5 Ways to Make Every Day International Women’s Day
Updated: Mar 8, 2018
Happy International Women's Day! :)
The battle for gender equality has never been stronger. In just the last few months we’ve seen global movements forming all over the world to spread the message. From the powerful #MeToo movement showing the pervasive nature of sexual assault and harassment to the #TimesUp campaign calling for an end to the painfully misogynistic work and life environments that far too many of us endure, our voices have been heard louder than ever. The best part about these viral pushes for change is that women and men are working together to put an end to gender inequality, which in itself is a beautiful step toward equality.
Though the international holiday status deserves special recognition, we should take the lessons and initiatives of International Women’s Day and make them a part of everyday life; gender equality should be encouraged and celebrated every single day. This year, the theme behind IWD’s is #PressForProgress. The only way to truly make progress is by making a continuous effort. Because of this, we’re sharing five steps that anyone can easily use to contribute to the gender equality movement any day of the year.
The journey to gender equality starts with self-love and self-esteem, regardless of a person’s sex. Unfortunately, because of gender inequality, a confidence gap has formed across the world.
There’s no evidence anywhere that states women are less capable than men or vice versa. However, misguided views of gender roles have created a negative inner voice for both women and men. “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not pretty enough”, “I’m not strong enough.” This list can go on and on, but let’s stop it here and focus on practicing self-love.
Positive affirmations are a wonderful way to shift negative thinking patterns and build self-esteem. Begin thinking positively about yourself and reflect this positivity to the people around you. Here are a few affirmations to try yourself or share with a friend.
My life is a gift. I will use this gift with confidence, joy and exuberance.
I believe in my skills and abilities.
I release my negative thoughts, embracing positivity and optimism.
Empower the People
It’s important that on this journey to equal rights we keep an open mind and avoid segregation. This can be difficult as it is easy for communication to be confused when the main part of gender equality messaging is focused on women. Like any major cultural movement, the story of the issue and the struggle must be shared to provoke change.
We need to empower all people regardless of gender, regardless of appearance, regardless of sexual orientation, regardless of race. Every living person deserves equal respect and human rights. During this battle for equal rights, we must remember that the end goal is gender unity.
The most beautiful thing about the internet is that it gives everyone a voice. Use social media to join the movement - not just one day a year. Any time you have a story or an experience to share that can have a positive push for gender equality, do so!
Take a minute to engage. Even if you can’t directly relate to the experience someone is sharing. Take a minute to learn about the experiences of others.
From an early age, many of us were taught girls like pink and boys like blue. Girls like Barbies and boys like race cars. Women cook and men take out the garbage. Women raise children and men go to work.
These ideas create an unrealistic foundation for children growing up. They create boundaries and make those that don’t “fit the mold” feel misplaced. We need to start teaching children about equal gender rights at early stages of life - in school and at home. You are who you are, regardless of how well you feel you fit into what society thinks your gender should be like. You are you, and you are someone amazing.
Last but very much so not least, if you have experienced sexual assault or harassment (or any type of gender discrimination), remember you’re not alone. There are many people that have experienced the same and are here to support you. These people need you as much as you need them.
Sharing your personal experiences will help heal your pain and those of others. Sharing your story can help similar situations from happening to other people, and help make sure our children and children’s children grow up in a fair, safe, and happy gender-neutral environment.