I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights
Every day, millions of women across the globe are working to create the changes necessary to make a better and more equal world. On one very special day, these efforts are not only celebrated but shared by millions.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated every year on March 8th. A United Nations-sanctioned global holiday, IWD celebrates women’s contributions to society, raises awareness about the fight for gender equality and inspires support for organizations that support women globally.
Origin of International Women’s Day
In 1908, 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York City to demand better working conditions and voting rights. The following year, on Feb. 28, 1909, the first National Women’s Day was observed. As more and more women across the globe began hearing about the movement, more became interested in taking part. As a result, the International Conference of Working Women observed the very first International Women’s Day in 1910 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The official date was then moved to March 8th in 1913.
While women continued to fight for equality, it wasn’t until 1975 that the United Nations became involved. As part of their involvement, annual themes were eventually incorporated into the day; the first being “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future” in 1996.
List of International Women’s Day Themes by Year
1996 | Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
1997 | Women and the Peace Table
1998 | Women and Human Rights
1999 | World Free of Violence Against Women
2000 | Women Uniting for Peace
2001 | Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
2002 | Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
2003 | Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
2004 | Women and HIV/AIDS
2005 | Gender Equality Beyond 2005; Building a More Secure Future
2006 | Women in Decision-making
2007 | Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women and Girls
2008 | Investing in Women and Girls
2009 | Women and Men United to End Violence Against Women and Girls
2010 | Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All
2011 | Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women
2012 | Empower Rural Women, End Poverty and Hunger
2013 | A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women
2014 | Equality for Women is Progress for All
2015 | Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!
2016 | Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality
2017 | Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030
2018 | Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives
2019 | Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change
2020 | “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” #EachForEqual
International Women’s Day 2020 #EachForEqual
We can sit back and watch inequality run rampant in every part of our lives, or we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias and broaden perceptions both individually and together. The IWD 2020 campaign theme is drawn from a notion of collective individualism where our individual mindsets, actions, behaviors and conversations, collectively, help to create a gender-equal world.
- Gender equal workplaces
- Gender equal pay and advancement opportunities
- A gender equal government
- Gender equal media coverage
- Gender equal sports coverage
- Gender equality health
Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a human issue. Gender equality is essential for all economies and communities to thrive. An equal world is an enabled world where everyone can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious.
How Can You Celebrate International Women’s Day 2020?
From organizing a luncheon, or an evening outing to simply telling a female coworker why she makes the office a better place, there are so many ways you can celebrate this very special day.
1. Post a picture of yourself in the #EachForEqual pose on social media.
By yourself or with a group of friends, show the world that equality is worth fighting for.
2. Hold an IWD themed luncheon where coworkers can express views and ideas.
Inequality in the workplace impacts everyone. Have an open discussion and share how you truly feel about your current culture or work environment.
3. Create a tribute post to some of your company’s top women on your intranet or social media page.
Women grow stronger when they support one another. Take a moment to tell the world how smart, accomplished or special your coworkers truly are.
4. Create a corkboard where people can share tributes and kudos to women in the company.
It’s true, you can work side-by-side with people and never truly know them. Take this time to put your coworker’s talents, interests and accomplishments in the spotlight. You never know what kind of opportunities this could bring.
5. Create a book exchange shelf and invite other female employees to share books that they feel are empowering or a crucial read.
Don’t stop at books. There are so many amazing blogs, podcasts, and videos on the subject of female empowerment. Take the time to share your favorites with friends. Don’t miss to add “Lean On – The Five Pillars of Support for Women in Leadership” to the shelf.
6. Find a networking event dedicated to IWD and make it a girls’ night out.
What better way to spend a night than lifting up a friend, family member or coworker. Click here for a list of International Women’s Day events near you.
7. Donate or volunteer your time at a local women’s shelter or mentor a young girl to become all that she can be.
Equality starts from within. For those who have suffered from abuse, neglect and low self-esteem, reaching this place of value can be even harder. Take this day to extend your support to those who need it most.
Special Things Men Can Do
8. Buy a small gift for your wife or partner and tell her how much she means to you and your family.
Flowers, candy or even a simple card, this is the perfect day to surprise her with something straight from your heart.
9. Tell your wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt, coworker, etc why you admire them.
It only takes a few minutes to let her know how you truly feel, but the sentiment will last a lifetime. Don’t hold back. Face to face, in a letter or even a heartfelt video, don’t miss your chance to share in this very special day.
10. Make it a strong female movie night. Pop popcorn and snuggle in for an empowering movie with your daughter.
Self-esteem and inner strength start at home. Cuddle, snack, giggle and talk. Take this time to show your daughter what it means to be a strong female.