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An International Women's Day challenge from Gazette student columnist

Student Life

By Nicole Noseworthy

International Women’s Day is on March 8 every year.

This day celebrates women and brings awareness to the struggle surrounding the historical and ongoing oppression of women. As a woman, feminist and human being, International Women’s Day is very important to me.

“What is International Women’s Day, and how can I celebrate it?” you may ask. Well, I’m here to give you my perspective and help with ideas of how to celebrate all the wonderful women in our lives.

What is IWD?

International Women’s Day, according to the International Women’s Day website is “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.”

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter. It’s all about finding gender balance in daily life.

For me, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect and ask myself what it means to be a woman in today’s society and how I can take action and do better.

How to celebrate IWD

Whether you are going to a formal celebration or celebrating yourself, please take an intersectional approach to how you think about and behave on International Women’s Day. The human experience is different for everyone.

It’s important to think outside the binary, as International Women’s Day is associated as being male versus female – full stop. If you’re new to intersectional approaches to social justice issues, reading up on it is a great way to engage and think critically today (and every day!).

Listen to women. It’s so important to listen to women’s thoughts and experiences.

“I challenge you, regardless of gender, sexuality or culture to really think critically.”

Ask them about their experiences and engage in conversation about their experiences in your field, at school, life in general or anything at all. Have the conversations that are necessary to create a world that is more fair, more accepting and more balanced in all aspects of life, from the justice system to the education system to the workplace.

Engaging in these discussions can hopefully make it easier to communicate a message of equality year round.

Spend time on International Women’s Day doing some introspection. I challenge you, regardless of gender, sexuality or culture to really think critically about the ways in which you talk about and interact with women.

What biases do you hold? Why do you feel the way you do about women’s place in the world? Do some people’s approaches to feminism and women’s rights make you uncomfortable? Why?

These are some of the questions you can ask yourself and others to explore surrounding women’s rights and activism, and why International Women’s Day is not only important, but necessary.

Inclusion, diversity and introspection

No one in this world is perfect. In order to be better we need to take an active approach in the fight for rights by having conversations where we engage cis and trans women, non-binary people, people of all different gender identities and women belonging to all marginalized groups.

International Women’s Day is day for awareness and celebration. It is important to recognize why this day takes place and how we can make it a day of inclusion, diversity, and introspection.

P.S. Yes, there is an International Men’s Day. It is in November. Please don’t bring that up today.

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