Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. - Unknown

International Women's Day, observed annually on March 8th, is a global occasion dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements and rights of women worldwide. First officially acknowledged by the United Nations in 1975 during the International Women’s Year, this day has evolved into a symbol of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and world peace (1).

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Invest in Women – Accelerate Progress

The UN (United Nations) have called for International Women's Day 2024 to carry the theme, "Invest in women - accelerate progress" (2). Every March 8th, the global community comes together to commemorate International Women's Day (IWD), reaffirming our shared dedication to advancing gender equality.

In 2024, the call is to prioritize "investing in women" as a catalyst for accelerating progress towards a more equitable and inclusive future (3).

Historical Significance

The roots of this celebration trace back to 1910 when Clara Zetkin, the leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, proposed the concept of International Women’s Day. Zetkin's vision garnered support from over 100 women globally, leading to protests and demonstrations involving more than 30,000 women across various countries (3).

A poignant historical connection to International Women's Day lies in its alignment with the granting of voting rights to women in Soviet Russia in 1917. The celebration of March 8th as a national holiday commemorates this milestone achievement, symbolizing the ongoing fight for gender equality (1).

Australia's Role

Australia actively joined the International Women's Day celebrations in 1928, starting in Sydney. The fervor spread to Brisbane the following year, with annual marches becoming a tradition around the country from 1931 onwards (1).

Celebrating Achievements

International Women's Day is an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of women throughout history. From groundbreaking discoveries in science to leading roles in business and politics, women have continually proven their capabilities.

Active by GS proudly supports and celebrates the accomplishments of women in all fields, encouraging them to reach new heights and break through barriers.

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 Aussie Grit: A Legacy of Pioneering Women

Australia has a long history of remarkable women who have broken barriers and paved the way for future generations leaving a lasting impact on society. From the early days of activism, figures like Vida Goldstein, a prominent suffragist who campaigned tirelessly for women's right to vote, stand as testaments to Aussie resilience (4). 

As we celebrate International Women's Day, it's essential to highlight and honor the achievements of Australian women. Here are some notable accomplishments across different domains:

Modern-Day Champions: Empowering Through Achievement

Fast forward to today, and Australian women continue to inspire on a global scale. Here are a few who champion women's empowerment through their achievements. These are just a few shining examples of the countless Australian women making waves on the international stage.

Science and Medicine

Professor Fiona Wood

Renowned plastic surgeon Professor Fiona Wood is celebrated for her pioneering work in the treatment of burn victims. She co-developed "spray-on skin" technology, revolutionizing burn care and saving countless lives. In 2005, she was named Australian of the Year for her exceptional contributions to medicine (5).

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn

An Australian-American Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, along with her colleagues, discovered the enzyme telomerase. This groundbreaking research has significant implications for understanding aging and cancer development (6) 

Dr. Fiona Stanley

Dr. Fiona Stanley, an epidemiologist and researcher, has made significant contributions to public health, particularly in the areas of child and maternal health. Her work has had a lasting impact on policies and initiatives aimed at improving the well-being of Australian families (7).


Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard made history as Australia's first female Prime Minister, serving from 2010 to 2013. During her tenure, she implemented key policies focused on education and healthcare and became an advocate for women's rights globally (8).

Dame Quentin Bryce

Dame Quentin Bryce served as the first female Governor-General of Australia from 2008 to 2014. A distinguished legal professional, she has been a trailblazer in promoting gender equality and women's rights (9).


Cathy Freeman

Cathy Freeman, an Olympic gold medalist in athletics, made history at the 2000 Sydney Olympics by becoming the first Indigenous Australian to win an individual Olympic gold medal. Her victory in the 400 meters is etched in Australian sporting history (10).

Margaret Court

A tennis legend, Margaret Court remains one of the most successful players in the history of the sport. With a staggering 64 Grand Slam titles, including 24 singles titles, she has left an indelible mark on Australian tennis (11).

Ash Barty

The former World No. 1 tennis player is a role model for young athletes everywhere, advocating for equal opportunities in sport (12).

Jessica Watson

At just 16, Watson became the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop, and unassisted around the world. Her story embodies courage, determination, and the power to defy limitations (13).

Arts and Entertainment

Cate Blanchett

Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett is not only known for her exceptional talent but also for her advocacy work in the arts and humanitarian causes (14). She has championed gender equality in the film industry and beyond (15).

Ita Buttrose

A media icon and tireless advocate for gender equality, Buttrose's work in journalism and business leadership continues to inspire women to reach for the top (16).

These achievements represent just a glimpse of the extraordinary accomplishments of Australian women. As we celebrate International Women's Day, let's reflect on and honor the resilience, talent, and groundbreaking contributions of these women who have shaped Australia's history and continue to inspire future generations. 

A Day Steeped in Symbolism: The Symbolic Color Purple

The color associated with International Women's Day is purple, symbolizing justice and dignity. This powerful hue represents the resilience and strength of women and serves as a reminder of the ongoing quest for gender equality (3).

The symbolic color purple serves as a testament to the resilience and strength of women globally, embodying the ongoing commitment to achieving gender equality. Together, let us honor the achievements of women worldwide and support each other in the myriad roles we undertake in life.

The Power of Equity: Why International Women's Day 2024 Matters More Than Ever

This year's International Women's Day on March 8th carries a particular weight with the focus on achieving true equality and empowerment for women across all aspects of life. This isn't just about celebrating past achievements – it's a call to action for a future where opportunities and outcomes are no longer defined by gender.

From equal pay and leadership opportunities to bodily autonomy and freedom from violence, the fight for equity continues. International Women's Day 2024 is a chance to raise awareness, celebrate progress, and demand a world where all women and girls can reach their full potential.

By using International Women;s Day as a springboard for action, we can collectively create a more just and equitable world for everyone. As we celebrate International Women's Day, let us reflect on the journey of progress and unity that has brought us to this significant moment. 

So, let us celebrate together today and support each other for the several roles we take on in life!


Empowering you  l  Empowering us Together  l  More Powerful Together


  1. UN Women National Committee Australia. (2019). URL:
  2. United Nations Women. (n.d.). International Women's Day. Retrieved from
  3. International Women's Day. (2024). Retrieved from 
  4. Australian Dictionary of Biography. (1990). Vida Goldstein. 
  5. Australian of the Year. (2005). Retrieved from,Royal%20Perth%20Hospital%20Burns%20Unit
  6. The Nobel Prize. (2009). The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009. Retrieved from,telomeres%20and%20the%20enzyme%20telomerase
  7. Australian Academy of Science. (n.d.). Dr. Fiona Stanley AC FAA. Retrieved from 
  8. NAA, National Archives of Australia. (n.d). 
  9. Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. (n.d.). Biography - The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO. Retrieved from 
  10. Olympics. (n.d.). Cathy Freeman. Retrieved from 
  11. Tennis Australia. (n.d.). Margaret Court. Retrieved from 
  12. Australian Open. (2023, January 29). Ashleigh Barty claims emotional Australian Open victory, announces retirement. Retrieved from 
  13. Jessica Watson's website. (n.d.). About Jessica. Retrieved from 
  14. Milligan (2024). Oscars royalty: Cate Blanchett’s wins, nominations and iconic red carpet moments. Retrieved from 
  15. UNHCR Europe. (2023). Speeches and Statement. Retrieved from 
  16. Women's Leadership Institute Australia. (2024). Ita Buttrose AO OBE. Retrieved from