10 Great Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Week
Happy International Women’s Week! It’s the time of year when we, as a society, band together to celebrate the collective achievements of women – whether they be personal, social, cultural, economic, political, or something else entirely.
International Women’s Day – held on March 8th every year – dates back to the early 1900s and is a day to campaign for greater gender equality for women (and woman-identifying people) around the world. It’s a time when we shirk our differences and join together to lift society up as a whole, listening to stories and bringing in new voices and perspectives as we go.
So how can you celebrate this International Women’s Week? Read on to find out!
1. Join a March
Women’s marches have been happening all around the world for decades, but in the past few years especially, the organization of them has blossomed. In fact, over 20 countries currently hold annual women’s marches and recognize IWD as a holiday.
Wondering what exactly women’s marches are for? Plenty of things!
Women’s marches generally support reproductive rights, the end to domestic and gender violence, body autonomy, labor and equal pay rights, environmental justice, and so much more.
And of course, men are 100% welcome at a women’s march. The point of a march is not to be exclusionary, but rather to bring together like-minds. Allies are always welcome.
Research marches happening in your hometown and wave your flag high.
For more ideas on how to be active in your community during times of social change, check out our article on the subject!
2. Organize A Feminist Book Club
One of the best ways to learn more about International Women’s Day, feminism, and women’s rights? Read!
International Women’s Day is an excellent reminder to pick up a book by one of the greatest gender-equality trumpeters of our time.
Book clubs are awesome in that they bring together like-minded people and open topics for discussion and thought but, if that’s simply not your speed, then there are tons of (positive, welcoming, non-judgemental) forums on the internet for these kinds of discussions.
3. Join a Women’s Networking Group
Not only do networking groups provide a professional setting in which to make connections and share ideas, but they’re also an awesome place to discuss specific challenges.
Regardless of your industry, starting or joining a Women’s Networking Group is a great way to be part of a forward-thinking community, get advice on any issues you may be going through, and have discussions about specific challenges women face in your particular line of work.
4. Donate to Your Local Women’s Shelter
According to the CDC, it’s estimated that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience violence by their intimate partner in their lifetimes and that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience a form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
Whether you already knew this or not, the statistics are certainly heartbreaking, yet shed a light on just how many people truly need help. While not everyone who experiences domestic violence seeks help (or even reports it), women’s shelters are in great need of support.
Whether you can donate money, clothes, or goods, International Women’s Week is a great reminder to lend a hand to those in need.
And further to this donating point — consider different charities you can donate to that help women and girls in your community and abroad. Examples are organizations that build and keep girls in schools and those that help to stop human trafficking.
5. Watch Powerful Speeches Given By Women
Along the same lines as reading feminist books written by powerful voices, taking time to watch speeches given by women is another great way to celebrate International Women’s Day while educating yourself at the same time.
Whether you go to a talk given in your hometown, or simply stay home and watch Ted Talks on YouTube, there are plenty of inspiring women from whom to learn.
Some of my personal favorite feminist Ted Talks are:
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: We Should All Be Feminists
– Roxane Gay: Confessions of a Bad Feminist
– Thisari Randunu: The Feminist Paradox
6. Do Something Kind For a Woman In Your Life
Celebrating International Women’s Day doesn’t have to include a huge display or attempt, rather, it can be as simple as doing something kind for a woman in your life; letting her know that you love and respect her.
Some easy, but thoughtful ideas could be to run an errand for her, take her out to dinner, buy her flowers, or take something off her plate that she’s been putting off due to a hectic schedule.
7. Speed Network at Work
This is one of my favorite ways in which we can celebrate International Women’s Week, and it can be truly simple to pull off.
How much do you know about what your fellow women coworkers do all day long? When was the last time you had an actual conversation not about weekend plans, but about what they’ve dedicated their professional lives to?
This International Women’s Week, seize the opportunity to organize a speed networking session in your office, during which time everyone can learn more about one another’s jobs. This is great to do over a lunch hour or even a dedicated working hour.
It’s amazing how much you can learn from one another’s experiences and grow your relationships with your coworkers.
8. Help Local Female-Run Businesses
Running a business is hard, so this International Women’s Day, go out of your way to support a women-lead business.
This could be as simple as purchasing goods from a store, reaching out to a powerful woman to tell her you appreciate her work, or by investing in a new project.
9. Be Careful of Your Language
So often in our lives, we hear things about other women and say things about other women that are unfair and unwarranted.
This might mean women you personally know, or this might mean women in the media. This International Women’s Week, take extra note of your language and how you talk about other women.
Don’t be reactionary to sexual gossip, celebrity gossip, or unfairly criticize the failures (or even achievements) of other women. Of course, criticism should still be done in earnest when warranted (and when it’s our business), but that doesn’t mean to use it with the intention of bringing a person down.
Further to this, consider the context of what you hear from others, and be careful not to spread untruths.
10. Include Men in the Conversation
While having the support of our fellow women when facing feminist struggles is very important, so is being heard by the men in our lives. As I said above, International Women’s Day is not meant to divide us, but rather to further understanding, empathy, and progressive action. Additionally, lifting up women does not mean that we disregard the struggles of men.
In fact, I truly believe it’s when we can hear voices and honesty from all sides of the aisle that we truly further ourselves as a society.
So, this International Women’s Day, include the men in your life in the conversation. And, if you’re a man reading this, open up to the women in your life about what you can do to help close the gap of understanding.
That’s it for my ten ways to celebrate International Women’s Week! We at The Wellness Project are always open to learning and hearing from different points of view, so let us know how you plan to celebrate this occasion in the comments!