Today is International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day also aims to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about equality, lobby for accelerated gender parity, and fundraise for female-focused charities.
This year’s Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge — a call for people to challenge gender bias and inequality in their communities. We all have the opportunity to create change within and beyond our social circles and shape a more inclusive world.
In-person celebrations might be at a halt due to Covid, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate at all! Here are some ways you can celebrate International Women’s Day virtually.
Get Together With Friends on Zoom
Although there are no big celebrations in person, Zoom gives the perfect opportunity to connect with friends, old and new, regardless of where they live. Engage in a conversation about powerful women, talk about your lives, or do one of the activities below. The opportunities are endless!
Participate In An Edit-a-Thon
In 2011, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identified as women. Data analysis tools have also found that Wikipedia has fewer and less extensive articles about women and found gender biases in biographical articles.
These statistics are similar for people with LGBTQ+ identities and BIPOC. When marginalized groups are not represented in the media, especially on one of the most popular websites, information about people gets misrepresented and their stories remain untold. By participating in an edit-a-thon, you are changing history and retelling the narrative.
Donate to Feminist Organizations and Nonprofits
If you are financially able, donate to feminist organizations and nonprofits that align with your values. Some organizations include Planned Parenthood, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Center for Reproductive Rights, Dress for Success, Equality Now, the Malala Fund, and Girls Who Code.
Reach Out to The Amazing Women in Your Life
Write the women in your life love letters. It’s always a nice gesture to write an actual letter, but a text, email, or call is a great gesture as well. Why do you love these women? Why are you inspired by them? As women, we are often ignored, so tell the women in your life why they are incredible and let them know that you see their achievements.
Fight For Marginalized Women and Advocate Against Bias
There are many ways to fight for marginalized women and advocate against bias. Some of these include donating, volunteering, listening to women, and joining organizations. There are numerous things you can do, so find what works for you and fuels you. Above all, make sure that you are validating all women’s experiences and fighting to create a more inclusive and equal society for ALL women.
Engage With Female Created and Centered Media
Watch movies directed by and featuring women. Make sure that the movies you watch pass the Bechdel Test: this means that the movies must have at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.
Some movies you can watch are Hidden Figures, Little Women, Lady Bird, RBG, I Care A Lot, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and The Virgin Suicides. (Today may be International Women’s Day, but every day is a great day to make sure you are watching movies that pass the Bechdel Test!)
You can also start a feminist book club with your friends, or grab a book in a cozy corner by yourself. Some of the books you can read include The Handmaid's Tale, We Should All Be Feminists, I Am Malala, and Women, Culture and Politics.
This list is not exhaustive and there are so many other things you can do like shopping women-owned or having a self-care day. Of course, not all of these activities are free, so only do what is financially viable for you.
What we must continue to do is uplift women’s voices and fight for equality, not just today, but every day.
*It is also important to note that the goal of International Women’s Day is to fight for equality and dismantle the patriarchy. This being said, other genders other than male and female exist and the focus on women in this article is for the purpose of the holiday.