Girl Power: Celebrating International Women’s Day
On March 8, the world will celebrate women.
The day is known as International Women’s Day and it was birthed from the Socialist Movement in the 1900s. It is meant to celebrate women’s achievements in economic, political and social spheres, and it will be recognized all over the globe.
In some places IWD is celebrated to the same degree as Mother’s Day, calling for men to treat women to gifts and favors. In the U.K. this year, Emma Watson will be holding a Q&A about gender equality in London that will be livestreamed via Facebook.
However in the U.S., most people don’t even realize it’s a holiday. In fact, it only became an official holiday in the eyes of the government in 1994.
How can we properly celebrate a holiday that most people don’t even know exists?
First, we can recognize the achievements made by women in the last year. At home, Mo’ne Davis, a 13-year-old pitcher from the Little League World Series, led her team to victory and became a role model for young girls and boys. She was recently named “SportsKid of the Year” by Sports Illustrated.
And of course, how could you forget Beyoncé’s 16-minute VMA performance in front of a Feminist banner, following extremely empowered performances by both Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift. The women of the music industry are taking back their femininity and showing it off according to their own terms.
Abroad, we have people like 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who is a schoolgirl from Pakistan who spoke up for the importance of girls’ education. She was shot by the Taliban for her beliefs, making shockwaves.
Since her recovery, she has only sped up her activism. When asked if the injury made her rethink her stance she bravely said, “[They] thought bullets would silence us, but they failed…There was a time when women social activist asked men to stand up for their rights, but this time we will do it by ourselves.” She’s won a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.
The aforementioned Emma Watson started He for She, a campaign to get men to consider themselves feminists, gave an amazing speech to the U.N. and spent the better part of 2014 advocating for the right to have gender equality internationally.
These women, along with so many others are making great strides in the world on behalf of women everywhere. So how can you celebrate these incredible achievements as well as honor the women in your own life?
Have a girls’ day. It may seem silly in the light of the serious issues highlighted by some famous women, but it is actually really important. As women, we tend to compete against one another rather than celebrate each other. When we attack each other in the name of cattiness, people lose respect and interest for us – all of us.
On March 8, take the time to celebrate each other. Don’t gossip or tear each other down, but instead build each other up by spending time with your best gal pals.
You can also celebrate the women in your life by showing them that they are important to you. Send out a card, call, text or just tell them in person how completely amazing you think they are for being who they are. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even pick a women’s charity to which to donate your time or money on March 8.
Whatever you choose to do for International Women’s Day, just remember all the women in the world who sacrificed what they did in order to make this day possible. It’s a day of looking back and thanking those people who made a difference in the lives of women, but it is also a day of looking forward to those who are in the process of changing the world for the better.
Feature photo courtesy of: Levo League