International Women’s Day: How to Celebrate Being a Woman


It's interesting how holidays change over time and across cultures. Christmas, obviously, is celebrated by Christians the world over but with a variety of different traditions. St. Patrick's Day, interestingly enough, started out in the early 17th century as a celebration of the man who originally brought Christianity to Ireland. International Women's Day (March 8th), maybe a lesser-known but still widely-celebrated holiday, began more than a hundred years ago as a politically-motivated unification of efforts to expand and strengthen women's rights. Today, at least in America, it's become more of a combination Mothers' Day and Valentine's Day.

It is a good day to celebrate the women in your life, because every woman should be celebrated. If you can get your husband to give you flowers again two weeks after Valentine's Day, that's awesome. In addition to that, consider making International Woman's Day a day to not only pat yourself on the back and thank your mother, mother-in-law, or even your daughter, but also a day to think about and applaud what women have done collectively. And consider the ways in which gender-based inequalities still affect women both in your corner of the world and worldwide.

How to Celebrate Being A Woman

How does one go about doing all of that though? First of all, don't do anything for an hour on March 8th. Stop thinking of everything you need to do, or haven't done, long enough to realize all you have done. Then, call your mom and/or mother-in-law and wish them "happy International Women's Day!" Next, go to lunch with three or four of your closest girl-friends, and challenge yourself to compliment each one of them in some way.

Next, go to and see if there's a celebratory event in your area. There are events being held all across the world; you can visit their Facebook and Twitter pages for ideas on how to celebrate it if there's no event near you. Then, think of an issue that affects women that you feel particularly drawn to, like obstetric fistulas, domestic violence, sexual assault, or income disparity. Go to the Resource page of to watch videos and get a few statistics about these issues.  Or, think of someone that inspires you, and ways, however small, that you can emulate her. The women I've featured in our Moms Making a Difference section amaze me, at least in part because of the varied ways they've come up with to affect change around them.

Then, read these excellent posts by Jyl about her suggestions for IWD activities and ways to motivate yourself to help.This is such a great opportunity to stop and think about what it means to be a woman, to feel and be part of greater whole. Let us know how it goes!

What are your favorite ways to celebrate being a woman?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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