International Women's Day is a day for recognising the achievements of women, and supporting women facing disadvantages around the world. What gesture of support will you make? Whether it's educating yourself, helping to support a local or global cause, or even just taking a moment to call your mum, here are some ideas.
1. Appreciate the women in your life
Take the time to show the important women in your life how much you value them. It could be a small gesture – bringing your mentor a cup of coffee, giving your grandma a call, baking a cake for your mum. Check out our huge collection of recipes for some ideas of the tasty variety.
2. Be inspired by strong women
Let the stories of extraordinary women and their accomplishments excite and motivate you. Watch a movie with an inspiring heroine, or read up on great women of history and today – such as 17-year-old Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai (pictured above), a Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for standing up for education, but who continues to fight for equality and opportunity for girls. Check out these lists of books and films for some inspiring stories to start with.
3. Get informed about global gender issues
Read up about women’s issues globally, particularly the problems facing women and girls in developing countries. Gaining an understanding of inequality, poverty and injustice around the world empowers you to help make a difference, even in a small way. Start with the resources provided by UN Women, CARE Australia or the International Women's Development Agency and find out about how other women live – and what you could do to help fight for a more just and compassionate world. For a really eye opening experience, pick up a copy of Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, a harrowing but essential expose of some of the most serious issues women face worldwide.
4. Learn about women's health
Being aware of the health issues facing women is the first step to preventing and overcoming them. International Women’s Day is a great reminder to get informed and to share that information with those around you. Do you know the symptoms of ovarian cancer to watch out for, how to recognise postnatal depression, or how to improve your chances of detecting breast cancer early? Arm yourself with the facts and see what steps you can take to protect your health.
5. Give your time
Help out a cause that supports women and girls. Whether it’s volunteering locally or fundraising for an organisation supporting women and girls overseas, there is plenty you can do to make a difference in people’s lives. Think hosting a morning tea, holding a movie night, or organising a bake sale at your workplace. Some online resources to help find volunteer opportunities in your community include Seek Volunteer and Good Company, or you can find out about other charitable organisations you might want to support at Everyday Hero.
6. Donate to a cause
If you’re short on time, donations of money and goods are always needed. Search Everyday Hero to find worthwhile causes to donate money to. Or, clean out your wardrobe and give some clothing to your local op shop, or organisations like Fitted for Work, which helps disadvantaged women to gain employment.