Is International Women’s Day still relevant?

I remember being in high school at a public speaking competition and one of the participant’s speech was titled ‘Is international women’s day still relevant in the 90s?’

I can remember thinking to myself ‘true, why should women have a special day if we are striving for equality and considering ourselves as equals?’ - I lived in an all-female household in Australia, I’d never really considered myself as un-equal.

In listening to her speech and the statistics she quoted even back then, around rape, abuse, job access, and pay equality to name but a few, it was an eye-opener for me.

Sadly, these issues exist, and many more still exist today.



I would like to say her speech stirred within me a burning desire to help my sisters, but it did not. I had my own problems to deal with.

For those who know me, know I am a headstrong woman, independent, opinionated, intelligent, direct and sometimes a stubborn pain in the ass. Consequently, I have thrived in a male-dominated industry 😊. And I must admit, I’ve never felt held back because I am a woman.

What some may not know though, is that I struggled with depression and self-loathing for all my teenage years and twenties. And, that my independence is more of a cover for a belief/fear I held (and still do deep down), that people will not want to help or support me, because I don’t deserve it.

Not only did I not help my sisters, but I actively used my “independence” to stay disconnected and separate from them, and well, everyone really.


Why care now?

I will be eternally grateful to my mentors and gurus who have helped me understand the nature of my True Self, and that these beliefs I’d created, giving rise to my personally, are not Truth. They are just mental constructs, or structures, that served me at a point in time in infancy, and I’d decided to hold them as self-evident!

This has helped me immensely with depression, self-loathing, undeserving and a whole host of other beliefs that I found hiding away in my ego! Seeing them as structures I created, rather than Truth, helps me to take the power out of them and change my thoughts and actions. I feel liberated and free.

What surprised me though on this journey, is the compassion it’s created within me for my fellow humans, man and woman. Each of us holds onto our very own set of uniquely crafted beliefs that will dominate our thoughts and actions, if we remain unconscious to them. Sometimes these are good for us, but often they are not.


Pay It Forward

I am deeply honoured to be part of a growing global movement called the Women of Contribution, and a contributing author in their third book entitled ‘The Pay it Forward Series: Notes to My Younger Self - Vol 3”.

It shares the stories of 18 women as they write back to their younger selves sharing an experience that changed their lives, and passing on hope, wisdom, knowledge and inspiration as a reminder that even our darkest moments can be a guiding light, to ourselves and others.

We women do still suffer, sometimes at our own doing, and sometimes by others, both men and woman. But our feminine energy is nurturing in its nature, and I believe it’s time to nourish ourselves and our sisterhood.

One reason I wanted to contribute to this book, is its ‘pay it forward’ principle. Not only do we hope that our stories can make a difference to other women, to help them love and nourish themselves, we also encourage them that once read, they pay it forward to other women, be they family, friends or even complete strangers!


Nourish ourselves and each other

We all have a True Self, and my hope is that everyone, man and woman, will find this within them and see it in each other. We need more love, honesty, connection, compassion and appreciation in the world. In our Truth, we are all beautiful.

And yes, International Women’s day still relevant.

Joanna Harris


The Pay it Forward Series: Notes to My Younger Self - Vol 3

Our book is available on Kindle now and the paperback version launches next Friday, 13th March 2020. We invite you to pay it forward.

Tags In Author Women of Contribution Nurture Sisterhood International Womens Day Pay It Forward Love

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