March 7, 2016

7 Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day

by Amanda Fernandes, Project Happiness Regional Director, Caribbean

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March each year by women all across the globe. This day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. International Women’s Day is commemorated in a number of different ways- large global gatherings, conferences, awards, exhibitions, festivals, fun runs, corporate events, concerts and performances, key speaker events, online digital gatherings and more. Events are held by many types of groups including women’s networks, corporations, charities, educational institutions, government bodies, political parties and the media.

How can you as an individual commemorate this special day this year? Here are 7 ways that you can celebrate women this year.

1. You can take the #PledgeForParity

International Women's Day - #PledgeforParity

Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly. This can be done by helping women and girls achieve their ambitions, calling for gender-balanced leadership, respecting and valuing difference, developing more inclusive and flexible cultures or by rooting out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to taking pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. You can also use the hashtag #PledgeForParity on social media not just on March 8th, but throughout the year to show your support.

2. Speak out against injustice and violence International Women's Day - Speak out against injustice and violence

Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. Let your voice be heard, say “No More” to the abuse of women. We are all created equal so let’s start acting like it. #equalrights

3. Honour a woman who has inspired you

International Women's Day - Honour a woman who has inspired you

We can probably all think of at least one female role model in our lives, whether it be a family member, coworker, friend or teacher. They have inspired us somehow or another and it is fitting to honour these women. You can do this by writing them a letter to let them know this, taking them out for a meal, recognising them on social media or simply picking up the phone and letting them know how much they mean to you and how much they have inspired you. #girlpower

4. Mentor girls

International Women's Day - Mentor Girls

As Whitney Houston’s hit song, “The Greatest Love of All” says, “The children are the future” so let’s nurture them and guide them in the right direction to ensure they can have a brighter tomorrow. Too many young girls struggle with self-esteem issues and we need to “show them all the beauty they possess” both inside and out, in order for them to grow into beautiful, confident and successful leaders.

5. Start a Sister Circle

International Women's Day - Start a Sister Circle

A Sister Circle is a group of women who form a support group to promote the empowerment for women. Join with your “sisters” at work, your friends and family or any group of females that you trust. Get creative, if meeting in person doesn’t work for you, make the best of technology; check in with one another at least once per week, share inspirational quotes and stories, bond with one another, and most importantly empower each other. Create a Sister Circle that works for you.

6. Wear Purple

International Women's Day - Wear Purple

Purple is the official colour of International Women’s Day. The pigment of choice dates back to the suffrage days of the early 1900s, when purple was closely associated with the women’s suffrage movement. The colour is meant to symbolise both dignity and justice.

7. Reflect

International Women's Day - Reflect

Set aside some “Me Time” where you can reflect where you are presently and where you would like to be in the future. Record your goals for the upcoming weeks, months, or even years. Reflect on all aspects of your life – personal, social, career, physical – and where you’d like to be in all of these areas. Don’t forget about the past and all that you have accomplished; commend yourself on a job well done.

Let’s not just honour women on this day, but rather everyday. Take a stance and #PledgeForParity.