Celebrating the successes of women is exciting! In support of International Women’s Day 2019 (IWD 2019) and the amazing things women from across the world have accomplished, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about this year’s event to help you get involved.
What is it?
International Women’s Day, celebrated on the 8th of March each year, is a global event celebrating the social, political, economic and cultural achievements of women today and throughout history. The first International Women’s Day occurred in 1911 and has since become an important platform for championing the successes of women and calling to action the acceleration of gender equality. International Women’s Day is about ‘unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.’
Why is it celebrated?
Unfortunately, although it’s been over one hundred years since the first International Women’s Day, there’s still a lot of work to be done to achieve full gender parity. Despite the many signs of progress thanks to the fight for women’s equality, the gender pay gap means women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts and women are still not represented equally in business and politics. International Women’s Day brings to light many of these disparities and encourages both men and women to work together for a more balanced future where both genders are provided with equal, discrimination-free opportunities.
The theme of this year’s campaign focuses on the political, cultural and economic benefits of building a gender-balanced world, encouraging us all to get involved to help create a #BalanceforBetter.
What can you do to get involved?
There are many ways you can get involved with International Women’s Day 2019, from the personal to the professional, so we’ve brought together a selection of easy and practical things that you can do to show your support.
Join the #BalanceforBetter campaign
Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to get involved and show your support of #IWD2019 is to take part in the #BalanceforBetter campaign. Gender imbalance is not just a woman’s issue, but it is also a business issue and this year’s campaign is encouraging everyone to accelerate the race towards gender-balanced boardrooms, governments, wealth and sports coverage, just to name a few. To help champion this year’s campaign, strike the #BalanceforBetter pose with your “hands out” (as if they were scales) and post your picture to social media with the hashtag #IWD2019 and #BalanceforBetter to help amplify the message with your friends, encouraging them to follow suit.
Wear purple or green
The colours of International Women’s Day are green and purple. Internationally, purple is the colour for symbolising women and historically the combination of green and purple have been used to symbolise women’s fight for equality. Purple also stands for justice and dignity whilst green stands for hope. Wear either or both colours on IWD 2019 to show your solidarity with the cause.
Find an event near you
International Women’s Day is a national and global event, with many communities, workplaces and charities getting involved from across the globe. The International Women’s Day website is a fantastic resource for discovering events taking place in your area that you can get involved with. This might mean taking part in a march, attending a women’s networking event, attending a day of talks and much more. Click here to search for an event in your area.
Host your own event at work, school or in your community
Perhaps you would prefer to organise your own IWD 2019 event within your community. The IWD website has a whole section on organising your own event and provides you with resources to help support it. There are many ways you can get colleagues, school friends or community members involved – you could run a networking event, launch a marketing campaign, host a day of talks from female local business leaders or create team-building exercises based on gender diversity. The choices are endless. Click here to visit the IWD website to see how else you can get involved.
Encourage conversations about gender diversity
Simply talking about gender equality more often is super important and easily done. If you’re passionate about gender issues or perhaps you want to know more, start conversations with your friends, your colleagues and even your family. The more noise made about gender diversity the more people will come to understand its importance. The more conversations started the more we can all work together to create a balanced world.
Volunteer for or donate to a women’s charity
Whether you regularly donate to charities or this is your first time, IWD is a great way to start supporting local and national charities. There are many organisations that do incredible work to help support women, from women’s refuge charities helping to protect victims of domestic violence to women’s homelessness charities. To find a local charity or service that you would like to support this IWD, you can use the Women’s Aid Directory.