In the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, when more and more women are standing for their rights, International Women’s Day has become a tool for amplifying our voice and speak up for gender equality. If you feel passionate about the cause but aren’t sure where to start, first of all know that you are not alone – GLAMOUR UK’s latest activism survey shows that 69% of readers polled identify as feminist. As a large part of activism is about community, finding these fellow feminists goes a a long way towards getting active – whether it’s online or IRL. This International Women’s Day, choose the way to get active that speaks the most to you and raise your voice.
Join a protest or a march. This is perhaps one of the most impactful ways to make waves and to join like-minded people. If you’ve never joined a protest before, try finding your local feminist group on Facebook – simply search your town’s name followed by “International Women’s Day” or “Feminist”. Marches are a powerful way to come together and join others to raise your voices together.
Donate to a cause. Whether you are passionate about period poverty or domestic violence, donating is one of the most obvious ways to support a cause – and of course charities are always in need of donations, so your contribution, no matter how big or small, will be welcome.
Support a woman-owned business. As 80% of workers in the garment industry are women, the choices we make when shopping matter. Among current Fortune 500 CEOs, only 24 are women, so it’s up to us to support women who are trying to make a difference. So if you are planning on shopping today, support a vegan brand like HFS Collective, Delikate Rayne or Beyond Skin – all women-owned, ethical vegan businesses.
Use your voice on social media. Can’t make it to a protest? Be a virtual activist by sharing knowledge on social media – alert your followers to women’s rights campaigns, talk about the gender pay gap or start a discussion about sexism. Don’t underestimate the power of social media – your voice might create ripples on the water and more people will wake up to the cause.
Educate yourself. Read up on women’s history, watch a film that illustrates the fight for women’s rights or go to an exhibition documenting the campaigning of gender-equality activists through the years. Knowledge is power.
Celebrate your fellow women. Use your voice to lend space to women who do amazing things. Share the story of a friend who does inspiring work, or let your favourite social media activist know how much you appreciate what they do. Even just letting the females in your life know that you love and appreciate them is a powerful gesture that further contributes to community and strengthens the sisterhood.
Speak out against oppression. If there is one day to be rightfully enraged, it’s IWD. Contact companies that use unfair practices and encourage them to pay attention to women’s rights, write a letter to the editor to your local newspaper to speak out, or ask media to cover more women’s rights issues. And if you encounter sexism on your path, it’s the perfect day to let your voice be heard, loud and clear.
Go vegan for 8th March. The meat and dairy industries oppress female animals just because they are female. Dairy cows are routinely forcefully impregnated and their babies are taken from them shortly after birth. Egg-laying hens are exploited for their bodies until they are spent. These industries use supremacist tactics to enslave female beings and abuse their bodies, so if you are not vegan already, make a point of going vegan for the 8th of March.
Get out there and fight, whether “out there” is in the streets or online. The movement needs you, and the sisterhood awaits you.
Header photo by Chloe Simpson via Unsplash. Second photo by Shaojie, also via Unsplash