March 8 is International Women’s Day. Learn more about the official holiday and get to celebratin’!
Why do we still celebrate International Women’s Day?
“The original aim – to achieve full gender equality for women around the world – has still not been realised. A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men.
According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap won’t close until 2186.
5 Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day
Shop from female owned businesses.
Women now make up 40 percent of new entrepreneurs in the US and this number will hopefully continue to grow. (2016 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity)
One of my favourite female owned businesses? My sister’s business, Gabby Malcuit Photography. It’s not easy to hone a craft, manage a business, and have 3 kids at home, but she continues to grow and improve her business each year! I’m disappointed she won’t be in Hong Kong to take Baby P’s newborn photos, but you’ll be seeing maternity photos taken by her on New Kid on the Wok soon!
Give and financially support organizations that directly support and empower women.
My favorites –
The Akilah Institute is Rwanda’s only women’s college and has been educating and empowering women for over 8 years. 47% of Akilah’s students have lost one or both parents and 78% are the first generation in their families to complete higher education. Today 88% of Akilah graduates move directly into jobs in their career pathways within 6 months of graduation and earn 12x the national median income.
Enrich is a Hong Kong based nonprofit whose mission is to empower foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, regardless of nationality or background, to transform their lives through financial education and personal development programs.
Hong Kong’s foreign domestic workers are arguably the backbone of life and the economy in Hong Kong. Domestic workers leave their own families to care for Hong Kong’s children, elderly and households. Because of this help, dual-income households are possible and women in Hong Kong are better able to manage their careers and family life.
Enrich provides financial literacy training and empowerment programs that support female domestic workers at each stage of the migration journey: before she leaves her home country, after she has arrived in Hong Kong, whilst she is working here, and when she is ready to plan for return or reintegration to her home.
Kiva is a microlending platform that with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.
By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.
Add these picks to your reading list (they’re on mine!)
A passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.
Half the Sky shows how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.
Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.
What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun.
With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike.
The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.
In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is – a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.
and for our younger readers
Helping women and breaking gender stereotypes starts at home. I’m so lucky to have a supportive husband that is happy for us both to work, clean, and cook and will even memorize all the prenatal massages we learned in our first birthing class– hopefully one day all women can say the same!
- Calculate Your Unpaid Work
- Millennial Men Want To Have It All Too
- The Key to Gender Equality Isn’t in the Workplace or the White House—It’s at Home