On International Women’s Day, we celebrate women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality. The theme for this year is #PressforProgress around gender parity but with the momentum fuelled by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, it’s so much more.
This year for International Women’s Day, organizers across the US are hoping to ride the wave of activism to #PressforProgress and encourage people, businesses and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive. Otherwise, it’s estimated by the World Economic Forum that the “gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186,” which is just not acceptable.
To celebrate locally, Peter and I supported the Sacramento Women’s March at their rally in front of the California State Capital. Lead by two youth activists, Natalie & Leen, we were able to hear from:
- Sacramento City Councilmember, Angelique Ashby
- President, Board of Education, Area 7, Jessie Ryan
- 15 year old youth artist, Amber
- Assemblymember, Susan Eggman
- Candidate for Elk Grove Mayor, Tracy Stafford
- Candidate for Sacramento City Council, Tamika L’Ecluse
- Two representatives from the SEIU United Service Workers West
I’m glad I attended the event and because International Women’s Day fell on a weekday, there is still time to participate in events happening this weekend as well as all month long for Women’s History Month. The mixture of women, from the youth to politicians and the brave women from SEIU representing the #MeToo movement for immigrant women was greeat. All the speeches were inspiring because they encouraged women to step up, speak out and run for office but by far my favorite was from Tracy Stafford. I loved how she made it a point to mention that many women of color feel Women’s History Month is “White Women’s History Month” and how the Women’s March doesn’t feel like women of color are represented. That sentiment was felt in the community around the Women’s March in January and as a woman of color I could see why it often feels that way BUT it’s important that women of color should make a place for ourselves in the movement. If it means, making the effort to be a part of organized events and rallies so that all women are represented we should fight for that and that’s why women in office and leadership are so important.
Here are 5 ways you can celebrate women in March and all year long:
- Participate in an event: In Sacramento there was a rally in the morning and tonight they have an event with local women candidates running for office. I know this weekend in Oakland, the Sol Sisters Organization is having an International Women’s Day Festival with speakers, performers and vendors. Check the #PressforProgress, #BeBoldforChange and #InternationalWomensDay hashtags on Instagram to see what’s happening in your area or check if an event is listed here: International Women’s Day Events Nationally
- Support women artists, creators, writers, leaders – celebrate women artists locally and globally who are creating art that celebrates women. Read books by strong women and watch films by women producers and directors or that have strong women casts.
- Join a women’s organization at work or around a cause you support
- Do something kind for a woman you love – support starts with you, so celebrate the women in your life by showing them how much they mean to you or sharing with them how they are making a difference in your life.
- Vote! Women are 52% of the voters but are represented far less in office. To create change, we need to be represented in office. If you aren’t registered to vote, REGISTER NOW, and vote in midterm elections.
Overall, it’s not about a day or a month it’s about celebrating women and you can do that in whatever way makes sense to you.
Empowered women, empower women!