Professor Shaheen Shariff's Statement for International Women's Day 2024

Published: 8 March 2024

logos for McGill University and International Women's Day

March 8 is International Women's Day. Each year, people from around the world come together to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. 

Professor Shaheen Shariff, James McGill Professor and Project Director of iMPACTS, offers the following statement about International Women's Day:

The theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is “Inspire Inclusion”, where we envision a world where biases, discrimination, and violence no longer plague our communities. Unfortunately, that is not yet the case and women still face many challenges and threats to their safety and wellbeing. From systemic injustices to ongoing problems of sexual violence, sexism, and misogyny, the struggle for equality is ongoing.

In academic circles, we have a unique responsibility to address these issues head-on. It's not just about discussing theories; it's about implementing real change. Whether it's through research, education, or activism, we can't afford to stay silent. We must confront the uncomfortable truths and work towards tangible solutions.

State sponsored violence, as highlighted by the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, underscores the urgent need for concrete action on International Women's Day 2024. While we strive for gender equality, we cannot ignore the broader global structures of oppression and inequality that perpetuate violence and injustice. The Israel-Hamas conflict serves as a stark reminder of the intersectionality of women's struggles, where the impacts of war disproportionately affect women and children. As academics, we must examine the root causes of such violence and advocate for peaceful resolutions that prioritize human rights and dignity for all.

For International Women’s Day 2024, we at iMPACTS recommit ourselves to researching gender-based injustice, systemic inequalities, and state violence. Our team is actively working to investigate these issues through a critical, intersectional lens and develop evidence-based solutions in the fields of education, law, policy, and media literacy, among others. Together, as academics and allies, we can make strides towards a future where every woman has the opportunity to thrive.


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