March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women around the world. This year, there are many ways to get involved and support women’s rights. Whether you want to learn more about the history of IWD or take action to promote gender equality, there are plenty of things you can do to make a difference. No matter how you choose to celebrate, take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come and what still needs to be done to achieve equality of the sexes. Check out this list for some ideas on how to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022!
Brief History of the Event
International Women’s Day has been observed and celebrated for over a century. The idea of celebrating women’s achievements originated in New York in 1908 during the labor movement protests for shorter working hours.
After discussions in 1910 during an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, 100 women from 17 different countries settled on a day dedicated to commemorating women’s achievements–International Women’s Day.
In 1911 in countries such as Denmark, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, women celebrated the first International Women’s Day (IWD). And in 1975, the United Nations officially joined in the celebrations and have since spearheaded annual themes around these celebrations.
Why is it Important to Celebrate Women Every Year?
From time immemorial, women have been subjected to all kinds of discrimination and violence both in private and public spheres. This has led to their continuous subordination and marginalization. International Women's Day is celebrated annually to remind the world of the importance of gender equality and to call for action on accelerating it.
Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day
Join other people around the world in celebrating International Women’s Day this year. You can use any of our suggestions on this list to commemorate this special day.
Celebrating Women in Your Life
Celebrating women doesn’t have to be limited to a corporate affair; individuals can also acknowledge women’s contributions in their own lives. You can never go wrong with taking a woman out for lunch or dinner to celebrate their wins. Alternatively, you can gift them something practical such as an ergonomic desk to contribute to their productivity as they continue breaking the glass ceiling.
Recognizing Phenomenal Women Who Have Made Contributions in Various Fields
International Women’s Day is the perfect time to acknowledge women doing remarkable things in their respective fields. Whether in the political scene, global conservation efforts, science, activism, art, education, health, etc., publicly recognize these women’s contributions. If you have an office set up, you can ask each employee to give a brief ‘toast’ to a woman they find remarkable and tell their story to the office.
Raising Awareness on Women’s Issues
Today, with social media platforms, you don’t necessarily need to go to the streets to raise awareness on issues. Harness the power of social media by starting an online challenge highlighting an issue pertinent to women’s wholesome well-being. Issues like equal pay and fighting for sexual harassment have received traction due to widespread discussions on social media. Contribute towards a better world for women by highlighting an issue or two this IWD.
Participate in this Year’s IWD2022 Theme on Social Media
There’s a particular theme for the International Women’s Day celebrations every year. This year’s theme is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” You can join the IWD campaign by posting and sharing content on social media related to this year’s theme to boost awareness.
Donate to Women’s Charities and Organizations
This is a great time to participate in women’s causes. There are many local and global women’s charities and organizations that help empower women and girls which you can get involved with.
These non-profit organizations direct their efforts towards different emergent issues such as shelters for victims of gender-based violence, education scholarships or rehabilitation centers, etc. And with so many of them, you’re bound to get a cause that speaks to your heart.
You could provide financial assistance, volunteer your skills or provide resources to these organizations. For example, you could buy books, office supplies, or get a food (or groceries) subscription to help facilitate the daily activities of charities.
Support Women-owned Businesses
What better way to acknowledge the economic significance of women than supporting women-owned businesses! You probably know such local businesses, and there are also many of them online. A lot market themselves as women-owned businesses, so it’s easy to spot such enterprises. Once you’ve found one with good products, don’t forget to share this information with your friends and colleagues.
Support Female Creative Works
Another way of celebrating International Women’s Day is by supporting women's creative works. Over the years, art has played a significant role in depicting issues in society. At the same time, different forms of art show possibilities of what could be if we all came together to accelerate gender equality.
The best part about this way of celebrating IWD is that it doesn’t call for so much effort. You could simply just watch a movie with a female lead from the comfort of your house. Movies such as Hidden Figures, Little Women, or Wonder Woman fit the occasion.
If you feel like being outdoors, you could go to a gallery showcasing female artists’ art pieces and maybe buy some while at it–There’s bound to be variety, especially this month. Alternatively, listen to an all-female playlist as you go about your activities.
Engage Men at the Workplace in the Events Planned to Mark the Day
To accomplish gender equality in society, it’s important to involve men in these discussions. As you plan your IWD commemoration, involve men in the organization. It makes them feel like they are part of the cause and exposes them to issues they would otherwise lack insight into because they don’t have similar experiences.
Working together with men will give you faster results.
Have a Virtual Meeting to Honor Females in the Workplace
If you have remote workers or run a global organization, you could organize a virtual meeting in honor of all the women at your workplace. Having conversations about women making outstanding achievements is an excellent way to inspire other people.
Organize Mentoring Sessions for Women/Networking Events
Having someone to hold your hand as you navigate through life gives you better chances of succeeding. This IWD, you could organize a mentoring session for women at your workplace. You could have your female employees attend a networking event where they could gain insight through interacting with other women excelling in their respective fields.
A Simple ‘Thank you’ Goes a Long Way
Sometimes a simple gesture saying ‘thank you’ makes a huge impact. Write a simple, well-crafted email and send it to your female colleagues this IWD to let them know you appreciate everything they do. Alternatively, you could send them a care package that is bound to leave them feeling special and appreciated.
Include some self-care items like scented candles, a decent bottle of wine, an assortment of fruits, a spa voucher, a female-authored self-help book, or an all-expenses-paid weekend away if the budget allows it. Make it extra special by ensuring that the items are sourced or support a woman-owned business.
Play Dress up and Have Women Dress up as Their Female Icons
Looking to do something a bit more adventurous this International Women’s Day? We have a fun idea for you. How about having any willing participants (female or not) come to work dressed up as their female icons? It would be a lot of fun, and you’d learn a lot about different inspiring female figures as well understand your workforce better based on their sources of inspiration.
Acknowledge Women Who are Often Overlooked
It’s easy to acknowledge the contributions of women in certain fields such as science, politics, or white-collar jobs. However, we often forget the people hired to overlook everyday maintenance jobs that allow people in formal, creative, or research work to focus better.
International Women’s Day should be a reminder to acknowledge the women who facilitate everybody else’s comfort. Recognize the women who provide household help, janitors, cleaners, security guards, etc.
The women who provide such services will never get Nobel Peace Prizes, but without their contribution, the achievement of such high accolades would also be out of reach for those that earn them.
Read up on the History of IWD and Famous Women–Then Reflect on Your Role
While many people know about the International Women’s Day, a large section doesn’t know about the history of this day. Take time to read up on the genesis and history of IWD. History is a rich resource–learning about famous women throughout history, their struggles, and contributions to gender equality provides great insight.
Additionally, while reading up on the history of IWD, take the time to reflect on your role in the cause. Besides acknowledging the achievements of other women, you can find inspiration to also make your contribution.
Teach Children About International Women’s Day
“Teach them early” also applies to achieving gender equality. Gender biases come from misconceptions and stereotypes people learn as they grow up. Nipping such misconceptions in the bud is a great way to create a better world.
This IWD, take the time to teach your children about International Women’s Day. Let them know about the strong women who have sacrificed and fought for women to enjoy equal privileges in society. While inspiring older generations may be difficult, it’s your duty to teach younger minds how to make the world a better place.
International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the progress of women around the world. It’s also an important day to reflect on how far we still have to go. There are many ways to celebrate International Women’s Day, both big and small. No matter what you do, make sure that you take some time to appreciate all the amazing women in your life. We hope these tips help you show your support for gender parity and that you continue to create opportunities for women everywhere. Happy International Women’s Day!