10 Empowering Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day
Posted by Chloe Wingerter on February 27, 2014.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is ‘Inspiring Change’.
International Women’s Day began in 1908 when 15,000 audacious women marched throughout the streets of New York City to demand shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights. In 1975, the United Nations gave official recognition to International Women’s Day, and it is now an official holiday in 27 countries (Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zambia). Since then, it has become a global day of celebration for the major accomplishments of women.
This past year, many women defied their odds, and stood up for equal rights for all women.
- Malala Yousafzai overcame unthinkable obstacles to publish a bestseller, igniting the world movement for women’s educational rights.
- Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark tank.
- Sheryl Sandberg continues to encourage women to “lean in” to every aspect of their lives.
It is also a day of awareness for the hurdles that are still to be surmounted. Women continue to have a long way to go to guarantee equality and fairness throughout society. Education, health, safety, and economic security remain big challenges that women around the world are still facing each and every day. But, there is something that YOU can do! Yes, you!
- Watch: Girl Rising, a documentary highlighting the global campaign for girls’ education. The film highlights the story of nine girls from Sierra Leone, Haiti, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Peru, Egypt, Nepal, India, and Cambodia. You can even host a film screening event to inspire all your friends as well!
- Read: Malala Yousafzai’s inspirational biography I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. Additional great reads include Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, and Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns.
- Listen: The Girl Effect organization spoke to hundreds of girls living in poverty across the world to help them shape the Girl Declaration. Hear the girls’ stories on education, health, safety, economic security, and citizenship.
- Donate: There are hundreds of great organizations out there that support women’s health, rights, education, and needs. Here are a few that are doing amazing work: CARE, Women for Women International, Penda Health, Prerana Resource Centre, Yayasan Mitra Masyarakat Sehat Indonesia. (All these organizations are eligible for tax-deductible donations through CAF America! Click here to make a gift.)
- Cook: Check out Women for Women International’s cookbook, Share, where 100% of the profits will go to Women for Women International to help women of war-torn countries rebuild their lives. The recipes are those of the women in the war-town countries, renowned international chefs, and humanitarians.
- Tell: Be brave and tell those special women in your life how much they mean to you! Watch this Dove commercial for some inspiration and encouragement!
- Run: Run for Congo Women, affiliated with Women for Women International, hosts runs to support the efforts to alleviate serious issues facing the women of Congo. If there isn’t an event near you, be proactive and plan a run for your community!
- Walk: Don’t feel up to running? No worries! Women across the world often times have to walk miles and miles every day just for clean drinking water. With Walk In Her Shoes, you can walk 10,000 steps a day for a week and raise money to support water and sanitation, and water wells for areas in desperate need.
- Attend: Meet other international women’s day supporters in your area with events held throughout the day! Check out International Women’s Day 2014 website to easily find events in your area.
- Inspire Change: Take the International Women’s Day theme, Inspire Change, to heart! Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Let us know how you’re celebrating by tweeting #womensday to @CAFAmerica!