International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration of women’s achievements in their momentous fight for equal rights – and a recognition of the challenges and struggles they continue to face head-on. Unfortunately, in recent years, it appears that brands have been picking it up as just another opportunity to sell to consumers. Marketing campaigns encouraging us to shop more on IWD may dilute the meaning of a day meant to celebrate achievements. Here are seven empowering (and budget-friendly) ways you can celebrate IWD 2021:
#ChooseToChallenge On Social Media
This year’s IWD campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge with the idea that a challenged world is an alert world and that we’re all accountable for our actions and thoughts. According to Margie Warrell, a contributor at Forbes, here are a ways you can #ChooseToChallenge:
- Challenge the doubts that fuel a sense of inadequacy
- Challenge the limits and labels others put on you
- Challenge more women to back themselves more often
To take part in this pledge, share a photo of yourself raising your hand high on your preferred social media platform. Be sure to include the hashtags #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021!
Image source: iStock
Attend An Online Panel
There are many virtual panels planned for IWD in March, both in Singapore and worldwide. Exciting options include the inaugural International Women’s Day Virtual Conference organised by the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, which brings together trailblazers and leaders for a discussion that’ll help accelerate the pace of gender balance in business organisations. Interested in the technology space?
Attend Women in Tech’s Tech(Know) Day, which showcases women in tech and their craft. Also, consider signing up for the Women in Leadership Asia Summit, which brings together some of Asia’s most inspiring and successful female leaders.
Follow Women Artists Making Things Happen For Local Art
||Founder of the local art advisory, The Culture Story, which aims to forge new conversations and partnerships between public institutions and the private sector
|Edible artist, with a confectionery medium; exhibits tablescapes and even entire rooms made out of confectionary, which have made their way to museums all over the world and taken centre stage at luxury brand pop-ups
||Founder of Telok Ayer Arts Club, which brings together dining, drinks, music, and art seamlessly in the middle of Singapore’s central business district – making space for more people to get involved and explore the Singaporean art scene
|Nadirah Abdul Razak
||Graffiti artist who’s brought Singaporean street art all over the world painting murals in Japan, Korea, and Mexico
||Specialises in large-scale art pieces; her large-scale sculptures of common-place spices (e.g. chillies and nutmeg) can be found all around the city-state, from Changi airport to ION Orchard mall to the National Museum of Singapore
There is undeniable value to a local thriving arts and culture scene. Art can help bring diverse social groups together in shared spaces – and create an avenue for positive interactions and shared experiences. Give the nod to Singapore’s very own female artists this IWD. Follow them on social media or buy their art, if you have the budget.
Donate To A Charitable Organisation Supporting Women
If you’re looking to make a difference in a worthy cause, consider donating to a charitable organisation supporting women – either locally or globally.
Examples include the Women for Women International, which invests in women survivors of war and conflict, connecting them with the necessary resources and support to realise their own power.
Another cause you could support is Project X: the only local non-profit organisation that provides social, emotional, and health services to women in the sex industry.
Image source: iStock
Catch Up On The Best Feminist Books
|The Feminine Mystique
||Highlights the institutional issues that kept women at home in the past
||The Vagina Monologues
||A compilation of real women’s stories that explore the complexity of female sexuality
||Women, Culture, & Politics
||A reflection on the impact of racism, health, education, and more — and how they affect the lives of women on a global scale
||A collection of speeches and essays by Black lesbian writer and poet Audre Lorde; centred around themes like racism, class, and homophobia, ultimately pushing a message of hope
||the witch doesn’t burn in this one
||Addresses feminism through a series of poems that encourage strength and perseverance amongst women, despite those who work to oppress them
There’s arguably no better way to educate yourself on the history of feminism than through books written by women from all walks of life. And you won’t need to spend a fortune to read these, as they may be available in public libraries or book swap groups.
Image source: iStock
Get Active With Other Women, Both Locally And Globally
A barrier to women exercising in the early 1800s was the belief that it was not good for their health. Of course, as research has shown, that’s simply not true; staying physically active promotes good health for all genders.
This IWD, celebrate the progress of women’s exercise by partaking in the official International Women Online Marathon 2021 (and get reminded of just how much you can achieve!)
Take Charge Of Your Cervical And Breast Health With Screenings
In addition to battling for educational, societal, and occupational opportunities, women have also fought for improved and increased access to quality healthcare.
Celebrate how far women have come in this sector – and take charge of your health by actively screening for cervical and breast cancer, two of the most common cancers among women in Singapore.
Take The Opportunity To Review Your Finances
IWD is also an excellent reminder for you to take stock of your current financial well-being. Are you on track for your retirement goals? Is your insurance coverage adequate?
Learn how to make smarter financial decisions by visiting ValueChampion, a personal finance research firm.
International Women’s Day 2021: 20 Marvellous Women Who Inspire Us