Kirsty Marrins: Five awesome International Women's Day charity campaigns

Our columnist reviews some of the best digital campaigns that helped charities to celebrate IWD 2017

Wednesday 8 March 2017 marked International Women’s Day, with this year’s theme Be Bold for Change. Many charities got involved on social media, using the trending hashtag #InternationalWomensDay as well as #IWD2017 and #BeBoldForChange. Here are a few of the charities that stood out for me.

Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder marked IWD by sharing the story of its founder, Lady Sue Ryder, a humanitarian dedicated to relieving suffering. The charity invited its Facebook followers to say something about the women in their lives who inspired them. This led to some lovely comments about the work of the charity and how it had supported people in their darkest times. The post was shared 133 times with 243 reactions.

International Animal Rescue

The worldwide animal rescue and rehabilitation charity International Animal Rescue celebrated the work of its female staff around the world with a video and asked its Facebook followers to share it as a sign of appreciation for their dedication to the cause. The video has had about 60,000 views and almost 1,000 shares.

Phily Kennington, fundraising and digital community officer, said: "We were delighted with how the video performed, but what delighted us even more were the amazing comments. There were outpourings of thanks and gratitude to our wonderful female staff, and people said they were inspired by the work being done by these incredible women."

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK championed the work of its female scientists to mark the occasion. Many of its staff around the country got involved and tweeted about the amazing work women scientists and researchers are doing, locally, in helping to beat cancer sooner.

Plan International UK

The children’s charity that aims for equality for girls all over the world put out a series of #BraveGirls tweets, highlighting better access to sex education and sexual health services for girls in Uganda.

Chelsea Ladies FC gave its support to the #BraveGirls campaign and tweeted from its own account, which has more than 108,000 followers.

On its Facebook page, the charity reminded its supporters that women in the UK are being discriminated against for merely being female. It shared a blog post about a group of young campaigners urging the government to make sex and relationships education mandatory, because sexual offences on school premises have doubled in recent years.


The domestic violence charity Refuge did a thread of tweets spelling out four ways people could support it on International Women’s Day with #Pledge4Refuge.

But it was comedian Richard Herring’s tweets that resulted in £12,417.33 (and counting) being donated to the charity. Every year Richard replies to tweets that ask "what about International Men's Day?" – which, if you were wondering, is on 19 November – with hilarious comebacks.

Last year the charity raised about £500 on International Women’s Day. This year, mostly thanks to Mr Herring and his fans, it’s almost £12,500.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said: "Over a 24-hour period, thanks in no small part to Richard Herring speaking out on social media all day long in support of International Women’s Day, a phenomenal £12,417.33 was raised for Refuge. This is equivalent to 239 nights of safe accommodation for a woman and her child fleeing domestic violence. This is wonderful and much-needed support for Refuge’s work. Thank you to everyone who took part."

Although awareness days are a dime a dozen, there are certain International days where it really pays to put some thought and effort into creating an impactful campaign and International Women’s Day is certainly one of them. As in Refuge’s case, your efforts could really pay off financially.

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