Cover Image by Jenny Mae Wong
March 8, 2021 is International Women’s Day. What does it mean that I only found out about this when I logged onto my computer for work today?
Well, my ignorance can be partly put down to my intentional insulation from the wide web’s large social media conversations – I’m one of those people who just can’t deal with all the noise.
That being said, I talked to my mom, my spouse, and checked my news feed in the last 24 hours. No mention of the big day. Why? Maybe it’s because women’s struggle for equality is pretty much done, and thus most women don’t feel the need to make a big deal about it? I jest, of course. The real reason is likely the same as it has always been – a lot of women go about their business of making life better for others, without taking time to pat themselves on the back or demand recognition. They run their businesses, attend meetings, close deals, often while taking care of kids, spouses, pets, all of whom tend to take it for granted, and only using what’s left of their time for some yoga or other form of self care.
So today is a reminder for me, and a wakeup, to the fact that my ignorance of the occasion of this day means exactly that one day is not enough, and that I should be doing more every day not only to appreciate women for all that they do and all that they are, but to assist them, to become an ally in the quest towards true equality.
Since the majority in our neighborhood of the internet are homebodies, I’ve taken the liberty of laying out some thoughts as to how we might all help the cause of letting women feel more appreciated, empowered and supported, without having necessarily to go out and wave a placard. I’ve certainly only scratched the surface, but if we can employ some of these tips, at least we will be teetering in the right direction!
- Tell the women in your life how much you appreciate them. This seems an obvious place to start, since we often overlook what is right under our noses. Take a moment to say or send your appreciation for some women who help to nurture, protect, shape or inspire the person you are today
- Promote women in your work and / or workplace. If you are a solopreneur working from home, hire women-led talent to get things done. If you are in a company, support women for advancement to senior positions wherever you can.
- Call out sexist behavior and comments when you see them. Do not stay silent when you see or hear people making comments or gestures that are demeaning or disrespectful to women.
- Vote for women! I have often said that if the world’s leaders were predominantly women, I sincerely doubt that we would ever see another major military conflict or oppressive dictatorship. Who better to lead men than those who raised them? More women in political leadership globally is surely a good thing.
- Donate to a cause that promotes the advancement of women and equality. So many issues affect women disproportionately, partly because they are burdened with the responsibility of providing support for the entire family. The proceeds of charitable donations need to be safely channeled to women who are on the front lines of providing care
- Place as much value on work done in the home as you would for work done in an office or elsewhere. As bad as lockdowns and quarantines have been, one positive coming out of it has been the realization of just how much of our work can be potentially done from home. How liberating this must be for so many women with young children who would in the past have been forced to choose between wok and child raising. Now it is possible for women to have it all – if they get the support and appreciation they deserve!
- Support women through your consumer choices – buy from companies that employ fair trade practices, and those who do business in an environmentally conscious way as well, since a lot of the effects of climate change and natural disasters are borne by women.