What The International Woman's Day Theme Means

by Lara Rutherford-Morrison
Steffi Loos/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Next Wednesday, March 8, is International Women’s Day, a day that for more than a century has been a time to celebrate and advocate for women. The 2017 International Women’s Day theme is tailor-made for a year that’s been, let’s say, tumultuous: #BeBoldForChange. What does “Be Bold For Change” mean? It’s a rallying cry to women across the globe to fight for gender equality in their communities.

According to the International Women’s Day website, “being bold for change” means calling “on the masses or call[ing]on yourself to help forge a better working world — a more inclusive, gender equal world.” The website continues,

Each one of us — with women, men and non-binary people joining forces — can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.

There’s no single way to #BeBoldForChange. To get started, you can make your pledge to participate in International Women’s Day on the event’s website; when you select how you’d like to further the cause of gender equality — from supporting women’s education to stopping gender-based violence — the website will give you helpful ideas of how those intentions can be translated into tangible actions.

A major event scheduled to coincide with International Women’sDay is “A Day Without A Woman,” a general strike organized by the team behind the Women’s March on Washington, which brought millions of people together in solidarity in January. The strike is intended to build on the momentum of the marches and serve as a powerful statement about the essential role women play in the labor force and economy. Organizers announced recently that this “one-day demonstration of economic solidarity” can take multiple forms:

1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
3. Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

In addition to “A Day Without A Woman,” there are a variety of events being held all over the world to celebrate International Women’s Day and fight for women’s equal rights and opportunities. You can find a handy database of these events here.