Sunday, March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s a day to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. This day has been observed since 1910, when a woman named Clara Zetkin proposed the idea at the Second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. She thought there should be a day when women in every country celebrated each other by making demands for equal rights. While women have made great strides toward equality, there is still a lot of work to be done here in the United States and around the world. From Afghanistan to Russia to the city of Chicago, men and women around the world are invited to honor important women in their lives and participate in events such as political rallies, networking events and even theatrical performances. Here are several ways you can celebrate IWD while sitting at home on the computer or while out and about in the Chicago area:
- Watch “Miss Representation,” a documentary that explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America and challenges the media’s limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman. You can stream the film on Netflix, but before you do, watch Make It Better’s interview with the film’s Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Newsom has also recently directed a film on men, “The Mask You Live In.”
- Register for and attend the International Women’s Day Lunch and Fair at the Union League Club of Chicago on Monday, March 9 at 10:30 am. The topic for this year’s luncheon will be “Immigration Reform from the Women’s Perspective.” There will be four expert speakers, including Mary Meg McCarthy, Maria Socorro Pesqueria, Carole Segal and Michele Wucker. Tickets cost $65. Register online here.
- Join the University of Chicago’s Office of International Affairs at their keynote luncheon which Angela Olinto, the first female chair of the Astronomy and Astrophysics department at the University of Chicago. The event will be held March 8 at 11:30 am. Tickets are free and you can register online here:
- If you’re more of a visual person, we have a photo exhibit for you to experience: Chicago’s Women in Focus event, which opens Sunday, March 8 and will go from 2-4 p.m. at the Chicago Photography Center. The event will feature a juried exhibition around the theme “I Am Woman.”
- Make your love and respect for women in your life known: Honor a special woman such as your mother, grandmother, daughter or sister by buying her flowers, making her a card or simply reminding her how important she is to you.
- Take action. “If not me, who? If not now, when?”- Emma Watson
Educate yourself on the importance of gender equality around the world through the United Nations Women’s “He for She” movement. You can learn all about the movement and download an action kit on their website. You should also take 15 minutes to watch Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, address the UN on the importance of this movement:
- Spread the word on social media by using the hashtag #makeithappen, the theme for this year’s IWD. Add the hashtag to a Twitter or Facebook post about important women, interesting statistics on gender equality or a picture of one of your favorite female role models.