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International Women's Day and what it means to social workers

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International Women's Day is a day of recognition and celebration of women globally.

It’s the one day of the year that recognises the value that women bring to individual communities and collectively to the world, and showcases the incredible struggles of women who have paved the way for others.

Commitment to the original aim - to achieve full gender equality for women around the world, is embedded at the heart of social work. Social work is underpinned by human rights and social justice.

Social work practice has always concerned itself with working with disadvantaged families, supporting women who are often the main carers both of children, but also ageing parents or loved ones with disabilities.

Social work itself is a profession which has been dominated by women, both in academic settings and in practice.

While social work values and ethics transcend gender, it also has long underpinned traditions of feminism, humanism and philanthropy, largely championing the rights and needs of women.

The actual reasons for the gender imbalances in social work are complex and hopefully, over time, it will be a profession that truly reflects the diverse communities it serves.

Today though,  I want to take this opportunity to recognise the role that women have played in shaping social work and contributing to an international profession which has as its definition:

Social work is a practice based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people.

Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work.

Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.

Celebrate International Women's Day and join in the conversations online:





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