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Every year on March 8th, people across the world celebrate International Women’s Day. Now well over a century into its existence — the first International Women’s Day was way back in 1911 — this day celebrates everything that women from all walks of life and corners of the globe achieve socially, politically, economically, and culturally. It’s also a call to action to achieve full equality for women in all areas of life, ranging from health services to wages.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, you don’t necessarily have to hit the streets and demand change. You can put your money into the cause instead. International Women’s Day recommends donating to workplace advocacy group Catalyst or girls’ life skills organization The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
If you’re the kind of person who wants a keepsake to remind you of your donation, many brands sell women-empowering clothes and donate part of their profits to women’s advocacy groups. For example, for every purchase from Forever 21’s limited edition clothing line — which includes t-shirts, hoodies, and other clothes with phrases meant to inspire and praise women — the company is donating $1 to Girls Inc., a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of, and offers mentoring programs for, young girls.
Or maybe you want to do something a little more social for International Women’s Day. If you’re looking to get out of the house and meet other folks who are passionate about advancing women’s rights, the International Women’s Day website can help with that. Just use its search tool to find celebratory and educational events around the world!
In New York, for example, the contraceptive app Natural Cycle is offering a double-decker bus tour of the city. Although a bus tour may sound irrelevant to International Women’s Day, Natural Cycle’s idea is pretty forward-thinking: company founders Dr. Elina Berglund and Dr. Raoul Scherwitzl will be on the bus, answering questions about their app and making their vision for hormone-free birth control accessible to all women in a low-stakes setting. Elsewhere in the country, a free, one-night women-focused music festival will take place in Los Angeles to honor the creative and artistic accomplishments and contributions of women.
Maybe all these options don’t sound radical enough to you. If that’s the case, you can join the International Women’s Strike happening on International Women’s Day. Strikes are planned in Los Angeles, not to mention internationally in Argentina and Poland, to draw attention to the ways that capitalism wages war on women, children, and the earth itself — and pays women less than men while doing so.
There’s also the chance you’ll be too busy on International Women’s Day to really do anything all that different from your usual routine. That’s OK too — International Women’s Day encourages people to wear purple and green to honor the occasion, even if their participation is passive at best. The former color is symbolic of dignity and justice and the latter of hope, and International Women’s Day upholds these values for all women.
How are you planning to celebrate International Women’s Day? Let us know in the comments!