International Women's Day, celebrated on 8th March, is a day for celebration of the amazing achievements of women, but also to bring the spotlight onto the fact that many women and girls are still suffering from gender-related injustices around the world – and that despite progress and many years of campaigning, inequality is still a big problem in our society.
By Sascha Camilli: writer, speaker, activist and vegan fashion expert.
It's a day for remembering those who fought for the rights of women to be considered equal, and how we can continue their legacy to stand up against inequality today. Here are a few ways that you can get involved and get active.
Learn about women's rights. Any action begins with information and education. Get some facts on why we celebrate this day and the history behind it. Women's rights and liberation is a multifaceted, intersectional issue that goes back for generations. This timeline on the International Women's Day website is a great place to get started to learn more about the day and its history. Reading books about women's rights and the history of the movement is always a good idea – but particularly on 8th March. And if you're planning a movie night, make it IWD-themed and go for a historical, feminist-themed film (suggestions include Suffragette and Misbehaviour).
Get involved in a local event. Now that restrictions are easing up in many places around the world, it might be possible to get involved in an actual, IRL get-together (we know! The shock). Whether it's a protest action or more of a get-together, getting involved with hands-on activism can be an effective and rewarding means of giving your time to a cause. Joining a march can be a great way to connect with like-minded people while adding your voice to the cause. Volunteering for an organisation that helps women on this day can be a fantastic way to give back.
Support a female-owned business. Female founders of small businesses are doing amazing things all over the world and in many different industries – among other things, they are transforming the world of fashion. From working with innovative materials for a new era of sustainable vegan fashion to setting trends when it comes to ethical style, female founders are on the forefront of lasting change in the industry. Supporting them can help pave the way for more women rising to the top of their fields, which will contribute to equality.
Spread the word online. Can't make it to an in-person event or shop from a female-owned business? We live in an age where activism often lives online – spreading the message about a campaign or a cause is now commonly done from the comfort of your sofa, while reaching thousands or even millions. Speak out about why you choose to celebrate International Women's Day and why this day is so much-needed. Talk about the injustices faced by women and girls. With the power of immediate sharing, a message can spread quickly on social media, inspiring many more people to take action.
Donate to an organisation that protects women. One of the most effective ways to fight inequality is to support the organisations that work to end it. Domestic violence, abortion rights, refugee women, and girls accessing school are some of the most pressing issues affecting women today, and organisations around the globe are working to end the devastating effects of injustice and inequality around those areas. Even if your donation is small, it will still make a difference.
Getting active can take many different forms. It can mean being out in the streets or volunteering. It can mean speaking out on social media or making a donation. It can also mean simply getting educated and getting more information. However you choose to get active, trust that you are part of the change.
By Sascha Camilli
Sascha Camilli is a vegan fashion writer, speaker and activist. Her book Vegan Style is out now on Murdoch Books. For more about Sascha, you can read our interview with her. You can also follow her on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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