Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. - http://www.internationalwomensday.com/theme.asp
International Women's Day has been celebrated since the early 1900's. Women began to stand up to the inequality and oppression they faced. " ...in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights." (website) . This year the celebration continues with the theme 'Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures' and while the United Nations has declared their theme as 'Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty' , it is encouraged that others create their own themes as well. If you click here you can find various themes from around the world that have been submitted. With over 1542 events planned for IWD, you can select your country and location here to learn what's available near you.
You can celebrate at home as well, or from your work place. Take a moment to let the women in your life know how much you appreciate them. How proud you are of their accomplishments. Be aware of how you speak to and about other women. If you are a woman, take a moment to reflect on the successes you have created in your life, of the milestones you have reached. Be proud of yourself for everything you have overcome in your journeys.
It breaks my heart when I hear women calling other women derogatory names, and how easily these names roll of ftheir tongues during casual conversation. Loose Garments, a blog focused on feminist culture, human rights, and cool women, posted a video created by a 13 year old girl who speaks up about slut shaming. This young woman will make you think twice about your choice of words and is so inspiring. Loose Garments has other must see videos, and their blog posts are always a good read.
I see girls who are afraid to leave their homes until their hair and make up are perfectly done, until the right amount of skin is showing, and the number on the scale is acceptable to popular demand. I see lives being destroyed as women attempt to live up to the impossible expectations forced upon them. Let Lindsay Gemmell inspire you. She is a 23 year old Eating Disorder Recovery Coach, who is making changes with her passion for life and her unconditional, genuine love for others. She shares her incredibly positive attitude through words of motivation, affirmations and wisdom from experience. "..what does beauty mean to you? Everytime you disagree with the fashion industries idea of "beauty" you are saying YES to LIFE! and when you say yes to live..you accept love, happiness, laughter and JOY into your heart..making you better able to share those qualities with others. True beauty comes from within. When we accept ourselves as we are inside and out, with all of our unique qualities, we will find and be living in TRUE beauty! just as every woman deserves to."
If we, as individuals started to change the way we talk about and speak to women, if we, as individuals started to change our expectations of the women in our lives, if we, as individuals started to challenge society telling us to be competitive with other women, if we as individuals started to say it is wrong to objectify women, then we, as individuals would be making changes in the world, and through these actions we can have a positive influence on people who we may interact with, and this may start a beautiful chain reaction.
So today, on International Women's Day, how are you going to celebrate? Who are you going to talk to?
If you have a story about a woman who inspires you, please share it in the comments below. I want to hear their stories!