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Mark your calendar: International Women's Day falls on March 8. Despite the fact that the global community should really be celebrating women's day every single day, this date is an incredible opportunity to pause and see where we have been, how far we have come and the distance that's still left to cover.
The day was born out of the 1908 strikes in New York, when female workers in the garment industry took to the streets to protest their working conditions. Soon, the movement spread, making this day a vehicle for all women to call out gender inequalities and other socio-economic issues. By 1975, it had gained so much ground that the United Nations designated March 8 as International Women's Day.
It's high time we don't just "mind the gap" but make an effort to close it! Want to help effect change in your own way? Here are eight great ideas to get started and celebrate women every day.
History never looked so fresh. Did you know that it was a woman — Hedy Lamarr — who laid down the first foundations of Wi-Fi? Or that beer was developed by ancient Mesopotamian women? It's true. So, consider taking some time to read up and spreading your new knowledge over social media.
There are still places the world believes women can't go. You can inspire fellow women and prove naysayers wrong by exploring cultural elements and positions that have traditionally been controlled by men. It could be anything from powerlifting to politics ... don't discriminate, smash all ceilings!
You can help other women in need by donating to a women's shelter or nonprofit. Short on cash? Consider organizing a fundraiser or giving an organization your time, skills, clothes or unused cosmetics. It'll make someone else's life better and give you a good-deed glow you can carry with you all day — that's a win-win in anyone's book.
Your wallet is powerful. Make the world a better place by supporting ethical brands that ensure fair wages and a safe working environment for women! Try to bring your money to female-owned businesses whenever possible — you'll help them thrive in a world where female-led companies only see 2.2 percent of venture capital funding.
Hollywood is still profoundly dominated by men. Not only do women get fewer speaking roles, they are often shut out of most directorial positions. On top of that, they regularly receive only around one-third of their co-stars' salaries. So, watch an amazing film by a female director, or one with a woman-centric storyline. Here's three to get you started: "Obvious Child," "The Trouble With Angels" and "Whale Rider."
In 1818, Mary Shelley was forced to publish the cult-favorite "Frankenstein" anonymously, since women just didn't write books. Two centuries later, men in book publishing are still paid higher and progress faster than their female counterparts. You can counter the bias by reading a great book by a female author.
Whether it's your mother, a friend, a teacher or a boss, let the women in your life know just how much they mean to you. You don't have to do anything fancier than treating them to a fun night out to show your support.
Celebrating women's day means honoring all women, yourself included! Women tend to have the worst work-life balances, so set aside some time to bring out the face mask and curl up with a great book. Or take yourself out for a massage or a night on the town with your squad! Whatever helps you relax, unwind and feel proud to be part this great sisterhood.
Gender disparities impact every institution, every piece of media and every interaction you have. It doesn't take much to help reverse gender-based stigmas and support women across the globe as they battle brutality — from domestic violence to sexual assault — as well as wage inequality and countless other forms of discrimination. While International Women's Day comes just once a year, you can use these ideas to celebrate women in your own way every day.