International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 is an opportunity to celebrate ordinary women who have made an extraordinary impact in their communities and around the world. It’s a chance to reflect on progresses made and cultivate a new vision for the future. The 2019 theme “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change” calls for greater gender equality and empowerment, especially regarding inclusive social systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure, according to the United Nations.
So, how can you celebrate this year? Get involved on a personal or wide scale level through your social network of family and friends, neighbors, colleagues, and your greater community. Here are four ways you can take advantage of this holiday with your tribe:
Donate to a women’s charity or shelter. This is an essential lifeline for countless women and children. Charities and shelters can be transformative and help women rebuild their lives. Whether donating food, clothing, money, or your time, consider the difference it can make. Organize a group outing to give back and support a charity or shelter in your area. Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) USA is always accepting donations for their campaigns.
Attend a women’s networking event. Consider attending an event or conference where women can support and empower each other. This is an opportunity to share knowledge among female professionals and offer mentorship. Search Eventbrite.com for conferences and events near you. You can also volunteer to mentor a young person or offer to speak on a topic of your expertise. Youth groups and clubs are another great way to support young women and girls through mentorship.
Celebrate women in film. Host a screening party of films about extraordinary women and discuss their impact. Your group can talk about a film by a female director, one that has a female cast, or one that focuses on powerful women in history. Some film ideas include Hidden Figures (2016), the true story about brilliant African-American women working at NASA; Suffragette (2015), a historical drama about women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom; or Frida (2002), the story of a Mexican artist whose artistic style examined questions of identity, gender, post-colonialism, and societal divides.
Host a book club. You can celebrate IWD by simply reading a great book by a female author, and then get a group together to discuss your inspirations and takeaways, or volunteer to host a reading at a senior home or community center. Some book ideas include Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, which shares the struggle of a poverty-stricken family in 1930s Korea and Japan; or Difficult Women by Roxane Gay, which is a collection of short stories about the challenges faced by women in modern America.
Whether you participate in something big or small, remember that celebrating International Women’s Day is about empowering women and girls. Show your support in a way that is authentic and meaningful to you.
Read about WFWP’s involvement in the 62nd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women last year.