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Count Her In: International Women’s Day 2024

When women have equal opportunities, families, communities & economies thrive

Women still face significant barriers to achieving their potential, particularly women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

We know when women are given equal opportunities to earn, learn and lead – entire communities thrive. It’s time to start counting her in.

That’s what the theme for this year’s United Nations 68th Commission on the Status of Women International Women’s Day is all about – Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.

We sat down with five incredible women to hear their stories; listen to the challenges they have overcome and celebrate their ability to seize opportunities and create better futures for themselves and others around them.

In this inspiring mix of women, we have included a First Nations woman who proudly represents her Mob and culture, and the unique and nuanced challenges that First Nations women face.

Woman giving a girl a piggy back

What are the findings?

The SSI policy brief, Unlocking Potential: Addressing the economic participation of migrant and refugee women in Australia, showed that:

A major barrier to unlocking the potential of refugee and migrant women’s economic participation is that they are engaged in low skill, low paid jobs which are not commensurate with their skills and qualifications.

Women born in low and middle-income countries have higher levels of graduate and post graduate degrees.

There is critical untapped potential in the labour market with refugee women and women from low and middle-income countries who are working part time and want to work full time.

Migrant and refugee women, irrespective of where they were born, are actively engaging in Australian higher education.

Read the full policy brief below.

Unlocking Potential policy brief
Unlocking Potential policy brief
Count Her In: International Women’s Day 2024

What can we do to help advance gender equality for CALD women?

Recommendations from Unlocking Potential include a tailored and targeted policy response at Federal and State/Territory levels to unlock the economic potential of migrant and refugee women – with examples such as subsidised entry into vocational and tertiary courses to bridge skills and qualifications gaps and opportunities for paid internships and mentor pathways.

Refugee women in particular require more intensive support spanning recognition of skills and qualifications, enhanced support for English language learning, tailored education and training opportunities, on-the-job experience and career progression.

A good place to start is becoming familiar with the barriers that many women face and considering some of the proposed solutions. You can also see how you can get involved with International Women’s Day now and in the future. Check out our resources below for more.

Woman looking at colour charts on a desk outside

SSI & International Women’s Day

SSI commemorates International Women’s Day annually on or around March 8. It is a time to reflect on progress, call for change and celebrate the courage and determination of the women who changed history, and those who will advance gender equality into the future.

SSI is an organisation that was founded by, employs, and supports, many women. Empowering women in our sphere of influence is embedded within our core purpose.

SSI is committed to the advancement, equality and safety of women and girls, who form a key pillar and division of the organisation with the Women’s Equality and Domestic and Family Violence team, who also developed a dedicated Women and Girls Strategy.  The overarching goals of the plan are to advance and protect the rights of women and girls, and drive change towards safety, equal choice, prosperity, and economic empowerment.

Do you want to learn more about International Women’s Day? Check out the United Nations’ official webpage.


Unlocking Potential policy brief
Unlocking Potential policy brief
SSI Women and Girls Strategic Plan 2021–2023
SSI Women and Girls Strategic Plan 2021–2023