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5 ways to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021

March 8th is International Women’s Day, an occasion to celebrate women’s contribution to the world, raise awareness of ongoing struggles, and take action towards equality. We’ve therefore put together a list of five ways that you can mark International Women’s Day this year.

1. Support women-owned business

Despite it being 2021, women business owners are still massively outnumbered, with just 15.6% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by women. As individuals, one of our greatest powers is where we choose to spend our money, so why not use yours to support female-owned businesses this International Women’s Day.

2. Read a book by a female author

Delve into the minds of some incredible women from myriad walks of life by reading a book by a female author this March 8th. Sometimes harrowing but always inspiring, here’s a short list of a few we’d recommend.

  • In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom – Yeonmi Park Park tells her first-hand account of fleeing North Korea with her mother aged 13.
  • Things We Say in the Dark – Kirsty Logan A collection of dark stories that explore women’s fears through themes like female bodies, domestic claustrophobia, desire, and violence.
  • Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican-British woman living in London, the novel tells the story of her experience straddling two cultures while fitting neatly into neither.
  • My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante Ferrante tells the coming-of-age story of two friends growing up in 1950s Naples as they try to make a life for themselves amidst the violence and poverty of their surroundings.
  • Dominicana – Angie Cruz Cruz tells the story of Ana Cancion, who grows up in the Dominican countryside before marrying Juan Ruiz, who’s twice her age, and moving to New York City.

3. Watch a film by a female creator

If movies are more your thing, here’s a selection of moving and inspirational films created by female directors.

  • Promising Young Woman – Directed by Emerald Fennell Promising Young Woman stars Carey Mulligan as a woman seeking to avenge her best friend, who was a victim of rape.
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Directed by Céline Sciamma Set in France in 1760, this film explores love, sexuality, and arranged marriage.
  • The Broken Hearts Gallery – Directed by Natalie Krinsky After getting dumped by her latest boyfriend, Lucy creates the Broken Hearts Gallery, a pop-up space for the items love left behind.
  • Nomadland – Directed by Cholé Zhao Inspired by Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century, the film follows Fern, a widow in her early 60s travelling the country in a van.
  • Rocks – Directed by Sarah Gavron> After being abandoned by their mother, a young teenage girl growing up in London finds herself struggling to look after herself and her younger brother.

4. Donate to a charity that supports women and girls

If you can afford to, consider donating your money or your time to a charity that supports women and girls this International Women’s Day. Some examples include The Kit and Moon Time Sisters, both of which are fighting to end period poverty in Canada by providing free sanitary products. Another option is the End FGM Canada Network, which aims to end female genital mutilation both in Canada and abroad.

5. Learn about ongoing gender struggles around the world

It’s easy to get so wrapped up with what’s happening in our own countries that we let news from overseas pass us by. But by staying up to date with what’s going on around the world, we can identify ways to support women and girls who are undergoing persecution in other countries. This support might involve spreading awareness, petitioning our own governments to speak out against human-rights abuses, or donating to charities based in those countries.

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to both celebrate the cultural, social, and economic contribution of women, as well as shining a light on areas where improvement is needed. To learn more about how you can participate in IWD 2021 visit https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

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