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How to Celebrate International Women’s Day 2021

International Women’s Day is a day of remembrance and action. In honor of it, we’re giving you some ideas for how you can celebrate and support it, not just today but every day.

But first, let’s answer some of your questions:

what is international womens day
New York City suffrage and labor activist Flora Dodge “Fola” La Follette (center), social reformer and missionary Rose Livingston (right) and a 14-year-old garment industry striker in 1913.

About International Women’s Day 2020

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day (March 8)  is a worldwide celebration of women’s achievements, as well as a day of education, empowerment, and action. Its purpose is to promote gender equality across the globe. It has been observed since 1911.

When is International Women’s Day? 

Sunday, March 8, 2020. It occurs every year on March 8.

What is the 2020 International Women’s Day theme?

The 2020 theme is #EachforEqual, a reminder that each one of us, individually, must do our part to promote gender equality around the world. Each of us can make a difference. 

8 Ways to Celebrate and Support International Women’s Day

1. Enter a Competition

iwc photography competitions

The International Women’s Day website lists an exciting selection of competitions anyone can enter, from photography, to cake decorating and design:

  • Bake a cake: You or your company or nonprofit can design a cake that fits this year’s theme: just snap a photo and send it in. Deadline is ongoing.

  • Photography: Take a photo that represents this year’s theme. For 2020, entries will be accepted between March 1 and 31.

  • Rap: Write a rap centered on this year’s theme and upload your performance to YouTube. Top submissions will be featured on social leading up to the big day. Deadline is ongoing.

  • Street art: Show off your themed community murals on instagram! There are 3 categories you can enter with varying deadlines, so you’ll wanna get an early start.

  • Typography: Celebrate with type! There are 3 categories to enter in 2020 with varying deadlines, and 3 winners chosen worldwide per category. 

2. Host an Event or Party

womens day party

This is a great idea whether you want to put something together for your workplace, community, or with your friends!  The best part: The IWD organization already has the decorations covered, If they’re out of stock, no worries: Just stick to the color purple, the official shade of the day.

Here are some IWD party ideas:

  • Host a corporate party to recognize women employees’ achievements. 
  • Host a community or block party to recognize women’s achievements locally, as well as educate everyone on how they can support gender equality in the neighborhood.
  • Get together with friends and volunteer together, watch movies directed by women, or shop women-owned businesses.
  • Have fun, learn, celebrate, and express gratitude for the women that have brought us here. No budget necessary for that one!

Tip: If you plan to host a community-wide event, you should create a free account on the IWD website. That way, you can publish your event, any anyone searching for events in the area will be able to find yours.

3. Attend an Event 

iwd events

Currently, there are over 400 International Women’s Day events planned for 2020 all around the world, with more being added every day. From fun runs to concerts and conferences, there’s something for everyone!

A few U.S. Women’s Day events that look fun to us:

  • Washington, D.C.International Women’s Day Celebration at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. March 8, 2020, from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. Music, hands-on activities, and more. Free admission! More info
  • New York, NYUnited Nations Observance of International Women’s Day 2020. March 6, 2020 from 10:00am to 1:00pm. General Assembly Hall, United Nations Headquarters. Listen to inspirational speeches where some of the world’s most powerful leaders make decisions. Free! More info
  • San Francisco, CAHerFest 2020. March 7, 2020, from 3:00pm to 11:30pm. Ceremony and speeches at 6:00pm. Enjoy live music, shopping, and more. $45 admission. More info

Tip: Traveling to an IWD event? Your travel bookings can help raise funds for women’s nonprofits like Girls Who Code, Tostan, and even your local women’s shelters when you use Giving Assistant. Learn how it works here.

4. Participate in an Edit-a-Thon

iwd edit-a-thons

Did you know? Less than 19% of the biographies on Wikipedia are about women, and an estimated 90% of Wikipedia editors are men. 

But these numbers are improving, largely in part due to Wikipedia “Edit-a-Thons.”

Edit-aThons are events where people get together to write and upload articles about women, or update other articles where information about women may be missing, incorrect, or glossed-over. (These efforts extend to content about transgender and non-binary people as well.) 

Edit-a-Thons in the U.S.

  • High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia. April 4, 2020. 12:00pm to 4:00pm. Learn more
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. March 13, 2002. 10:00am to 3:00pm. Learn more
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. March 14, 2020. 10:00am to 3:00pm. Learn more
  • Anywhere, USA (Remote Opportunity!) March 7, 2020, from 10:30am to 2:30pm PST. Learn more

Other Ways to Get Involved

5. Support Women Publishers & Books

women publishers
Acclaimed 19th century author of Middlemarch, George Eliot, was actually Mary Anne Evans. Image Source: Lucy Quintanilla at Mental Floss.

Did You Know?

The famous 19th century author and essayist George Eliot was actually a woman named Mary Ann Evans. And several of R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps books were ghost-written by his wife, Jane Waldhorn.

