"Well behaved women rarely make history."
Work strikes, speaking out + up, and frankly, revolutionary behaviour, sparked the beginning of International Womens Day. The earliest day of observance for women, was called National Woman's Day + it was held on February 28, 1909 in New York, + organised by the Socialist Party of America.
Women gained suffrage in Russia in 1917 + a day was called out to commemorate this. It wasn’t until 1975 that the UN recognised the day + incorporated it into the yearly schedule. International Women’s day is now recognised each year on the 8th of March.
It's a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements, while calling for gender equality.
In 2018, Nadia Murad delivered a powerful Nobel Peace Prize speech (awarded alongside Denis Mukwege, for "their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict"), Iceland made the gender pay gap illegal, Ireland legalised abortion, Saudi women gained the right to drive + the #timesup movement rose up in Hollywood, changing the conversation around ‘boys will be boys’ forever.
Big, significant events are essential for equality in this life. However small steps + working to make a difference every day, can also be impactful. After all, nothing changes if nothing changes.
We’re calling out 5 simple, but impactful, ways to get involved this March 8th :
1. Get Educated + Get Inspired
This year’s theme is #balanceforbetter – Better the balance, better the world. We recommend checking out the International Women’s Day website, It’s a great place to start your research and get inspired.
As Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained “ The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective effort of all who care about human rights.”
2. Take part in an event
There is no better time to get along to an event and connect with like-minded people. There are events running throughout the country, and to get you started I have listed a few events taking place in–
- Melbourne: League Of Extraordinary Women, IWD Rally/March, Business Chicks Lunch + Her Words,
- Sydney: Nimble IWD Yoga , Compassion Australia + IWD Rally/March
- Brisbane: Business Chicks Lunch, IWD Rally/March + One woman Project
- Perth: Oxfam + EWB
For everywhere, else get googling or check out the event pages below.
3. Empower Women with a Gift
Challenged with available time to get to an event or catch up with friends this IWD? Why not give a gift that empowers women. Make a donation to support a women’s charity such as Share The Dignity, Un Women & The Full Stop Foundation. You can make a one-off donation or become a regular giver and commit to supporting ongoing change.
4. Celebrate with the women in your life
Arrange a catch up or call with the women in your life, whether it’s your mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, girlfriend or friend - and celebrate what they mean to you. Take them out for brunch, write them a letter or give a small gift. It doesn’t matter your gender; we can all show gratitude and love for the women around us.
5. Elevate womens voices
Take a look around your community and ask yourself what is it like for a woman here? How can I make a difference in my workplace, school or sporting team etc. Can I make it fairer, safer or more supportive? Are there businesses in my community that support and elevate women that I can get behind?
20 MOMENTS OF INSPIRATION IN 2018
- January 2018: founded in Hollywood the Time’s Up movement
- January 2018: Oprah delivered a powerful Golden Globes speech, sparking rumours of a US presidential candidacy.
- January 2018: 156 women confront and testify against serial child molester Larry Nassar. He’s been jailed for 60 years.
- January 2018: The second annual Women’s March in the US took place. Women in their thousands marched in hundreds of US cities for the second time (the first took place the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017). The marching has spread internationally, with women in Australia joining the call for equality + an end to violence against women with marches held across the country.
- February 2018: Iceland brings gender pay equality into law.
- February 2018: Salvadoran women -Teodora del Carmen Vásquez was freed after being Imprisoned for a Decade under the country’s abortion ban.
- March 2018: Rachel Morrison was nominated for best Cinematography for 'Mudbound'. She is the first female to be nominated for an Oscar in the category.
- March 2018: Frances McDormand called for inclusion riders in her Oscars speech. The clause can be inserted into an actors contract requiring cast + crew on a film to meet a certain level of diversity.
- March 2018: Tracey Spicer launched NOW, to tackle sexual harassment, abuse and assault in workplaces across Australia.
- March 2018: Survivor of Parkland shooting - Emma Gonzálex became the face of the #NeverAgain movement. Gonzalez survived the Parkland shooting, and in its aftermath has quickly become one of the most visible leaders of the push for gun control in America.
- April 2018: More women than men appointed to boards of Australian ASX 200 companies, in the first three months of 2018 than the prior year. It marks the first time in Australian corporate history that female appointments to ASX 200 boards have exceeded male appointments. We’re not sure if this is a fluke of the numbers or a tide. Either way, it’s progress.
- May 2018: Ireland legalises abortion. It wasn’t just women who voted for this – of course – it was an overwhelming tide of public opinion that rallied + spoke up for womens reproductive rights.
- June 2018: London Breed is elected mayor of San Francisco, a first for an African-American woman. In other news, Melbourne’s Sally Capp becomes first female Melbourne Lord Mayor in three decades.
- June 2018: Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving.
- August 2018: Serena Williams’ proved she is unstoppable. After giving birth Serena Williams returned to tennis wearing a black Nike catsuit (to prevent blood clots). Tennis officials claimed it didn’t meet the dress standards and subsequently banned it. Her response? She showed up twirling in a Louis Vuitton lilac tutu to the US open.
- September 2018: Female surfers get equal pay. The World Surf League announced equal prize money for women and men.
- September 2018: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern made history when her and baby Neve attended the UN assembly in New York
- October 2018: ‘Boys will be boys’ attitude called out as the ridiculous (and antiquated) notion that it is. The launch of a new Australian Federal government initiative, aims to increase awareness + education on the prevention of violence against women and children – the ads focus on dispelling the “boys will be boys” myth that still permeates society.
- November 2018: Lyn White, leading Animals Australia, continues to inspire us with her tireless work for the liberation of animals. Live Exports are still happening, yet with the work done by Animals Australia + the groundswell from the Australian public, we truly hope this barbaric trade will cease for ever ....soon.
- December 2018: Nadia Murad awarded the Nobel peace prize. The 25-year-old Yazidi woman abducted by ISIS in 2014, shares the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize with Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege for their "their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict".