employment, education or starting their own business. 

Through the #ChangeAGirlsLife campaign, Princes Trust are trying to help young women (aged 11 to 30) who do not have access to the right support to further their education, get into employment or the confidence to start their business.

45% of young women feel hopeless about their future, because of the uncertainty of the past few years.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)

The RCOG are holding an event in London marking International Women’s Day by showcasing and celebrating their work to tackle issues and drive improvements in women’s healthcare. 

This years theme is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality and focuses on how technology can be used to educate and empower young women in the digital age that we now live in. 

This event seems to be targeted at health professionals and those like us at Blossom Wellness, who aim to demystify the medical jargon for women like you. 

Nevertheless, it is great to see this event taking place!

 

Upon our search of International Women’s Day 2024 initiatives and events, we were a little disappointed to see that there isn’t anything bigger that was easily accessible to women. Nor was there anything advertised from big brand names before the official day. We’ll wait and see!

Check out the International Women’s Day website, where you can make an account and find local IWD events near you

What is happening in the world of Women’s Health right now?

Pregnancy

Inequality and discrimination in the UK maternity care system

 

In a 2022 review of maternity services in the UK it was found that women from ethnic minorities experienced discrimination that negatively impacted their abilities to speak up, be heard and advocate for their maternity care. 

The same review uncovered that black, asian and women of ethnicity minority are at higher risk of dying during pregnancy, childbirth, postnatally and experiencing premature birth, still birth, neonatal death in comparison to white women.

We find this research harrowing. It is disturbing to think that this is what women are subject to and experience still to this day. This is a clear sign of inequality, racial bias and a systematic issue that needs to be address and worked on now, and continuously.

Mini-placenta’s grown in a lab to further study and understand Pre-Eclampsia

This is an exciting and interesting step forward in the science and understanding of pre-eclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure for a pregnant woman. It is said that 6% of first-time pregnancies will develop this condition. We hope that the mini-placenta’s can provide us with insights and help us further understand this pregnancy condition.

Menopause

More work place support for menopausal women

Very recently, the EHRC issued guidance to make the legal obligations of workers going through the menopause more clear. The EHRC suggested some changes to work place policies:

  • Relaxing uniform policies to allow women to wear cooler clothes (to help with hot flashes)
  • Provide rest areas or flexible working hours for women going through menopause

The EHRC also stated that failure to make reasonable adjustments such as these for menopausal women may amount to disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, if the symptoms a woman is experiencing have a long term or substantial impact to her ability to carry out usual or day-to-day activities.

At Blossom Wellness, we LOVE this news! The menopause life stage can be incredibly challenging, and life altering for the length of time that it lasts. It is fantastic to see menopause get the recognition it has needed for many years. We hope that this continues and moves into employment law. This is a win for women and inclusivity!

Cheaper Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for women in England, UK

In April 2023, the Department of Health and Social Care announced the HRT Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) that will save women hundreds of pounds a year when buying their HRT prescriptions. 

With the certificate, HRT will cost only £19.30 across a whole year. Which applies to all HRT forms (creams, gels, patches, tablets)

To purchase the HRT Prescription Prepayment Certificate, click here

Yet another win for women and inclusivity! The cost of prescriptions has increased in recent years, which adds another potential barrier for women accessing and receiving better healthcare and improving their well-being.

Menstrual Cycle

New research on Gynaecological Conditions

In November 2023, the Royal College of Obestricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) published a study that found that non-cancerous gynaecological conditions (think endometriosis, infertility, heavy menstrual bleeding, PCOS and more) have impact on women and girls ability to lead a full and healthy life.

The research found that these non-cancerous conditions are a major problem worldwide, and highlighted that it is women in low to middle income countries that suffer with these diseases the most.

This research highlighted the long-term effects of non-cancerous, chronic gynaecological conditions are underestimated and how opportunities to treat, prevent and manage these conditions are missed due to inadequate training, stigma and a lack of knowledge. 

The RCOG made an urgent call to action to improve the poor quality of life and currently being suffered by girls and women in these countries, and to give them the human right to improve their health.

This really drives home the Inspiring Inclusivity theme of International Women’s Day 2024. Every woman and girl, regardless of their place of birth or residency in any country, should have access to a health service that can help with their gynaecological needs.

What are Blossom Wellness doing about it?

Here is a summary of what we do that tackles this years theme, Inspiring inclusivity:

Our research and information is inclusive. We look for research of different ethnicities and we do our best to translate research that is digestible for everyone. 

Every article that you read on our website requires scientific research. Within this research, we are constantly searching for evidence based information that includes women from every walk of life.

We know that this is an issue in some areas of medical research, especially research in dermatology.

Sometimes symptoms present differently depending on ethnicity, the path or type of treatment changes and lifestyle factors need to be tweaked too.

This very much underpins our research and how we translate this for you. This is one of Blossom Wellness’ values.

Representation matters to us. Our research means nothing without the women who use Blossom Wellness seeing pictures of women who look like themselves.

We try our best to use images that represent what you are reading, but also allow you as the reader to connect with it.

Women of all colours, shapes and sizes matter to us.

Immersing in different communities where possible.

Something that makes Blossom Wellness different to others, is the respect and value of the various communities and their beliefs.

Louise (Blossom Wellness Founder) was born and raised in Luton, a town known for its multiculturalism. Louise is very proud of this and feels very passionately about being exposed to as many communities, religions and beliefs as possible. She believes it is the only way to have true understanding of what women within these circles experience. 

 

It is you, at the heart of what we do.

Before you go

As we wrap up our exploration of International Women’s Day 2024 and theme of Inspiring Inclusivity, we’ve journeyed through the historical significance, the importance in the present day and the efforts to bridge the gaps in women’s health.

We’ve highlighted the progress that is being made, what is new in the world of women’s health, what we do at Blossom Wellness for inclusivity; yet we still call for more accessible and inclusive action for women. Especially when it comes to women’s health. Our commitment to inclusivity continues, and we encourage you to do carry it forward, too.

The change begins when we make the choice to do so. Lets make every day a step toward equitable health for all women.

Happy International Women’s Day for March 8th!

References

The scientific resources behind this article

References
MacLellan J, Collins S, Myatt M, Pope C, Knighton W, Rai T. Black, Asian and minority ethnic women’s experiences of maternity services in the UK: A qualitative evidence synthesis. J Adv Nurs. 2022 Jul;78(7):2175-2190. doi: 10.1111/jan.15233. Epub 2022 Mar 24. PMID: 35332568; PMCID: PMC9314829.

Wijeratne, D., Gibson, J. F., Fiander, A., Rafii‐Tabar, E., & Thakar, R. (2023). The global burden of disease due to benign gynecological conditions: A call to action. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics.

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