6 Simple ways to celebrate International Women's Day
Get inspired by one of these simple ways to celebrate International Women's Day this year.
Since the first official march on the streets of New York in 1911, people have been celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) across the globe to commend women’s social, political and economic achievements. The day, celebrated on March 8th every year, draws attention to gender inequality which continues to be prevalent in the modern world.
In industries such as IT and engineering female representation is as low as 17 per cent, whilst boardrooms in many countries are reportedly made up of over 90 per cent male members. Research shows that almost eight out of ten companies and public sector bodies pay men more than women, with women collecting an average of 9.7 per cent lower hourly rate than their male colleagues.
Here’s how you can support the campaign for equal rights this year.
Take a selfie
The IWD campaign theme for 2019 is "Balance For Better". You can use the hashtag #balanceforbetter to find inspirational stories or even share your own. The aim is to create gender-balanced boardrooms, governments, media coverage, sports coverage and wealth worldwide.
You can take part by posting a selfie with your #IWD2019 message on social media. Use your best "hands out" balance pose for a strong call-to-action and a reminder that change still requires our attention.
According to the International Women’s Day website, purple is the chosen colour for the day because it signifies justice and dignity, so dig out your best purple outfit for maximum impact.
Read a great book
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay is a widely celebrated collection of essays about the complicated aspects of feminism. She talks honestly about gender, sexuality, race and politics and how feminism has influenced her life in a not-so-perfect way.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a powerful essay that was adapted from her TEDx Talk of the same name. You’ll read through it in less than an hour and learn about her personal experience of what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.
Shattered by Rebecca Asher explores the modern illusion of gender equality and questions the fact that more often than not, women are still left holding the baby. This controversial book highlights the inequalities that still exist between the sexes and provides somewhat of a manifesto for a more satisfying family life.
Talk to your young female relatives
International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to start a dialogue about feminism with your daughter or granddaughter.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls also provides a potted history of female scientists, artists and politicians from a range of ethnic backgrounds.
Refuge is a UK-based organisation which is committed to ending domestic violence and violence against women and children.
They offer services to empower women to rebuild their lives through emergency accommodation, community support, sexual advice support and freephone helplines.
Visit the Refuge website to make a single donation or £2 a month, which could pay for an emergency pack for women in danger.
Hold a fundraiser
The charity WomanKind is encouraging people to raise some much-needed funds by hosting a bake sale, coffee morning or quiz night in their local area. You can download a fundraising pack on the website to get started.
Why not invite all your favourite ladies over for a coffee morning at home? Simply supply the drinks and ask everyone to bring a cake for everyone to enjoy and ask for donations on the day.
Money raised will go towards many projects at Women Kind including their aims to change laws and policies which discriminate against women and girls.
Remember a loved one
While the world remembers inspirational women throughout history, why not take some time to remember the women who have given your life meaning?
Maybe it was a cool aunt who showed you how to stand up for yourself or a grandmother who taught you how to knit. Don’t forget all the sacrifices they made to be a good role model and create a positive environment for you.
Take a moment to think about these women and give thanks, maybe even raise a glass in their honour.