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Putting the 'I' in International Women's Day Founder, Abi Selby, talks about IWD 24, how wellbeing is supporting women, and why it's important to remember each individual.

On 8th March the world will celebrate International Women's Day or IWD 2024. I am so delighted that this day has become so widely recognised in recent years, an opportunity to celebrate and inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion in the quest for a better world.

Wellbeing supporting women

As a member of the wellbeing community, I find this day a particular cause for reflection and focus. The wellbeing industry is heavily populated by women and yet women's healthcare is widely documented as being light years behind the knowledge we have on men's.

What's incredibly positive is that the wellbeing sector is making strides to change that. Perhaps one of the most prominent ways is in how it's aiming to address hormonal health and in particular more diverse understanding and support for women in menopause. The Global Wellness Institute perhaps epitomises this with their Hormonal Wellness Initiative.

What spas have taught me

These, however, are the big things - the institutional things that need to be addressed at scale to give more women more options when it comes to supporting their health with autonomy and empowerment. On a more personal level, what I delight in on a day like this, is that it's a reminder of the individual, and it's the little things that can have a big impact on an individual.

Over the course of my 20-year career in the spa sector I have often spoken and written about the meaningful impact of a spa treatment - the power of touch, reconnecting with your body, being in a space of care and being kind to yourself. It sounds like something so superficial but the impact can be profound - it still takes me by surprise to this day.

The power of caring

That sense of addressing yourself with kindness is what we wanted to bring to IWD 2024 within and beyond the proverbial four walls of this year, which is why we implored our team not to forget about the 'I' in International Women's Day.

We asked our team members to complete the sentence 'I am...' finding one kind word to describe themselves. It generated such buzz and positivity, I really think this is the essence of what it is to look after your wellbeing.

Words that came out of it were:

  • Creative
  • Strong
  • Grateful
  • Capable
  • Trying my best
  • Resilient
  • Worthy
  • Independent
  • Tenacious
  • Resilient
  • Reliable
  • Happy
  • Grateful
  • Listening
  • Pretty chipper!
  • Strong
  • Versatile
  • A strong gyal
  • Passionate

Irreplaceable you

This global celebration is a wonderful opportunity to show our appreciation for women around us. Say it, show it, commemorate and acknowledge our mothers, sisters, aunts, old friends, new friends, work friends, the women we know and the women we are yet to meet. Honour the ones we admire and the ones we learn from, the ones that came before us and the ones that are yet to come.

However, I implore you not to forget that there’s one other person who needs to be treasured - the independent, indestructible, idealistic, immaculate, impeccable, industrious, interesting, imaginative, irresistible, sometimes irritable, occasionally irascible, completely irreplaceable you.

Happy IWD 2024 - I hope you have a great one.

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