Why Oxfam celebrates International Women’s Day


A celebration of global feminism

All over the world, women and girls in their organizations and movements are leading the struggle for a more equal and just world with creativity, commitment and incredible resilience. They are organizing and mobilizing to fight against sexism, poverty, injustice and the exploitation of the planet and its people, challenging all forms of discrimination and exclusion that women face. They stand with strength, transformative leadership and agency, claim their rights and engage with other women and allies to build a better world and ensure equal rights for all.  We have seen these dreams and struggles achieve incredible gains which have transformed our world and pushed us forward.

Feminism is an inclusive, internationalist, diverse, dynamic movement that inspires and opens doors. Let us remember that women are different in multiple ways and we can never box them into any single space. All efforts to widen access to resources, rights and freedoms need to consider first those women suffering from different forms of disadvantage.  Let us actively seek out equal rights for all while celebrating the diversity and freedoms that makes us stronger. 

International Women’s Day is also a day to remember the fight is not over.  We face today more than ever the backlash of new conservatisms that come in different ways, questioning women’s human rights in the name of austerity, nationalisms, fundamentalisms and others. We see also attempts to reduce and empty International Women Day, as a day in which patriarchy may be whitewashed with chocolate and roses. Women’s rights defenders continue to suffer different forms of violence. And, at the global level, we have yet to deliver on the promises and commitments made 25 years ago in the ground-breaking Beijing Platform for action. We stand in solidarity with women’s rights organisations and feminists all over the world who are holding their governments and communities accountable to the promises of gender equality and justice, women’s leadership and agency, bodily autonomy and integrity, including sexual and reproductive rights and a world free from violence and discrimination against all women and girls.

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate. Recognize and advance these struggles and to invite the international community to embrace these movements, to imagine and build a better, more equal and gender just world. 

As Oxfam we are joining this global movement with commitment, enthusiasm and humility. We join it with a progressive and ambitious agenda that sees gender justice and women’s rights at the core of all we do.  We reaffirm our continuing evolution to be a feminist organization. We are committed to listening to and learning from others on this journey, to make our organisation better and stronger building on feminist behaviours and culture and to make the world more gender just and happier place for all.