When you start to think about the scope of worldwide injustices and discrimination, it's easy to feel small and insignificant. After all, how much can one person really do to make a change in the world? When you band together with others under a common cause, however, the impact can be substantial. For instance, knowing how to celebrate International Women's Day with real, actionable steps can help you better the lives of women in some way.
The best part about celebrating International Women's Day is the customization. You can use this day to help women in whatever way is important to you. This could mean anything from supporting women in STEM fields to lobbying for better maternity leave policies in the United States. Wherever your career, interests, or hobbies have taken you, there's a way to make the path a little more friendly to the women who follow.
Additionally, the ways you show your support can be tailored to fit your life. Are you able to take the day off of work and volunteer at a women's shelter? Awesome. Did you decide to spend time teaching your children about the trailblazing women of the past? Excellent. Every action counts. Whether you host a citywide event or just give your mom a call, supporting women is key.
1. Volunteer Your Time
If you're able to take the day off, then volunteer work is an excellent way to support your fellow women. Your city may have specific International Women's Day volunteer events, or you can use a service such as Volunteer Match to find other volunteer opportunities in your area. Chances are, there's a local women's shelter, food bank, or other organization that would love a helping hand.
2. Donate To A Cause For Women
If you're short on time, then a philanthropic donation can also help. From The Girl Scouts Of The United States to The Women's Sports Foundation, there are plenty of organizations fighting for women's rights. Pick a cause that's close to your heart and donate away.
3. Teach Your Children About Influential Women
History is filled with the stories of kick-ass women who defied the odds and accomplished great things in their time. You can read a book together, like Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl. Even just taking a few minutes to discuss female role models with your children may make an impact.
4. Appreciate Women In The Arts
Many museums have events to celebrate IWD. For instance, all women get free museum entry on International Women's Day in Italy, according to The Independent. If you don't have time to hop on a plane to Rome, then looking for local arts events, or even researching female artists on Wikipedia, can be enlightening as well.
5. Read Female Authors
Plenty of great poets, novelists, and playwrights are women, and this is an ideal time to review their works. Whether you check out international women authors or the works of up-and-coming female authors, you're certain to be thrilled. I recommend the brief, beautiful, and heartbreaking Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur.
6. Support the #BeBoldForChange Campaign
You can use this campaign to champion women's involvement in practically any organization, whether you're into coding or sports. In fact, the #BeBoldForChange campaign encourages everyone to take steps toward achieving gender parity, according to the website for International Women's Day. You can use social media and events to further your particular cause.
7. Reach Out To Female Friends & Family Members
Sometimes going very local is a sound way to support women. This is a great day to reach out to the important women in your life, especially if you haven't heard from them in a while. A quick phone call or text might make your friend's day.
8. Join A Local Event
Cities around the world are hosting events for International Women's Day 2017, from speaking events to fun runs. You can check out the International Women's Day website for International Women's Day events in your area. Who knows — you might even make a new friend.
9. Take Time For Yourself
It's a phrase you hear over and over in reference to self-care: "You can't pour from an empty cup." In this light, taking care of yourself is necessary before you can help anyone else. In a world that often demands you give your all and then some, self-care is an important feminist act. With this in mind, be sure to make some time for yourself this International Women's Day.