INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MESSAGE: 8 MAR 2024

Prof Cheryl Hendricks

Dear Colleagues,

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, whose theme this year is “Inspire Inclusion.” This day brings to the fore the need for continued efforts towards ensuring that the remarkable strides we have made towards gender equality and inclusivity, in this nation and on our continent, are not lost, but accelerated and up-scaled.

This day provides a platform to honour the resilience, achievements, and contributions of women around the globe, while also acknowledging the challenges that persist in our pursuit of sustaining progress and real inclusion.

At the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, we stand firmly committed to advancing the rights and empowerment of women from all walks of life. We recognise that progress towards gender equality is not only a moral imperative but also essential for building fair, democratic and inclusive societies in Africa.

Nevertheless, our work is far from complete. That is why, at IJR, we maintain a steadfast focus on women’s issues. We take pride in our active engagement in South Africa’s pursuit of gender equality, peace, and security, notably through our collaborative efforts on the National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security, as well as the South African Peace Charter. In addition, through our Sustained Dialogues Programme, we facilitate sustained interventions that are human-centred, with a special focus on women. We recognise the need to acknowledge the wounds of individuals and communities, and use story-telling and creative dialogue methods to co-create safe spaces for them.

We remain dedicated to fostering greater inclusion, ensuring that all women have equitable access to opportunities, resources, and decision-making processes.

As we mark International Women’s Day this year, let us renew our collective commitment to progress and inclusion. I urge each of us to reflect on how we can personally contribute to advancing women’s equality and #InspireInclusion in 2024. One of the most impactful ways we can do this at IJR is by championing our own campaigns within our communities and networks, aligning with the annual IWD campaign theme to guide our year-long efforts.

Happy International Women’s Day to all!