What Does The IWD2024 Theme ‘Invest In Women’ Really Mean?

Investing in women means many things beyond the obvious meaning of this IWD2024 theme, as the many orgs doing stellar work can show us.

What does it mean to invest in women?

Telling the women in our lives how great we think they are? That we value the sacrifices they have made? (Usually though not necessarily only – a sacrifice of their aspirations, careers and earning potential in order to focus on family).

No, thank you. Just talk is no longer going to cut it. Roses and compliments are great, but it’s time people, leaders, organizations put their money, capital, resources on track instead.

This #IWD2024, I want to highlight the different ways we need to invest in women, and some organizations I have come across over the years, doing valuable work in some of these spaces.

Invest in resources for women’s careers

1. Investing in women is making the space for women to become economic powerhouses, by giving them the resources they need, whether it is to acquire new skills or start a business. And that also means removing the undue burden on them to be all and do all at home (I’m looking at you, men…please step up.)

Invest in the education girls and women deserve

2. Investing in women is about giving girls an equal opportunity to get the education they deserve. And that means families have to be educated first on why this matters, and the root causes of poverty and concerns about girls’ safety addressed.

Invest in making women’s healthcare accessible to all

3. Investing in women means investing in women’s health, and that means big investments in public health – in a country of our size and disparity, promoting private healthcare alone is not going to work. Nor can beti bachao campaigns be a substitute for actually putting money into healthcare.

Invest in addressing prejudice that keeps women out of decision making at work

4. Investing in women means enabling more women to become leaders. And that means rewiring mind rooted in prejudices about what women can or cannot do, that means expanding the pipeline of women in middle management; for if women keep getting forced out, where are the women leaders to choose from?

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Invest in fundamental research around gender and policy

5. Investing in women means investing in fundamental research around gender and policy, without which it is hard to recommend the best practices for building a gender-just society and teach others about the best things to do in their own work.

Today, let’s acknowledge some of the organizations doing excellent work in these spaces, often in difficult situations. Some that I have come across and been lucky to interact with include Prajnya Trust Protsahan India Foundation Givfunds and Mandeshi Mahila Bank

Over the years, it has also been my privilege at Women’s Web to act as an enabler and conduit for many such organizations, connecting them with our community in different ways. This has been one of the opportunities I am truly grateful for.

What is your definition of investing in women? What do you want to see more of? What do you think most needs changing?

First published on the author’s LinkedIn profile.

(Image shows a young woman looking ahead, courtesy Alaric Duan on Unsplash)

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About the Author

Aparna Vedapuri Singh

Founder & Chief Editor of Women's Web, Aparna believes in the power of ideas and conversations to create change. She has been writing since she was ten. In another life, she used to be read more...

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