If you didn’t know, March 8th is International Women’s Day. Both the U.S. and U.K. celebrate Women’s History Month in March, as well, but IWD is a worldwide holiday. What’s more, at least 20 different countries have sanctioned it as an official holiday. And while it might not be “official” here in the states, we can still find a way to celebrate.
International Women’s Day
As the name suggests, International Women’s Day is a global holiday that honors women. In 1975, the United Nations began celebrating it, and since then, it’s been observed on March 8th every year. The purpose of IWD is three-fold and can be thought of in terms of Past, Present, and Future:
Past: To celebrate the various cultural, political, and social achievements of women.
Present: To recognize and raise awareness of the current challenges women face.
Future: To continue making greater strides towards women’s rights and gender equality.
Theme for 2022
Each year, there’s a specific theme (or two!) for the holiday. The U.N. issued theme for 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” There’s also the “official” IWD theme for 2022 and that’s #BreaktheBias.
Imagine a gender equal world.
A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Together we can forge women’s equality.
Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.— International Women’s Day, 2022
8 Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day
Regardless of your own gender, it’s important to recognize International Women’s Day. It’s a day for everyone. So, here are 8 ways you can celebrate IWD this year.
1. Wear Purple
Yes, there is an official color for Women’s Day – notice the IWD logo – and that is purple. Purple is generally associated with feminist movements and gender equality. It’s symbolic of justice and dignity as well as visionary thinking. It was worn by the suffragettes in their fight for voting rights. And then again by the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 60’s and 70’s.
So, one of the easiest ways to celebrate IWD is to don the purple hue.
2. Post About it on Social Media
Social media is another easy way to show your support for women on March 8th. It may not seem like much, but social media can be a great tool. Just look at the #MeToo movement.
This year, use the #BreaktheBias or share a photo of yourself striking the 2022 IWD pose (cross your arms in front of you). You can also post a message of support or encouragement, share articles written by women, or provide information on ways people can give back.
Related Read: Women Who Inspire Me
3. Donate to Women in Need
For those of you that really want to make a difference, this is the best way to do it. Give money to a female-focused charity (Equality Now and Malala Fund are two good ones.) Another way to help is to look for women’s shelters and domestic violence safe houses near you. You can donate your money or time as well as clothing or necessities.
4. Read a Book by a Female Author
If you love to read anyway, why not choose a book by a female author? Not only will you help support women writers, you’ll be giving yourself a little treat too. Here are a few I recommend:
Related Read: The 6 Best Books I Read in 2021
5. Give a Random Woman a Compliment
Whether in person or on social media, try giving a woman a compliment today. Most women have a complicated relationship with themselves—from insecurity about their appearance to feelings of imposter syndrome. Remember, one small act of kindness from a stranger can make a big difference.
6. Support Female-Owned Businesses
How often do you buy something for yourself? Probably a lot – no shade because same here! But, for the purposes of IWD, try to buy products from a female-owned business today. Whether you’re on the lookout for clothing, makeup, skincare, or something else, there are plenty of women-run companies to support.
And if you don’t want to spend any money? That’s OK too! You can also make a difference just by checking out female-run blogs and websites!
7. Watch a Bechtel-Test Approved Movie
If you’re not familiar with the term, The Bechtel Test is an informal measure of female representation in film and TV. In order to “pass” the Bechtel test, the movie or show must feature at least two women who talk to one another about something other than a man.
Now, if you read that and thought, “That sounds simple enough,” I hate to break it to you, it’s not. As of 2021, at least 40% of movies still fail to meet the standard!
For a fun, lighthearted way of celebrating Women’s Day, sit back and watch something that does pass the test. (Some of my favorites include: Bridesmaids, Ocean’s 8, and Mean Girls.)
8. Spend Time with Women in Your Life
You don’t have to celebrate IWD by admiring larger-than-life women in the world. Instead, celebrate the important ladies in your own life—your mother, sister, friend, girlfriend, wife. Get together with some of these influential women. Or reach out to them and let them know how much they mean to you.
Do you have any other ideas for how to celebrate International Women’s Day this year? Let me know in the comments below!
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