March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD). IWD was nationally recognized and celebrated in 1901 as a day to highlight the internal and external struggles of working-class women as well as to promote women’s suffrage (voting rights). On this day of international recognition, women of all backgrounds to come together and share one voice and one story. This internationally acknowledged day celebrates the social, political, economic, and educational achievements of women all across the world. IWD also brings awareness to other important topics like gender equality, equal pay (wage gap), and education.
Gender equality is the equal access to the same rights, responsibilities, and opportunities regardless of gender. According to the World Economic Forum, global gender equality is estimated to be achieved by 2133. Gender equality affects many aspects of the lives of women, not just stopping at economic differences. While that is still a long ways to go, IWD highlights many issues faced by women while showing and sharing solidarity with all. These rights and opportunities are just a few of the many gender inequality barriers toward women; healthcare, education, employment, economic gain, protection under law, and the right to vote. Education alone is a powerful tool leading towards many different types of independence for women. Educated women and girls are more likely to educate their offspring if they choose to have any and their community. IWD is a day that highlights the successes and struggles of women, particularly pronounced for women of color.
So, I ask you on March 8th and the days that come after to choose to challenge. That’s this years theme for IWD, asserting that a challenged world is an alert world. As we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, on days before and after March 8th. IWD also recognizes the color purple as a sign of loyalty, dignity, self-respect, and a signifying call to bipartisanship. Because circumstances and situations are undoubtedly different this year, IWD is still a day to celebrate women all around the world, their achievements, and raising awareness and highlighting the need for gender equality and more. If you’re looking and are interested in ways to show your support for IWD this year here are a couple of suggestions to help you in commemorating the day:
- Show your support for women-owned small business
- Raise funds, donate, or volunteer for a women’s charity or local women’s shelter
- Attend a local or virtual IWD event—the official International Women’s Day website has a tool to search IWD events in your area, from “global gatherings, conferences, awards, exhibitions, festivals, fun runs, corporate events, concert performances, speaking events, online digital gatherings, trivia, and more here at: www.internationalwomensday.com/events
International Women’s Day 2021 theme: Choose to Challenge. International Women’s Day. https://www.internationalwomensday.com/.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – March 8. National Day Calendar. (2021, February 24). https://nationaldaycalendar.com/international-womens-day-march-8/.
Burn, S. M. (2016, March 8). International Women’s Day. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/presence-mind/201603/international-womens-day.
Want to talk to someone who can help? If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about this and are in the Chicagoland area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
Written by: Abrea, 2021 Undergraduate Intern