If your kind of “celebrating” involves a book and some peace and quiet, then read on.

Try one of these 3 riveting books: 

  • Educated: This best-selling memoir is about a woman who grew up in an ultra-religious household, so secluded she didn’t even have a birth certificate, only to make her way out…all the way to Harvard and Cambridge. Tara Westover’s real-life story proves there’s nothing we can’t do.
educated book
  • An American Marriage: A marriage is challenged when Celestial’s husband Roy is put in prison for a crime she knows he didn’t commit. During his 12-year sentence, things change—a lot. Tayari Jones’ novel is a surprising and compassionate exploration of heartbreak, love, and perseverance.
an american marriage
  • Hunger: Roxanne Gay’s memoir isn’t just another woman’s journey towards self-love and body acceptance: It’s about self-awareness. This book serves to teach readers that sometimes the things we are most ashamed of are the things that can bring us together, empower us, and create meaningful, positive change.
hunger book

Other Ways to Help through Reading

rosie revere engineer
  • Buy a new book from women’s publishers. (There are a lot.) Here’s a list from the University of Wisconsin-Madison that includes LGBT+ publishers.
  • Read books about strong girls to your kids. We love the Questioneers’ series with characters like Rosie Revere the Great Engineer and Ada Twist, Scientist. (Psst: Shop, save, and donate to women’s causes at Scholastic here.)
  • Create an impromptu book club. Share great stories by inviting friends and family to read along with you. You can even start one online: try ReadingGroup on Reddit.

Raise Donations for Women’s Nonprofits through these Book Retailers

Your book purchases at these brands can result in donations to any nonprofit you love (including local women’s shelters) when you use Giving Assistant:

6. Celebrate Women in Film  

Here’s an easy idea that everyone will enjoy: a movie night celebrating women in film! To help you plan your evening, we’ve shortlisted 7 films directed or written (or both!) that you can stream right away.

Note: The services listed below are streaming these films as of February 2020. To find out what services are streaming these films now, you can use JustWatch.com.

lady bird movie
Still from Ladybird. Image Source: New York Times

Lady Bird, 2017.

Written and directed by Greta Gerwig. (Comedy, Drama)

Loosely inspired by Gerwig’s own adolescence, this tender coming-of-age movie follows Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) as she navigates senior year of Catholic high school in 2002 Sacramento and a complicated relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf). 

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Certain Women, 2016.

Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt, based on short stories by Maile Meloy. (Drama)

This portrait of the American Northwest by way of three resolute women features careful, lived-in performances from Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and frequent Reichardt collaborator Michelle Williams. 

Where to Stream: IFC Films Unlimited via Amazon Prime (with free 14-day trial of IFC Films Unlimited), Apple TV.

13th, 2016.

Directed by Ava DuVernay. (Documentary)
After the success of Selma, her biopic about Martin Luther King, Jr., Ava DuVernay made this powerful documentary about mass incarceration in the United States — featuring notable black feminist thinkers and civil rights advocates Angela Davis and Michelle Alexander. 

Where to Stream: Netflix

the babadook movie
Still from The Babadook. Image Source: NPR

The Babadook, 2015.

Written and directed by Jennifer Kent. (Horror)

A story of single motherhood, grief, and the supernatural, this unconventional and frightening indie movie put Jennifer Kent rightfully on the map as a voice to follow. 

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

The Bling Ring, 2013.

Written and directed by Sofia Coppola. (Drama)
Based on Nancy Jo Sales’ Vanity Fair article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins,” this stylish movie takes a morally ambiguous look at a series of high-profile celebrity burglaries carried out by a group of Los Angeles county teenagers. A great turn from Emma Watson! 

Where to Stream: Netflix, Amazon Prime

the obvious child movie
Still from Obvious Child. Image Source: The New Republic

Obvious Child, 2014.

Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre. (Comedy, Drama)
Jenny Slate stars in this delightfully candid romcom about a stand-up comedian who decides to get an abortion after getting pregnant from a one-night stand. Earned two Independent Spirit Award nominations! 

Where to Stream: Netflix, Kanopy

winters bone movie
Still from Winter’s Bone. Image Source: NPR

Winter’s Bone, 2010.

Directed by Debra Granik, written by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini. (Drama, Mystery)
This intense mystery drama about an impoverished family in the Ozarks gave Jennifer Lawrence her breakout role, earning her a Best Actress nomination at the 83rd Oscars. 

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

7. Shop Women-Owned Brands  

According to the advocacy organization Women Owned, as of 2017, over 39% of U.S. businesses are owned by women, and over 90% of women-owned business revenue goes back into families and communities (compared to 40% for men). 

Yet women-owned businesses account for only 4.2% of overall business revenue!

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than by challenging that statistic and shopping women-owned brands.

