There is a very famous Sanskrit saying which says ‘यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः । ‘which means, ‘The Gods reside where women are worshipped (respected).’ Be it the ancient Indian culture or the feminist movement that is ongoing till today, women, among other groups of the population, have had to fight for their rights since times immemorial. Even today, statistics show that the world is far away from gender equality. However, this has to be changed. If each one of us tries to create a more equal world in our capacity, the day won’t be far where people across genders, races, cultures and countries can enjoy equal opportunities and can fulfil their dreams. Here is where celebrations like International Women’s Day come into the picture. To celebrate the womanhood and the essence of woman, we must celebrate International Women’s Day.
Why Do We Celebrate International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is a celebration of womanhood and celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of women (womxn) across nations and timelines. Celebrated worldwide on March 8, it is also known as the United Nations Day for Women Rights and International Peace. Every culture has a unique way of celebrating this day and even at the individual level, many organizations, institutions and individuals celebrate this day in different ways.
This year UN Women has announced the theme for International Women’s Day as “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women,
Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
Well, when seeing the celebrations of this day at such large levels, we may wonder what can we do at the individual level to make this day count truly. Here are ten incredible ways in which you can celebrate this day.
Incredible Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day
1. Start a Conversation
The most important contribution that we can make to bring any change in society is through conversation. Unless we begin to talk about the things that matter, it will not be possible to bring a shift in mindset. Women’s rights have been at the focal point of international development for quite some time now, and therefore, it is important that we initiate a conversation with those around us to highlight individual ways to support and encourage development for all through gender equality.
2. Practice Inclusion
Fighting for women’s (womxn) rights or propagating feminism has often been associated with man-hating. However, feminism by definition is: “Feminism is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” It is essential that we bring people across backgrounds, gender identities, and sexualities into this conversation because gender equality is their issue too. Every single person gets affected in some way by gender inequality. To bring a uniting world, we need solidarity, and therefore, opening up the conversation beyond just women is essential.
3. Advocate for Gender Equality in the Work Place
In today’s world, women (womxn) are working on par with men in all possible domains. However, we still see practices like unequal wages, harassment, etc., being targeted at women in their work environments. Therefore, advocating for women’s rights in the workplace is extremely important.
4. Start a Knowledge Resource
Whether it is a book club committed to educating people about gender equality or a committee of volunteers to advocate for it, a knowledge resource helps the participants to break down their flawed beliefs and shift their mindset to a more conducive one for the cause.
5. Organize Events/Symposiums/Panel Discussions
Inviting experts working in the area of gender equality and inclusion or talking to women (womxn) who have done massive work in their area of work are great ways to expose the audience to the accomplishments of women and the movement of gender equality. Organize events in your capacity, where the idea of gender equality and inclusion is the highlight of the discussion.
6. Educate the Next Generation
While we try to bring a shift in the minds of people who have already been conditioned in certain ways, it becomes vital to enforce new conditioning patterns for the next generation. Even today, most children grow with certain gender stereotypes in mind. However, it is high time we raise our children the way they were born, equal. We want to empower both men and women to feel free to be sensitive; both men and women feel free to be strong. Having workshops, camps, and other activities for children across genders along with conducive parenting is essential to build in their conscience a belief that they are all equal.
Be it short films, blogs, artwork, or anything else; creativity has the power to bring about a massive change in society. Highlighting womxn leadership, inclusion and solidarity can educate people while at the same time raise active support for the gender-equal movement. Use the power of social media and spread the message far and wide through your creativity.
While we have womxn in all fields today, there is still a lot of womxn who are statistically more vulnerable to an array of issues. Donating to this cause through NGOs, individuals, or fundraisers can be our small contribution to helping these marginalized womxn come at par with the others.
9. Acknowledge the Womxn Around You
While we spread the message globally, let us not forget to celebrate the womxn around us. Plan a celebration with them, or spend the day celebrating their achievements, and their International Women’s Day will be memorable for life.
10. Do This Everyday
All these efforts are futile if they are only a one-day affair. It is again crucial for us to realize that gender equality is not a cause to talk/discuss only on a specific day. Rather, our collective efforts day by day will bring a change in society, creating an equal and uniting world. Be sure to practice these steps every single day if you truly want to be an instrument for change.
Those were ten ways to celebrate this momentous day. It is the responsibility of each of us to create an equal world around us, thereby creating an equal world internationally. And if you doubt whether your actions will have any impact at all, remember what Emma Watson said in her speech for UN Women,
If not me, who? If not, now, when?
Let’s celebrate womanhood at its best within our limit to celebrate International Women’s Day.