While it's always great to shout out the amazing women in your life on social media, International Women's Day is about so much more than an Instagram post. The first celebration was over a century ago in 1911, and according to the official website, IWD is "a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity."
This year's theme for International Women's Day, #BalanceforBetter, is tackling gender inequality head on. The campaign strives to emphasize that this is not simply a women's issue; it's a global one that both men and woman are responsible for solving.
#BalanceforBetter focuses heavily on women's equality in the workplace and the wage disparity that so often occurs there. "The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage..." the website reads. "Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive."
So, how can you take part in this global initiative? According to USA today, there will be IWD events taking place in over 35 cities across the U.S. You can use this tool to search for events in your area. But if you're unable to attend a gathering today, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate. You can donate to one of many charities that promote women's rights, shop at women-owned businesses, or even just start a conversation about gender equality among your friends or peers.
Participating in #BalanceforBetter's social media campaign is also a great way to show your support. Simply post a photo of yourself with your hands out, representing equal balance between men and women.
But of course, the driving force behind International Women's Day doesn't suddenly end on March 9th. This year's campaign theme strives to spark conversations that will hopefully continue throughout the year -- and far beyond.