With International Women’s Day fast approaching on Friday 8th March, I felt called to speak out about something I’ve noticed the rise of in recent years. Something I believe is deeply unhelpful and absolutely detracts from the urgent work and change that’s needed in the world.

It is time to move beyond the fluff.

International Women’s Day is not about fluffy posts in celebration of women in our lives — this is a distraction. 

This day is a stark reminder of the inequalities and injustices that persist in our world.

International Women's Day is a call to rise.

It’s essential that International Women's Day goes far beyond surface-level recognition and token gestures of appreciation. It's a time for deep reflection, critical dialogue, and meaningful action to address the systemic inequalities and injustices that women continue to face around the world.

Rather than reducing the day to a mere celebration or a superficial display of gratitude, let's use it as an opportunity to amplify women's voices, advocate for gender equality, and challenge the structural barriers that perpetuate discrimination and oppression.

Let's engage with the complexities of women's experiences — the intersecting factors of race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, disability, and more — that shape women’s lives and influence their access to rights, opportunities, and resources.

It’s a rallying cry against the patriarchal systems and misogyny that continue to oppress and marginalise women, perpetuating harm to both people and planet.

Let's be clear: the fight for gender equality is far from over. 

Women around the world face discrimination, violence, and systemic barriers that hinder their progress and limit their opportunities. From unequal pay and limited access to education to the pervasive culture of harassment and abuse, the road to equality is fraught with obstacles.

This isn’t just a women's issue. It's a human issue. 

The liberation of women is intrinsically linked to the liberation of all marginalised communities. It's about dismantling the structures of oppression that hold us back and embracing a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

As a photographer, I refuse to be complicit in upholding systems and structures that perpetuate harm. I refuse to shoot certain kinds of work that undermine women and contribute to the exploitation of people and planet. Instead, I choose to work with brands that are committed to doing good—to building products and services that bring hope, healing, and collective contribution.

I believe in the power of visibility — the power of uplifting those who illuminate an awakened path for others to walk. In a world that often feels dark and divided, shining a spotlight on the stories and struggles that unite us all becomes a beacon of authenticity. It's about capturing the essence of humanity — the raw, unfiltered truth that binds us together as a collective.

This International Women's Day, let's make a choice to make an impact.

  • Let's choose to invest in a future that is sustainable, inclusive, and just. 
  • Let's use our voices, our actions, and our money to support businesses and initiatives that align with our values. 
  • Let's stand together, side by side, in solidarity and sisterhood, as we work towards a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Because the fight for gender equality is not about one day a year celebrating women. 

It’s a reminder to every human in the position of privilege to acknowledge and use it to create a world where everyone has the chance to shine. 

It is possible to leverage the privilege we hold to remove barriers for women and foster inclusivity in work environments is crucial for advancing gender equality. 

Here’s 12 ways you can use your privilege to create positive change:

1. Listen and learn: 

Take the time to actively listen to women's experiences and perspectives. Educate yourself about the challenges and barriers they face in society and the workplace.

2. Amplify women's voices: 

Use your platform and privilege to amplify the voices of women. Ensure that women's contributions, ideas, and achievements are recognised, valued, and heard.

3. Challenge bias and stereotypes: 

Speak out against gender bias, stereotypes, and discrimination whenever you encounter them. Challenge harmful attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate inequality.

4. Support women's leadership: 

Advocate for the representation and advancement of women in leadership positions. Support initiatives that promote gender diversity and inclusion in decision-making roles.

5. Promote equal opportunities: 

Advocate for equal opportunities for women in education, employment, and career advancement. Support policies and practices that promote fairness and equity in hiring, promotion and compensation.

6. Be an active ally: 

Stand in solidarity with women and actively support their struggles for equality and justice. Take action to address issues such as gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination.

7. Create inclusive spaces:

Foster inclusive environments in your personal and professional life where women feel safe, respected, and valued. Challenge exclusionary practices and ensure that everyone feels welcome and included.

8. Recognise intersectionality: 

Acknowledge and address the intersecting identities and experiences that shape women's lives, including race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, disability, and more.

9. Support women-owned businesses: 

Change where you spend your money and buy from women-owned businesses and support initiatives that empower women economically and socially. Invest in projects and organisations that promote women's entrepreneurship and financial independence. Don’t let this be an accident, actively seek out these options when you are buying, well, anything at all! 

10. Be mindful of language and behaviour: 

Pay attention to the language you use and the impact it may have on women and marginalised groups. Be mindful of your behaviour and its potential to reinforce stereotypes or contribute to discrimination.

11. Challenge biases in hiring and promotion: 

Advocate for fair and transparent hiring and promotion processes that prioritise skills, qualifications, and contributions over gender or other identity factors.

12. Support parental leave and flexible work policies: 

Advocate for parental leave policies and flexible work arrangements that support the needs of caregivers, including mothers, fathers, and caregivers of all genders.

Imagine the impact if we all chose to do one of the above. Imagine the impact if folk who had the capacity and agency chose to do more than just one of these things.

Let's centre the voices of marginalised and underrepresented women — the ones whose stories are often sidelined or silenced — and work towards creating inclusive spaces where all women feel seen, heard, and valued.

We must commit to dismantling patriarchal systems and challenging the norms and attitudes that perpetuate sexism, misogyny, and gender-based violence.

Let's honour the legacy of the women who have paved the way for progress and justice, while also acknowledging the work that still lies ahead in the ongoing fight for gender equity and liberation.

This International Women's Day, let's move beyond the surface and engage with the depth of the discourse—together, we can create a world where every woman can thrive, empowered and free.

If you’re a brand who is committed to doing good to building products and services that bring hope, healing, and collective contribution - click here to find out more about my work.

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