International Women’s Day 2018: 7 things you need to know to prepare

March 8th, aka International Women’s Day, is fast approaching. But what exactly is International Women’s Day all about? And how can you get involved? We’ve got everything you need to know about how to participate on the big day and celebrate the extraordinary women who make a difference in this world.

1International Women’s Day has been around for a long time.

It was made into a formal celebration by the United Nations in 1975, but various individual nations had been celebrating it for decades before that. The first official event took place in New York in 1909, and it was quickly popularized by socialist and communist groups, particularly throughout Europe. Over the decades its popularity spread, and now over 100 countries celebrate every single year.

2It’s all about equality.

So what is International Women’s Day really about? It’s a day of global celebration, where we honor the cultural, political, social, and economic accomplishments of women from around the world. It’s also a day to get involved and actively support gender equality around the world.

3This year is all about #PressForProgress.

After a tumultuous 2017, activists are joining together under the hashtag #PressForProgress. It’s a call to action, encouraging supporters of gender equality to press forward — despite potential obstacles from the current administration.

4You can join in.

There are a ton of amazing International Women’s Day activities that you can be a part of. The official International Women’s Day website is a great place for resources, and you can visit it here. Plus, most major cities will be holding a march that day, and a quick Google search is the fastest way to find the details of the march in your area.

5You don’t have to march to still be involved.

What if you’re totally into the idea of International Women’s Day, but not too keen on marches? There are plenty of other ways for you to get involved. For example, you can donate to a women-focussed charity, like Planned Parenthood, the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, Girls Not Brides (which works towards ending child marriage), and V-day (which aims to end violence against women).

6Make it yours.

Not satisfied with the options available in your area? Volunteer to set one up yourself! Maybe your neighborhood would benefit from a special craft market in celebration, or a host of local speakers explaining the importance of gender equality. Talk to the local library or community center and see if they have any plans; if not, suggest some activities that everyone can get involved with. To a lecture on the importance of gender parity, to raising money for your local Planned Parenthood, there’s no end to the ways you can get involved.

7. Speak Out.

Even if you can’t get involved physically, you can still make your support known. Head to social media and post about the achievements of the women in your life, or even a woman you admire (Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, your mom…the list is endless). You can even hold a small get-together for you and your friends to share ways you plan to support women throughout the year (and don’t be afraid to include cocktails…this is a day about celebration, after all!).

So, how do you plan on spending International Women’s Day? Let us know!