“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights” — Gloria Steinem
Today is a great day — it’s International Women’s Day (#IWD2015). Celebrated on March 8, since 1909, IWD spans the world for the sole purpose of lifting up the women’s journey toward equality, progress in the journey, and what’s left to tackle.
This year’s theme, #MakeItHappen, focuses on the areas where women still need to make gains: in obtaining senior leadership roles, more recognition in the arts, growth of women-owned businesses, greater financial independence, a greater presence of women in STEM, and a broader awareness of women’s equality.
I am quite proud to be part of a global call for women’s equality, a push for fairness, for what is inherently right. There are hundreds of #IWD2015 events taking place across America today from fundraisers, to seminars, to banquets to film screenings; people are uniting around, because of and for women. Imagine the countless community conservations that are emerging because of International Women’s Day. That’s something to get excited about.
The #IWD2015 branding has been top-notch, netting several significant media placements such as this great TIME article and even a nifty Google doodle. In fact, the celebration started long before today, March 8. The branding has effectively resulted in the painting a mosaic of where we were, where we are and where we want to go, and a huge stir of general awareness about a still very relevant movement. The blanket of issues that quilt the women’s rights narrative should not be discerned as only relevant to only women. As Hillary Clinton said, “…women’s rights are human rights.” This is a conversation that everyone should have a voice in.
What do we do now that we are aware? How can we act to ensure the conversation continues?
Here are 10 ways to @MakeItHappen today, tomorrow and everyday:
1. Shop women-owned businesses
2. Advocate for a woman on your team to get a senior leadership role
3. Mentor an emerging woman leader to help prepare her for a senior leadership role
4. Volunteer for organizations whose missions directly impact the betterment of women
5. Support a woman artist in the creative economy (buy a painting, hire a woman designer, host a listening party, hold a gallery event or a trunk show)
6. Donate to charities that support women
7. Be a doer for women’s rights, not a talker only
8. Stay engaged: read about women’s rights, talk about women’s rights, find a way to add your voice to the conversation and ACT!
9. Stop, look and listen: Be aware of what’s happening in your space, your circle, your community regarding women’s rights. A global contribution should start on your own street.
10. Look for ways to support women, and other underserved groups, in your everyday life.
Let’s all #MakeItHappen!