Friday 8 March marks a very important date in our calendars – we’re talking about International Women’s Day. Every year since the early 1900s, women around the world have been celebrating the acts, determination and achievements of courageous women who have played an extraordinary role in history by advocating for a more gender-balanced world.
By celebrating IWD we’re not only honouring the brave women who came before us, but challenging social norms, breaking down barriers and using it to help bring attention to the (shrinking but still present) disparities and inequalities that women still face daily. So whether it’s joining a march with the girl squad or simply raising a glass to global sisterhood with a bottle of red on a girls night in, now is the time to participate. How? By following these inspirational yet simple ways to feel empowered this IWD. Here’s to another inspiring year!
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BalanceForBetter which, while addressing many gender inequality issues, focuses on balance in business and the need for a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, gender-balanced sports and many more. From concerts and conferences to festivals and fun runs, there are hundreds of ways to participate. Take a pledge to help women achieve their ambitions and call out gender inequality on the IWD website, or check out all the events happening near you on the IWD website and see how you can participate here.
We figured that one way to help create more financial equality is by supporting the women climbing the business ladder and becoming successful entrepreneurs. Whether it’s downloading CEO Michelle Kennedy’s Peanut app, which makes it easier for like-minded mums to meet up and make new friends, or stocking up on make-up from beauty queens like Kat Von D, HUDA Beauty and Charlotte Tilbury, we’re making it our mission to support womankind.
You know what they say, knowledge is power, and one way to support the women around you is to understand the issues we as a gender face today. And no, we’re not talking about the usual education system, we’re talking about self education and awareness. There are a tons of amazing female-focused movies and documentaries out there that touch on taboo subjects. For example, the Oscar-winning documentary, ’Period. End of Sentence’, touches on the stigma of menstruation that women in India face, and can be found on Netflix. Or if you’re looking for something a little poignant but with a light heart, ‘Tig’, is an award-winning documentary from comedian Tig Notaro, about sexuality, illness, social bias, and how they can all collide at the same time.
Nothing is more empowering than trying and mastering something new. Whether it’s learning a new recipe, trying a new sport like rock climbing or taking up a self defence course, it’s time to stop procrastinating that oh-so-scary-but-important thing and just go for it. Nike’s latest ‘Just Do It’ campaign, which is fronted by tennis legend Serena Williams, puts the spotlight on women who are often labelled as ‘unhinged’ in the sports world and encourages female athletes to do what others would have deemed as impossible. True empowerment comes from gaining a new skill and proving to yourself that you are capable of anything – remember the more daunting it is the bigger the reward will be.
Finally, self empowerment means respecting and caring for yourself. Take time out to find out what you want, learn what you don’t like and don’t be afraid to voice it. Whether you want to celebrate IWD with friends or would rather stay at home basking in your own awesomeness watching Netflix with a hot tea, it’s important to set time to recharge. Surround yourself with a squad of supportive women and work on distancing yourself from those who put you and your ideas down. Remember that empowered women empower one another so compete with yourself, not with other girls