An important note before you shop: Your purchases at any of these brands will benefit  women-focused and gender-parity causes—including community organizations at work near you—if you use Giving Assistant. Join now before you shop (it’s free) and support equality with all your purchases.

5 women-owned brands you can support: 

1. Glossier

women-owned  brand glossier skincare
Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier. Image Source: Forbes

This makeup and skincare brand is a Giving Assistant favorite, owned by Emily Weiss. Famous for their staple skincare items, Glossier’s a favorite for their awesome, cruelty-free line of sheer makeup designed to let your natural beauty shine. Up to 10% of your total purchase price can go to the nonprofit of your choice through Giving Assistant.

2. ThirdLove

A lingerie brand owned by Heidi Zak, ThirdLove’s grown popular for its fit-like-a-glove bra selection: one of the first to introduce half-cup sizes!

Your purchases can do major good for women here: ThirdLove donates a portion of their proceeds to I Support the Girls, a nonprofit that provides bras and menstrual products for girls and women experiencing homelessness. By shopping ThirdLove with Giving Assistant, 8% of your total purchase price—in addition to the support this company already provides for good causes—can go to I Support the Girls, or another a women or girls-focused nonprofit that matters to you. 

3. Thrive Market

thrive market
Image Source: Business Insider

This yummy online marketplace loves women-owned brands so much, they’ve dedicated a whole page to it right here. Snag snacks you might not be able to grab at your local grocery store, and earn $20 cash back from Giving Assistant that you can share with a nonprofit that supports women! 

4. Kaanas Sandals

kaanas sandals
Family owners of Kaanas shoe company in Colombia. Image Source: Kaanas.com

Family-owned, these super trendy, super-comfy, and super good-for-the-world sandals are handmade in Colombia, supporting the local economy and area communities. Purchase straight from the site, or purchase through retailers like ShopBop, where up to 4% of your Kaanas shoe purchase can benefit a good cause.

5. The Honest Company

This baby, beauty, and home goods brand was founded by actress Jessica Alba in 2011, and is the go-to brand for shoppers committed to buying, safe, natural products they can trust. Working closely with charities like Baby2Baby, The Honest Company has donated over 14 million diapers and spent over 14,200 hours volunteering on behalf of children and families in need.

Shop with Honest today, and up to 10% of your total purchase price can benefit Baby2Baby, or another nonprofit you love—on top of the support your purchase will lend to this woman-owned brand and the children and families they serve.

Want to see more women-owned brands and business? Check out the directory listing at WomenOwnedLogo.com.

8. Donate to Women’s Nonprofits 

A no-brainer, sure, but with over 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S., maybe you’ve had a hard time narrowing down your choices?

Here are 3 women nonprofits to consider: 

1. Tostan:

tostan nonprofit
Molly Melcher, founder of Tostan (Center). Image Source: Tostan via Pultizer Center

Tostan is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Africa and committed to empowering developing communities to learn, share, and lead themselves into new chapters of health and prosperity, from boosting their own education initiatives, to starting and growing businesses. Tostan especially works to ensure equal education opportunities for girls and women, empowering them to lead and change their communities for generations to come. 

Donate for free to Tostan through Giving Assistant.

2. She Should Run:

She Should Run nonprofit
Image Source: Wellesly.edu

Know a woman in your community who should be running for office? She Should Run not only encourages women to run for office, they help make it happen. Additionally, they teach young girls about women’s ongoing barriers to political office and how to overcome them. 

Donate for free to She Should Run through Giving Assistant.

3. National Women’s Law Center:

national womens law center
Image Source: NWLC Tweet, 3/4/2020

The National Women’s Law Center is a nonprofit fighting for all: whether your personal mission is global gender equality, equal rights and advocacy for LGBTQ+ communities here at home, or justice for victims of sexual assault, the NWLC is committed to it.

Donate for free to National Women’s Law Center through Giving Assistant.

Use your local neighborhood organizations:

Search engines like GreatNonprofits.org and Volunteer Match are the easiest ways to find and vet local nonprofits. But a quick Google search (or call-out on Facebook) will also show you if there are women’s shelters, LGBTQ+ youth organizations, or other important initiatives in your community that you can support today.

And since Giving Assistant allows you to support over 1.5 million nonprofits with your shopping, it’s very likely your local charity is available to donate to.

Small Things Add up in Big Ways

The bottom line: You don’t have to do anything big to celebrate International Women’s Day, but little things throughout the year can add up.

Awareness is half the battle, and all big movements started small. So party, watch, read, talk, share, shop responsibly, and love one another: whatever you do will matter.

Want a super easy idea for how to support women?

Join Giving Assistant for free and and start to earn cash back for free. Then you can donate your free cash back to a nonprofit of your choice! Once you’ve joined and selected a women’s nonprofit to support, the browser extension will automate this and you can feel awesome watching your donations stack up!

Thank you for all you do to support and encourage women!

About Giving Assistant

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