In 1908, fifteen thousand women marched through the streets of New York City to demand shorter work hours, better pay and the right to vote on March 8th. In 1975, this date was cemented in history as International Women’s Day.
Today, International Women’s Day has become a global day celebrating the accomplishments of women and a reminder of the fight women (and men) are still having for equality of the sexes. This past January I spent the day celebrating the accomplishment’s of women in politics at Province House in Nova Scotia as part of the #DaughtersoftheVote movement with women much younger than I. Tomorrow (March 8th) the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada will be run entirely by young women, chosen to represent their community and to communicate their vision for Canada. This is a huge accomplishment, and yet a stark reminder of how far we still have yet to go.
Women in Business, Women in Politics, Women at Home, Women at Work. In some way, shape or form we’ve all met inspiring women in our lives. No matter what choice you make, the fact of the matter remains that every girl and woman should have access to every opportunity a boy and man has (& vice versa). So I put together my favourite ways to celebrate and empower the women in your life. Read on below!
Miss Representation & The Hunting Ground.
Highlighting the story of the media’s portrayal of femininity, Miss Representation explores the norms and cultural expectations that society places on women. The Hunting Ground is a haunting story of sexual assault on college campuses and the women working to fight it.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
We Should All Be Feminists
The Red Tent
Inspiring and thought-provoking stories of women from all over the world and of different professions, backgrounds and lives. Check them out at Chapters or your local library.
100% of the profits of the cookbook, Share, will go to Women for Women International to help women of war-torn countries rebuild their lives. These are their recipes, and those of international chefs and humanitarians.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk titled “We Should All Be Feminists” (which inspired the book on my list above)
Emma Watson discussing her shock (and mine) that apparently someone who’s a feminist can’t also be proud of her body. Just so you know, the two are not mutually exclusive – but discuss below in the comments your thoughts!
To the stories of your mothers, aunts, grandmothers and friends. Ask them what it was like growing up in the middle of the Women’s Rights Marches of the 1960s, and what they might have changed (or might not have changed) if they were born now.
That we #AskHerMore. Not just who she is wearing, when she’s planning on getting pregnant, or if she’s found a nice boy yet. Ask the women in your lives the proudest moment of her day, what’s she’s struggled with this week, where she’s planning on travelling next, or what book she’s currently reading. If you’re me, you ask her where her favourite coffee comes from and what piece of art has inspired her lately. Stand up for other women, always.
The women younger and older than us. Don’t let being “#justagirl dictate your choices. Allow the women around you, and yourself, to make your own choices. Inspire yourself to become what you want to be; no matter if that’s a mother, a wife, a teacher, a businesswoman, a philanthropist or a doctor. You have the capacity to dictate your own steps. All you have to focus on is taking the first one.