Wednesday 14 March 2018

How to Keep the Spirit of International Women's Day Alive All Year

The International Women’s Day posts still haven’t quite left our Instagram feeds, backed up by those from Mothers’ Day, so for the time being we’re still left with the smiling images of empowered women. But what do these posts of women that we love and look up to really do anything other than reassure us? And what’s the point in International Women’s Day if we don’t all act in a feminist manner in our day-to-day lives? This is why we need to encourage the women and girls who posted images and yet still slut-shame, belittle and pull down other women to re-evaluate their behaviour in the spirit of what they say on 9th March. Because feminism is for life, not just for Christmas International Women’s Day.

1. Think again about how you treat women in your life

Are you one of the women I mentioned earlier who celebrated International Women’s Day but still pit women against each other, slut shame, and just generally don’t act in a feminist way most of the time? Re-evaluate your behaviour and make amends in different ways.

2. Support women’s charities

We may have all had our faith in the charity sector shattered somewhat lately, but there are so many organisations out there doing some amazing work that need our help and attention. Women’s Aid help women dealing with domestic violence and abuse. CARE International help refugee women and women globally as well as in the UK. The Cup Effect and The Bloody Good Period aim to eradicate period poverty through the distribution of free menstrual products,

3. Keep politically active

Make sure you know what’s going on around you and the ever-changing situation you’re a part of. We need to hold our politicians to account, those we agree with as well as those we disagree with. The potential for equality to slip is a high one – it is so easily done, just look at what has happened with Trump in America. Sign petitions, attend marches, write to your MP and other people in power, join campaigns that stick with you.

For a place to start, send my template letter on the need for free menstrual products to be available for all in order to stop period poverty. You can find it here. If you have any problems with it, please let me know – I want to be as inclusive as possible.

4. Don’t stop discussing women’s achievements and let the younger generations know

Books like Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Girls Are Best and biographies of famous women for children, help us educate children, and to show young girls the amazing things their predecessors have achieved. By empowering the younger generations, we build a better future for them. If they see people like them achieving things – being activists and prominent members of society – they will be able to fill their shoes and more later on. Make the children feminists to achieve a feminist world.

5. Challenge the injustices you see

Speak up (if you are in a safe position to do so) and challenge examples of sexism that you see. You may not change the perpetrators mind, but you may influence the way the audience to that act think and act in the future.

6. Listen

This is so important. Sometimes the right thing to do is to remain quiet, to take in the experiences of others, those who have less privilege than you, and to let their voice be heard. Learn more about the real situation of those around you and lift up their voices and stories so that they come to the forefront of discussions.

What did you do for International Women’s Day?

If you liked this post you might like: 5 Forgotten Women of History

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