How To Help Other Women On Women’s Equality Day
Every year on Aug. 26, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day to commemorate the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. constitution, officially and finally giving women the right to vote. For some women, it’s a day of quiet reflection on the progress we’ve made; for others, it’s a call to action to help other women who aren’t protected equally under the eyes of the law (or of society in general). But what are some ways you can help other women on Women’s Equality Day?
As it turns out, there have never been more options to do so. The website womenwillvote.com suggests “wearing white, calling Congress to support the Equal Rights Amendment, and committing to vote” to celebrate the 97th birthday of women’s right to vote. Those are all wonderful ways to commemorate the day, but what if you want to use your Women’s Equality Day to actively better the lives of another woman, right this very minute? There are tons of ways you can spend Aug. 26 making a tangible difference in women’s lives at home and across the globe. Here are just a few ways to help other women out on Women’s Equality Day, and every other day this year.
Volunteering is a great way to make a direct impact on the lives of other women in your area. Call your local Planned Parenthood, soup kitchen, women’s shelter, library, or whatever cause you want to support, and see if there’s anything they need that you can help provide. You’d be surprised at the kinds of things different organizations need — maybe they’re all good on canned food at the moment, but they could use someone with your PR mastery to help organize their latest donor drive. There are plenty of ways to volunteer your time to make a difference for women in your community.
2. Campaign for a local politician
Elections don’t just happen every four years, or even every two: local elections are happening constantly, and people running for local office need help to get the word out. Find out what pro-women candidates are running for District Attorney, a seat on your City Council, town mayor, Board of Education, or whatever the case may be, and call them up. Ask how you can help; you never know who might make history.
3. Call your reps about the ERA
The Equal Rights Amendment is a thorn in the side of many feminists; despite passing Congress in 1972, it still needs two more states to ratify it before having the three-fourths majority needed to adopt it to the constitution. Back in March, Nevada finally ratified the amendment after 30 years of dormancy, but there are 13 other states that have not done so. If you live in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, or Virginia, give your congress members a call (or use Resistbot to text them), demanding they finally ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
4. Organize a diaper drive
As any new mom knows, the amount of sh*t your bundle of joy produces is actually unbelievable, and the cost of diapers needed to contain that mess quickly adds up. For low-income women in particular, the burden of buying diapers can be enormous; the phenomenon is so widespread, there’s even a name for it. So if you have the extra resources, it can be helpful to organize a diaper drive. The National Diaper Bank Network has a full toolkit you can use to help you organize a drive to help mothers in need.
5. Donate to your favorite organization
Straight-up cash can sometimes be the best way to donate to organizations in need; they can use it to purchase supplies people wouldn’t think to donate, or to compensate their paid staffers. Most organizations' websites will have a prominent “Donate” button; if you need ideas of how best to donate your money so that it will benefit women, we rounded up a handy list for you here.
6. Mentor a woman
Mentorship is a proven key to success for today’s professional women, and it doesn’t take a lot to start mentoring someone. Have a younger work colleague who you want to see make it to the next level? Today’s the day to send her an email offering to take her for a coffee or a lunch. Is your cousin who just graduated starting to wade into the job market? Offer to look over her resumé. Many college alumni programs can help connect you to recent graduates in need of mentorship, so call up your old school and see if they offer this.
7. Shop at a woman-owned business
Need to pick up a birthday present for someone this weekend? Make an effort to purchase it from a local, woman-owned business. These days, it’s pretty easy to look up who owns a business, so do your research before you go. Alternatively, there are plenty of online shops and Etsy stores run by women that can ship a gift right to your friend’s doorstep. Shopping at women-owned businesses directly puts money into a woman’s pocket, and that can sometimes be the best way to bolster another woman.
8. Get a subscription that gives back
Subscription boxes are all the rage these days, with services that deliver custom-curated boxes of everything from beauty products to niche candy to your door. There are a number of subscription-based services, though, that have a charitable giving aspect, too. Cora, for example, delivers a customized box of organic (and very chic) tampons right to your door every month, but for every box sent, they also donate a box of menstrual hygiene products to girls in need in the developing world. There are plenty of other services that work similarly; Anchor of Hope delivers goods handmade by refugees and survivors of human trafficking, so you can directly support these artisans.
There are tons of ways to support not just the women in your life, but women in your community and across the world. These tacts will work on Women's Equality Day and any other day of the year, if you're so inclined. As long as women continue to not have equal status to men, these kinds of direct actions are more necessary than ever — but luckily, it's also easier than ever to implement them.