International Women's Day

5 Ways You Can Show Up For Other Women On International Women’s Day

Meaningful actions you can take today.

by Bustle UK
Originally Published: 
Hands of two woman grabbing each other in solidarity for international women's day

Each year, March 8 marks International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about women’s equality, the progress made so far, and the work that is yet to be done. International Women’s Day dates back to 1911, and 1857 before that, but has since been a become global event. This year, the theme is #EmbraceEquality, aiming to create awareness of the difference between equity and equality. Per IWD, “equal opportunities aren't enough; people start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.” It is all important, but can at times seem abstract. So to that end, here are concrete ways you can show up for women on IWD.

Remember, posting an inspiring quote or striking the #EmbraceEquity pose are both real statements, and the power of social media should not be underestimated, but there are many campaigns, petitions, and activists working around the globe to make a difference. Being mindful about who you promote and where your money goes on International Women’s Day 2023 could be a great way to contribute to real, lasting change.


Volunteer At Your Local Women’s Shelter

Monetary donations are of course great if you are able, but donating your time is also incredibly important. Women’s Aid has an awesome feature on their website where you can find services in your local area. Just make sure you call ahead to see what they need. As well as volunteering your time, they might be after clothes or toiletries, or perhaps you can set up a drive to gather the items or funds they need.


Donate To Period & Hygiene Poverty Charities

According to research by Plan International, more than a third of girls aged between 14 and 21 in the UK have struggled to afford or access period products during lockdown. Up by a fifth on years prior. While massive strides were made by campaigners like Amika George (who founded #FreePeriods in 2017) and the highstreet which provides some free sanitary products in the UK, that doesn't mean that period poverty is no longer an issue. Campaigns like Bloody Good Period and Every Month continue to raise awareness and provide sanitary products to those who need them. Again, you can donate your time or money. Similarly, the Hygiene Bank helps people in their communities who can’t afford hygiene products.


Join A Big Sister Program

If you want to make a long-term commitment to making a change then charities like Girls Out Loud run big sister programs for teenage girls. You can volunteer to mentor and guide a younger person and offer them the support they need. The big sister program matches people together and Girls Out Loud will provide you with all the training you need.


Sign Petitions

There are many worthwhile petitions that you can share on social media this year with the helpful #InternationalWomensDay hashtag. There are so many to sign and share, but why not start with Refuge’s campaign to make domestic abuse and coercive control education mandatory for 16-19 year olds. Or there is Level Up’s ‘No Births Behind Bars’ campaign calling on the government to end the imprisonment of pregnant women. Or there is the UN Women UK’s ‘Safe Spaces Now’ campaign, which calls on the government and to do more to make public spaces safer for women.


Shop & Share Mindfully

So many shops celebrate International Women’s Day, which is great, but if you want to use March 8 as a time to treat yourself to some feminist merch then consider where it comes from. Always do your research and make sure that the places you're spending money are actually doing good.

In the same vein, many authors and journalists will be producing a lot of work over the weekend to do with International Women’s Day. Reading and sharing the work of writers who are LGBTQ+ or people of colour will raise the profile of intersectional feminism. The experience of being female isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation and investing in voices that aren’t normally given a platform is a great way to honour all women.

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