The Women's March that took place after President Donald Trump's inauguration was one of the biggest single-day demonstrations in American history. If that march is any indication as to what will happen during International Women's Day on March 8, you can expect to see women and allies act together in equality and justice in very large numbers. Many people may want to be involved, and may be wondering how to resist on International Women's Day in solidarity. Thankfully, there are many ways to participate and show unity for everyone that wants to.
For starters, the organizers of the Women's March are planning "A Day Without A Woman" on the same day as International Women's Day. It's a day of strike and economic demonstration to show support for women and all gender-oppressed people. It's also a day to acknowledge the huge economic value and contributions of all women. As noted on the Women's March website, women contributing to society generally receive lower wages, are vulnerable to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. Striking on that day calls attention to these important issues and sends a unified message. If you can't strike that day, there are also other things you can be doing to resist on that day, and every day moving forward.
Striking and protesting isn't always feasible for everyone that wants to participate, however, you can still be part of this day in many monumental ways. Here are 11 ways you can resist on International Women's Day, and every day of the year.
1. Educate Yourself On The History Of International Women's Day
According to the Women's Watch UN website, the first International Women's Day was celebrated in 1909 as a way to honor the garment women's strike in New York in 1908. The women were protesting their horrific working conditions - think sweatshops.
The celebration of women started as just one day, then it expanded to a week, and then congress in the late '80s declared the whole month of March National Women's History Month.
If you'd like more history, do a more detailed research on your own. It takes maybe five minutes to learn about the history, and can help you see how far women have come, and how far they sadly, still need to go to reach equality.
2. Learn About Issues Facing Women Right Now
There are several urgent issues facing women right now, some of which have gone on for hundreds of years. Being educated on the issues will help you hone in on what needs the most effort right now because, admittedly, it can get a little overwhelming.
Urgent issues facing women right now include: the gender pay gap, violence against women, and the discrimination of women with disabilities, especially women of color with disabilities, as reported in a recent Romper article. These issues don't just affect women in the U.S.
Around the world, women do most of the unpaid labor and aren't getting paid the same as men, according to the Progress UN Women website. There are some additional issues that are absolutely horrific including: female genital mutilation and female sexual exploitation or sex trafficking, according to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
There are many online resources to help you learn about these issues, many of which, also provide ways for you to help.
3. Find Events In Your Area
There are bound to be several events going on in your area for men, women, and children to participate in. Groups gathering together for a common cause - whether it's for protest, remembrance, or celebration - shows solidarity and symbolism.
Additionally, museums and other cultural organizations typically host events and activities on International Women's Day, so check your local newspaper or get online and start searching.
4. Don't Participate In Paid Or Unpaid Labor
I know this isn't feasible for everyone, particularly moms, but you can try to get creative if you have male family members or male friends that live near you. You could ask them to come help out with the kids or help you take care of an elderly/sick family member on International Women's Day, and you can explain to them why you need the help.
5. Mentor Women In Your Workplace
If you have to go to work on International Women's Day, consider offering yourself up as a mentor. You don't have to make some big proclamation to the women at your job, but maybe just a silent pledge to yourself that anytime a woman in your office comes to your for career advice or assistance that you'll take the time to take them under your wing if you have specific skills they need. Or maybe you check in with women around the office to see if there's any questions you can answer or any help you can offer.
6. Mentor Girls
7. Donate Your Time, Money, Or Resources To An Organization That Helps Women
There is no shortage of women's organizations that need your time. Consider contacting a volunteer coordinator at women's shelters in your area, your local Planned Parenthood, or a Boys and Girls Club.
You could also donate food, clothes, or hygiene products to shelters that help women like a domestic violence shelter for women or Dress For Success, which helps women get jobs.
If you don't have time to do either, consider making a donation online to your favorite organization that helps women.
8. Only Shop At Women's Owned Businesses
Chances are you already know which small businesses in your area are female-owned, so only shop there for the day. If you don't know, there's no harm in calling around and asking. You can also try the Lady's Owned Resource Index (LORI) mobile app, which finds the closest woman owned business to your current location.
9. Wear Red In Solidarity
Organizers of the Women's March and "A Day Without A Woman" are asking women to wear red in solidarity on International Women's Day. As historian Estelle Freedman to Slate, red is the color of revolution. Whether you go to work that day, or to the park, or to a woman's owned business, wearing red sends a powerful message. Seeing other women in red at the same time as you is a pretty cool feeling.
10. Share Your Story
Write a post on social media about your struggles as a woman. Share your story, strife, and hopes. Writing it out gives a voice to these issues and can help you heal.
11. Support Women
Make a vow or pledge to yourself to always be there for women when they need it. Be there for the women in your family, at work, friends, or just in your daily life.
No matter how you resist on International Women's Day, and every day, know that no impact is too small. Every little move towards resistance, makes a large collective difference for your fellow humans and future generations.