International Women's Day, on March 8, is about celebrating how far we have come with gender equality, recognizing the amazing achievements of women, and forging a path of equality ahead. Women have come so far in this world compared to yesteryear. Still, there is no country on earth where there is full gender equality.
This year's theme is #ChooseToChallenge. In 2020 it came to the attention of so many people around the world how much inequality still exists. In 2021, your challenge is to stand up and call out gender bias and inequality. According to the International Women's Day website: "A challenged world is an alert world."
Want to know how to get involved? Here are five ideas from the International Women's Day organizers:
1. Join #ChooseToChallenge
Take a selfie and raise your hand showing solidarity in the #ChooseToChallenge theme. Share on social media that you are ready to call out any gender bias or inequality you see. When we know better, we do better. Sharing this message helps spread it around the community and brings it to others' attention.
|Zulema Gomez is the publisher of Macaroni Kid San Marcos-Vista, Calif.|
2. Find an event near you
There are plenty of events being celebrated globally for International Women's Day. Many of them are virtual. Here are five options to choose from, including from the Erie County Public Library:
- Erie County Public Library together with The Public Libraries of Erie County announces participation in the Women’s History Month Reading Challenge 2021. By participating in the March Beanstack challenge and earning activity badges, readers will join others in honoring and encouraging the study and celebration of women’s dynamic role in American history. Sign up here: https://erielibrary.beanstack.org.
- SheJumps: Get The Girls Out!: Inspire girls and women everywhere to get outside through fun challenges. Participants can earn points and prizes through a mobile app and join participants from around the world. March 5
- The Intersection of COVID-19: Moving in a New Direction: Explore the impact of the pandemic on women and how we can move forward. March 5
- It's Time To Listen to Girls!: World Association Of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts presents a panel discussing challenges that impact girls and young women including low self-esteem, climate change, violence, and the impact of COVID-19. March 7
- Together We Ride Virtual Bicycle Event: Ride for any mileage between March 6 and March 8. This is a free event for everyone and anyone. Share your adventure on the Facebook Public Group called "International Women’s Day: Together We Ride." March 8
- The Live Coders International Women's Day Challenge Event: Listen and learn about problems women face in the tech industry. March 8
3. Donate to a women-focused charity
Fundraise for female-focused charities like those listed here. These groups have accepted the challenge to stand up against bias and gender inequality.
4. Read books with your children
There are so many excellent children's books about women out there to read with your children. Read to your sons about impactful women, not just to your daughters. Here are some great book suggestions:
- "Think Big, Little One": This is the baby and toddler board book version of Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World which introduces your little child to trailblazing women.
- Ordinary People Change the World Series: These beloved books by Brad Meltzer highlight people important in our history. Search for female heroes and you'll find books dedicated to great figures such as Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Harriet Tubman, Sacagawea, and Helen Keller. (Ages 5-8)
- "Who Was?" series: This series includes books dedicated to female figures like Nellie Bly, Kamala Harris, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Lucille Ball, Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai, and more. (Ages 8-12)
- There are a lot of great young adult books with strong female characters. We love this list from Penguin Teen. (Ages 13 and up)
5. Celebrate an important woman in your life
Pick a special woman in your, or your child's, life to celebrate, such as a teacher, grandparent, or neighbor. Do something special for her such as sending a card or a video message, buying her flowers, or anything that you think would make her feel special. Make sure you tell her why she was selected!
Macaroni Kid was founded by a woman and fully supports women's rights and gender equality. We stand together to call out gender bias and inequality. We invite you to join us and take the pledge.
Helen Partlow is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Greater Port Jefferson in New York.