International Women's Day is celebrated worldwide on March 8. We've come a long way, baby, but there are still hurdles to overcome. Help your family take notice of the extraordinary achievements of women past and present with one of these meaningful tributes.
Most children understand why we celebrate major U.S. holidays like Independence Day or Thanksgiving. But lesser-known days of recognition might go, well ... unrecognized. So, let's take a look at how your family can honor International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
What is International Women's Day?
International Women's Day happens every year on March 8th. Although this day of recognition is a global one, in the U.S., we also celebrate March as Women's History Month.
According to the International Women's Day website:
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.
As the National History Women's Alliance website points out, "History helps us learn who we are, but when we don't know our history, our power and dreams are immediately diminished." Wow! I can't think of a better reason to talk about history than the role it plays in helping us feel empowered to follow our dreams.
And we've had some amazing women's history happen this year in the U.S. In January, Kamala Harris became the first female Vice President of the United States. With her inauguration, she showed women and girls everywhere that big changes and positive progress are possible.
It's crucial to continue educating and encouraging our children, no matter their gender, to embrace the role women play around the world. Here are five significant ways your family can celebrate the incredible journey women have taken in pursuit of their hard-earned accomplishments.
1. "Choose to Challenge" as a family
This year's official International Women's Day theme is "Choose to Challenge." Despite the incredible gains women have made during the past century, there's still work to be done. Many women underestimate their value in society and the workplace. Some struggle to embrace their leadership strengths This challenge aims to raise awareness against bias, gender equality, and acknowledge women's incredible accomplishments.
Vice President Kamala Harris credited generations of women for her historic victory as the first Black, Indian-American woman to become the United States' Vice President.
In her landmark speech, she passionately shared that Black, Asian, white, Latina, and Native American women throughout our nation's history paved the road for her.
Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination, and the strength of their vision—to see what can be unburdened by what has been—I stand on their shoulders.
But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.
Talk with your kids about what it means for Vice President Harris to be the first woman to hold the office. Make time to challenge them with questions and listen to their answers. You might ask things like:
- Why do you think there hasn't been a female Vice President before this year?
- Do you think a woman will someday become President of the United States?
- Do you know some women and girls (such as friends, parents, teachers, and coaches) who are good leaders?
- Have you ever told a woman or girl that you admire them? What do you admire them for?
Families can also participate in the "Choose to Challenge" theme by taking photographs of one another. Stand proud, and raise your hand high showing that you accept the challenge to raise awareness about all the positive things women contribute to the world. You can use these fun templates and then post them on your favorite social media platform or sit and enjoy the photos together in your own home.
2. Shop women-owned businesses
Sit down with your family and make a list of shops, companies, restaurants, and other businesses owned and run by women. How many can you think of in your city or neighborhood?
A mom who is active in our PTO recently opened a restaurant featuring a delicious poké bowl menu. My family will be getting take-out from her restaurant on March 8th!
Not sure about women-owned businesses in your area? Check out The Giving Assistant's list of top-women-owned brands. You may see some familiar companies or find some surprises.
I discovered mother-daughter-owned SkinnyDipped almonds. Visit the company's website to learn more about their heartwarming origin story. In addition to picking up poké bowls from my local mom's new business, I'm handing out bags of SkinnyDipped almonds to all the women in my life as a token of support and gratitude.
3. Enjoy a girl-power movie night
Have a dedicated movie night with your family that focuses on girl power. There are dozens of films to choose from that can easily open the door to a meaningful conversation when you finish munching on that last bit of popcorn.
Here are some suggestions that are enjoyable to watch with tweens and teens: 15 Films To Watch For A Hit Of Girl Power.
Check this selection out if you have younger kids: The Best Girl Power Movies to Watch with Your Daughter.
Two of my favorites, Julie and Julia and Erin Brockovich, are in the queue for my clan this week.
4. Set goals and dream big
One of the traits successful women in history share is that they never gave up.
Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus and became an icon for the Civil Rights movement. Amelia Earhart was an aviator who became the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. These are only two examples of women who persevered and pushed to achieve lofty goals.
If you're one of my many female listeners, now is a great time to make sure you're putting all of your amazing strengths to good use in pursuit of your dreams! Here's a diverse selection of women who have been game-changers in our country and around the world. If you need a little nudge before you dive into one of your goals, peruse the list for some extra inspiration.
If you have a daughter, now is a good time to ask her about her dreams. And remember that big dreams start with little steps. Talk with your child about her goals and help her figure out the small steps she can take this year that will start her down the path to achieving them.
5. Thank a female mentor
One of the most heartfelt ways to acknowledge International Women's Day is by giving thanks. Choose one or more special women who have made a positive difference in your family's life and celebrate them. Whether she's a teacher, aunt, grandparent, sister, coach, pediatrician, guidance counselor, or a neighbor you can always rely on, take the time to say "thank you."
Rally your kids and ask them to name some women whose guidance they're thankful for. Then, ask them for ideas for how to express their gratitude. Pinterest is a fun place to look for a new twist on saying thanks.
Don't underestimate the power of a phone call or a face-to-face thank-you. Whether it comes from you or your child, a sincere verbal expression of thanks is something the female mentors in you and your children's lives are sure to treasure!