How To Make International Women's Day A Celebration Of Every Fabulous Woman In Your Life

by Claire Elizabeth Felter

International Women's Day can be sort of overwhelming. Highlighting the amazing qualities and tremendous achievements made by an entire gender while simultaneously emphasizing the progress that is yet to be made on a number of women's issues makes for a lot to take in. The organizations bringing together the day of celebration offer a theme each year to help tone down the potential enormity of the holiday. This year's theme is gender parity. But that doesn't mean you have to try to solve every instance of gender inequality around the globe in order to participate. Here's how to celebrate International Women's Day simply by putting the spotlight on every fabulous female in your life.

Prior to last year, I had never celebrated International Women's Day, and didn't even really know what it was all about. I most definitely possess a strong sense of urgency about supporting and encouraging women from all walks of life, but I had not looked to this day as an outlet for doing so in a slightly bigger way. At that point, doing so didn't mean starting my own women's organization (although that would have been pretty awesome). I turned to social media to do a bit of gushing about the female role models in my own life.

I wrote the post somewhat in haste, partly because I was so excited to hit "publish" and partly because I knew I would eventually run into Facebook's tagging limit. Those few minutes, however, resulted in a day of "likes" and comments from the women I had tagged, as well as other women (and men) who appreciated the love going around on their news feeds. I certainly could have gotten more involved a year ago, and maybe today I'll step up my IWD game a bit, but that post was a ridiculously simple start to understanding what the day is really about.

Because when you take a hot second to think of the women and girls who impact your everyday life in some positive way, you will quickly realize just how expansive that network is. There are work colleagues, running buddies, mothers, sisters, friends, old bosses, daughters, yoga instructors, the barista who makes sure your chai latte is on point every morning — I could keep going.

So give it a try, even if you're not a regular tweeter or Facebook-posting kind of gal. You may know how all the women around you are affecting your life and consistently encouraging you to be more, but they may not. Global gender parity — IWD's 2016 theme — may seem far off, but building each other up in the smallest of ways is a step to getting there.

Image: Claire Felter