Sunday, March 8 marks International Women’s Day, or IWD. First celebrated in 1911, the celebration is just as necessary more than a century later. I'm still reeling from the brutal rapes that took place in India; the Nigerian government still hasn't brought back our girls; and in the U.S., too many colleges and politicians are making statements and decisions that fail to recognize the importance of supporting women. But long before International Women's Day was established, women were making strives for equality, and will continue to do so.
That's why the theme for this year’s IWD is #MakeItHappen. It's a celebration of the women who have come before us to make things happen, and it's encouragement for the women of today and tomorrow. If you’re wondering how to get involved with this year’s IWD, look no further than the organization’s listing of events around the globe. Here are just a few events happening around the United States on International Women's Day.
- Join AfricAid for its "Umoja Ni Nguvu: Unity is Power" event at 4 p.m. in Denver, Colorado.
- OxFam Action Corps is hosting a "OxFam Jam" in Austin, Texas. The event will highlight local Austin musicians, artists and farmers and will begin at noon.
- The Women's Empowerment Conference is a two-day event that's also taking place in Austin, Texas. It began on March 7 and will wrap up on the 8th.
- Women Together and the YWCA Racial Justice Task Force are hosting an International Women's Day event at the YWCA Central Massachusetts. The celebration will include Mariana Islam's keynote address: "What Kind of Brown is She? Navigating Anti-Blackness, Sexism, and Islamophobia."
- Women In-Novation is a full day event that will explore the topics of women's roles and innovations in technology, business, and politics. It starts at 12:30 p.m. and will be held at =SPACE in Newark, New Jersey, so be sure to purchase your ticket!
Make sure to check the list of International Women's Day events to find one near you. In addition to joining in on the international celebration, what can you do to support women around the world this year? Here are three funds you can get involved with.
The Global Fund for Women is an organization dedicated to advocating for and supporting women’s rights around the world. According to their website, as of February 26, they’ve created “a total of 10,020 grants for $120,882,044.59 to 4,776 organizations in 175 countries.”
The Fund for Gender Equality is the grant-making part of UN Women. Since it was founded in 2009, it's provided more than $56 million of grants to more than 72 countries. They're currently accepting proposals for grants focused on the economic and political empowerment of women.
Pro-Choice America isn't a fund, but it is an organization that you can get behind and support in many ways. Whether by donating, volunteering, or joining them at their events, lending your support to the pro-choice movement is worthy way to support underprivileged women in the U.S.
If you're unable to join the celebration in person or support these funds and organizations, you can always add your voice to the celebration. Follow Women's Day, and join the Twitter conversations around #IWD2015 and #MakeItHappen. There's power in sharing our stories.
Images: Getty Images (2)