Kicking off our International Woman’s Day ‘Celebration Series’ is Tara Duncan, a student from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia who is currently undertaking a communications internship at Restless Development in New Delhi, India. She’s in the final semester of her undergraduate degree in Business and International Communication and has a strong fascination in the universal themes surrounding young adulthood, which makes learning about them through cultural exposure all the more enriching.
In Australia, we are incredibly fortunate that we can practise our beliefs and express our opinions without considering the implications to our safety should they challenge those in power. Growing up, I could play with my brothers toy cars instead of my own dolls, dress in blue overalls, and ride a bike in the street without ramifications. We go to school, many may go to university, but regardless we end up being employed. We have a general idea of how our week will look, it’s barely disrupted, and then the 9-5 is contrasted by socialising on the weekends. This is my normal, and I feel incredibly lucky. Yet, I always find myself chasing a sense of empowerment and change… So yeah, I’m inspired, but by who?
We have Malala Yousafzai, the incredible Pakistani advocate for human rights and education. Then you turn to Hollywood and admire the work of Emma Watson, yeah she was great in Harry Potter, but have you seen how compelling she is on a stage talking about gender equality and activism? These women educate us on the bigger picture, on the topics that we learn about at school, university, on the news, and they provide us with tangible stories and insights that help to justify our values and opinions.
Who inspires me everyday?
Who inspires me to continue to learn, grow and love myself on a day to day basis? Who has the ability to make me scream “Yes! That’s me!” as I look for a sense of relatability and encouragement in the struggles that I face as a young Australian woman?
Not only have I been caught out having a giggle at how brilliantly witty her Instagram captions are numerous times, Zoe Foster-Blake is the epitome of a modern day power woman. Not because her self-made skin-care business is booming and she’s just released a new book, but because she’s intelligent, hilarious, a wife, a mother and above all, she has an oozing sense of humility. The modesty that accompanies Zoe is apparent through her online demeanour, as she has the capacity to make you feel that you too can not only write like her, but write like yourself, and talk like yourself, and be proud of yourself.
Zoe represents that this sense of pushing for change and empowering women is universal and manifests in different forms, regardless of what your everyday routine looks like and where you reside in the world.
International Women’s Day falls on the 8th March every year and has done for over a century now. Despite the obvious fact that women are incredible every day of the year, International Women’s Day (IWD) sets aside a day for everyone to celebrate and reflect upon the social, cultural, political and economic achievements of women. The day is a reminder that we will continue to progress as a collective global unit for gender equality.
International Women’s Day (IWD), it’s an annual day that seems to creep up on us and with that, the ambiguity surrounding how we should celebrate it creeps up on us too.
What does the day actually mean to you? Does it align with your views, your partner’s views, your family’s views? How do we even celebrate it? How big, how small?
These are questions that both women and men may tiptoe around but don’t stress. This year not only will you be prepared for #IWD2019 on March 8th, but you will be so excited to celebrate it that you’ll be bouncing off the walls the night before.
How to celebrate International Woman’s Day wherever you are
This years theme is #BalanceforBetter, and true to its name its objective is to build a gender-balanced world. So dust off your measuring scales because collectively, we can all work together to bring YOU to the forefront of gender equality.
No matter who you are, where you are or what you’re doing, here are a few ways that you can celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th:
Watch an uplifting movie: Curl up on the couch, put the kettle on, do whatever you need to so that you can channel your ultimate female character. It could be anyone from Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games to Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Here’s a list to help you narrow it down
Read a book: Much like watching a movie, there’s nothing quite like being carried off into a different world through a strong female character in a book.
Appreciate your Mum, Grandma, Sister and all of the women in your life…The simplest yet most effective way to celebrate. Cross paths with a woman in the aisle of a supermarket? Tell her she rocks. Waiting at the printer with a female co-worker? Tell her how good of a job she’s been doing. I mean, come on, Women are incredible and they should be told! Make sure that the women in your life know just how much you value them.
Host a morning-tea/lunch: This is an opportunity to get everyone in the office together to celebrate equality whilst reflecting on workplace achievements so far and what is yet to come.
Deck out your office in IWD 2019 merchandise: A perfect excuse to throw around streamers and wear a really cool badge. No one in the office will have an excuse for not knowing what day it is! You can purchase an official pack here (they ship worldwide!)
Attend a women’s networking event with your co-workers: What’s more inspiring than being around one inspirational woman? Being in a room full of them. This is a great chance to meet people and gain new ideas, keep your eyes peeled on Facebook or your emails for events in your local area.
With your friends
Go out for dinner: Food, friends and festivity. Try to steer discussion around positivity and prosperity, it’s wholesome having the support of your besties no matter what.
Upload to your socials: Upload a post to your socials that pays tribute to how incredible your girl crew is, not only will it make them feel extra appreciated, but you’ll be spreading the message too. Tag #IWD2019 and #BalanceforBetter to join the community!
Attend a march: Find an official march for something you are passionate about, there’s power in numbers ladies… and gentlemen!
With your partner
Talk: This is so important. Talk about what makes you feel proud to be a woman. Voicing this to your partner can help you to align your goals and ensure that you are on the right path for your future together. You might do this when you wake up, over dinner, or curled up on the couch, wherever you are most comfortable.
The best part about these is that you can do them absolutely any day of the year, but practising them this International Women’s Day is a good start!
It’s not all about doing something out of the ordinary on the day; it’s about celebrating who you are on an ordinary day.