International Women’s Day (IWD) is fast approaching, but with the COVID-19 outbreak still looming over us, celebration may look a little different. 8 March sees the day when the world commemorates women and fights for gender equality in various aspects. Some would argue that this is something we should do around the year, not just on a single, designated day.
The issue of equality is an important one that has sat in the background for too long. Yes, there is much more work to be done, but one can’t deny that our society has evolved over the decades. Besides, it is nice to take the day to appreciate the women in our lives.
So, how can we celebrate this day? What do people usually do? Different countries generally have their own traditions, from gift-giving to joining women’s rights protests.
China recognises International Women’s Day as an official holiday and grants women half-day at work, though it’s a shame that many businesses and organisations still fail to do so. On the other hand, women in Nepal usually get the full day off work. IWD is also a public holiday in Russia, where it is treated much like Valentine’s Day. In fact, the price of flowers tends to shoot up the day before.
In recent years, many Turkish women have taken to the streets to protest increasing violence and sexual abuse. Argentina celebrates with gifts and flowers, but recent years also saw protests taking place.
Wherever we are, we could find creative ways to celebrate this day and empower the women in our lives. One of the simplest thing is to #ChooseToChallenge, the official theme for International Women’s Day this year. Show that you are committed to challenge inequality and the status quo by posting a photo and joining in the social campaign.
More personally, share the love with the women that you know. Spend some time with your mom, arrange a virtual girl’s night, or set up a virtual coffee date with someone. If you are working, learn about the company policies and advocate for equality.
Another fun idea would be to host a (remote) film screening. There are plenty of incredible movies that represent the world from a lady’s point of view. Some recommendations include Hidden Figures, Suffragette, and Hooligan Sparrow. Set a time and send invite links to your friends or colleagues, and spend the cosy night together!
Finally, you could show your support for women by helping out women-owned business. Whether that means owned, operated or managed by them, it’s always a nice thing to do. Those looking to make a difference should also consider donating to charitable causes that support women.