Every March 8th, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. Celebrations and themes differ between organizations, but the message is always the same. All people, from all walks of life, will take the time to honor the women in their lives. We recognize the achievements of women as a cultural and historical level, and more importantly show our appreciation for everything they do.
The earliest version of International Women’s Day was held in New York City by the Socialist Party of America on February 28, 1909. This event inspired the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference to propose and annual, organized Women’s Day. But it wasn’t until 1917, when women gained the right to vote in Soviet Russia, that March 8th became the official date and national holiday.
InternationalWomensDay.com is celebrating this year with the theme of #EmbraceEquity. This promotes a gender free world that is free of stereotypes, biases and discrimination in all forms. A world where being different and unique is valued. A culture that promotes diversity, equitability and inclusivity.
One way to celebrate this theme is to take on the #EmbraceEquity photo challenge for social media. Just snap a photo giving yourself a huge embrace.
This year, the United Nations is adopting the theme: DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. This celebrates the women and girls who are shepherding advancements in digital education and recognizes those who are championing transformative technology.
A focus is put on the importance of protecting the rights of women in the digital space. Exploring the impact of the gender gap in the digital world and the widening economic and social inequality of the in that space.
Cracking the Code
The International Women’s Development Agency in Victoria, Australia celebrates with the theme: Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future.
As the website states, this theme is based on the United Nations 67th Commission on the Status of Womenand its theme of “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
There are links to virtual events from around the world, as well as book recommendations to learn more about the fight for gender equality.
Ways to Celebrate
There are many ways to celebrate the day this year, for businesses and individuals:
- As mentioned above, take a photo while giving yourself an embrace. Post on social media with the hashtag #EmbraceEquity.
- Attend an online panel, listening to women with life experiences and knowledge to help in your own journey.
- No online panel available? Create your own!
- Host an event to honor female employees in your business.
- If you’re in executive leadership, you have an opportunity to submit an influencer statement on the importance of supporting the advancement of women in the workplace.
There are hundreds of quotes about International Women’s Day, but let’s leave you with this one from Rupi Kaur, Canadian poet, illustrator, photographer and author:
“What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.”