Awareness Days

How You Can Celebrate International Women’s Day

March 8, 2020, we celebrate International Women’s Day! 

Rich in History

Women’s Day dates back to 1909. Organized for the first time by the Socialist Party of America on February 28. This idea gained popularity and was discussed at the International Socialist Conference by German delegates the following year in 1910. All agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights after women in the Soviet Union had gained the right to vote.

In 1911 International Women’s Day was marked for the first time with over 1 million people from Australia, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany. Women’s Day was celebrated in communist countries on March 8 and was later adopted in North America by the feminist movement in 1967.

Female members of the Australian Builders Labourers Federation march on International Women’s Day 1975 in Sydney.

This day is dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres. The day, collectively founded by women, also brings attention to gender parity and women’s rights.

This day has been celebrated in very different ways across the globe. Some countries hold protests, some celebrate womanhood and how far equality has come while other countries ignore the day completely.

Last 5 Years

2016 – The theme “Pledge for Parity” meant that participants can advocate for gender equality in different areas that affect women every day. The International Women’s Day website encouraged you to pledge electronically. The idea behind the #PledgeForParity campaign is to “think globally, act locally” when taking actions to help women who experience unjust inequalities all over the world.

2017 – The theme “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” was a theme to encourage all places of work to develop better policies that advocate gender equality, hence the 50-50 by 2030. This was a movement ensuring that the world of work works for all women.

2018 – The theme was “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. It drew attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who made up at the time over a quarter of the world population and are being left behind in every measure of development. This year was meant to celebrate the activists who work relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.

2019 – This year’s theme was “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”. The focus of the theme was on innovative ways in which to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure.

This year’s theme is #eachforequal. 

international women's day

On this day we celebrate how far the women’s rights movement has come and look to the future to repair injustices for women that still exist in today’s society and workforce. 

This movement has many missions to ensure women are supported and represented in various industries. Taken from the movement’s website.

  • Women in health (right to make independent decisions on health)
  • Women in sports(pay sponsorship and visibility), 
  • Women entrepreneurs (earn and learn on their own terms), 
  • Women at work (equal pay for women who lead and uplift in the workplace) 
  • Women creatives (visibility for women’s commercial projects) 
  • Women in tech (celebrate women forging innovation in technology)

Here are 7 ways that you can get out and celebrate over 100 years of empowering and encouraging women to stand up to the inequalities of the past. Be sure to spread awareness to ensure equality now and in the future.

Join a women’s march near you – Every year worldwide participation on this day has been estimated at over seven million. At least 408 marches were reported to have been planned in the U.S. and 168 in 81 other countries. 

international Women's Day march

Celebrate women in film – Knowing the amazing history of women such as Mary Pickford, Sherry Lansing, Alice Guy-Blaché, Oprah Winfrey, Marlene Dietrich, and Katharine Hepburn shows just how far women have come. From actors, producers, directors to owning their own studios! 

Women's Day in film

Read a compelling book by a women author – Reading the words of women all over the world who overcame adversity. Authors like Maya Angelou, Beverly Cleary, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, and in more recent times J.K. Rowling.

Attend a women’s networking event – Networking has long been recognized as a powerful tool to help entrepreneurs make connections, find support and inspiration, and advance professionally. Despite advances in recent years, women face unique challenges in the business world. 

Networking Women's Day

Watch an empowering TED talk from various superwomen in the industry – There are over 200 TED talks done by amazing women in the industry such as Suheir Hammad, Elif Shafak, Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama, Katharine Wilkinson, and many others.

international women's day

Celebrate with women you admire – Who in your life is a superwoman? That powerful woman who other women can look up to? Maybe it’s your mom, grandma, or a good friend you’ve watched accomplish her fierce goals. Invite that person out to lunch, dinner or coffee and celebrate their accomplishments (and your own!)

Women's Day celebration

Promote gender equality in your workplace – Is your workplace doing all it can to ensure women are being treated equally? Get advice and be proactive about what you and others can to do ensure gender equality across the globe.

international Women's Day

Is your employer doing enough for women’s rights? Employers that are for women will meet this criteria as per the International women’s day website

  • demonstrate executive leadership commitment to gender equality
  • embrace a culture of diversity and inclusion
  • forge a female hiring pipeline from early career to executive level
  • value and support flexible working arrangements
  • provide formal avenues to address any concerns of bias
  • ensure women’s inclusion from the supply chain through to decision making
  • ensure marketing and communications are consistently free from stereotyping
  • provide external support for women’s advancement
  • monitor progress and outcomes from equality initiatives and activity
  • maintain external validation of progressive employer practice

Together we can all strive for gender-equal workforces, boardrooms, governments, cabinet leaders and political influencers under a unified direction. Together we can reach equality on a global scale.

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