Five Ways to Celebrate Equality with International Women’s Day
Guest Blog by All Things Hair.
International Women’s Day is celebrated globally to highlight prominent women and their achievements. Every year Women’s International Day has a theme. This year’s campaign is #EachforEqual which endorses the concept of equality and that ‘An Equal World For An Enabled World’.
Equality may seem a big concept, but there are little things you can do every day that helps celebrate equality. Why not use International Women’s Day on March 8th to start celebrating equality.
1. Question Yourself
Sometimes you need to think about how you look at the world before you can start to make the change. We are all growing as humans, it’s okay to re-learn and retrain ourselves. It can be a battle to change the way you think as so many ideas are influenced by gender, ethnicity and upbringing.
The first way to celebrate equality is to stop making expectations of people based on their characteristics or their background. By consciously taking the steps to correct these judgements, you can acknowledge the toxic social norms and move on from them. This enables you to open up opportunities to new people and learn from them as well.
It’s important to look at the judgements you’ve made about yourself. Are you selling yourself short because of expectations you’ve been led to believe about yourself? Don’t be afraid to step outside society’s expectations and support equality for yourself and others.
2. Support Others
In the age of social media, one quick click can ensure that a social media post can become viral in a matter of seconds. Support the voices of others who are standing up for equality and diversity. It’s easy to become cynical about your voice being worthwhile, the internet can sometimes feel like a lot of people shouting to get their voice heard. A little encouragement from a lot of people is how movements happen.
In the workplace, encourage your colleagues to come forward and share their thoughts without passing judgement or interrupting them. The voices of minorities are often unheard in the workplace, you never know they might be sitting on the best idea your company has ever heard.
3. Speak Up
We’ve all been in the situation where someone says or acts in a way that we know is wrong. We may feel demoralized, offended and upset, yet somehow we let it slight. We don’t want to seem difficult and make a scene, we don’t want to create an atmosphere in the workplace or you simply think that it’s fine because you’re never going to see that stranger on the train again. But saying nothing excuses demoralizing behavior.
When people speak up when others are being treated unjustly, we not only show bravery, we also encourage others to speak out. Observers become motivated to overcome their silence when they see others calling out harassment and discrimination because there is a lesser fear of repercussions.
If you’re a woman, make a point of talking to men about equality, too often women exclusively talk with women about the issues they face every day. Try to talk to them in the same way you talk to your girlfriends or female co-workers, trying to avoid talking with blame and judgement.
4. Be Inclusive
Inclusivity can sometimes be absent from women’s fight for equality. Black American suffragettes were forced to march at the back of the parade and were prevented from voting decades after the 19th Amendment passed.
Mainstream gender equality often excludes transgender women from mainstream equality discussions. Transgender women need to sisterhood more than most, they face serious disadvantageous, physical threats and health issues. Disable women can also feel like they are being left behind by the women’s movement, make any celebrations you have accessible and help those who aren’t listened to voice be heard louder.
To celebrate equality inclusively uplift the voices of trans, disabled and women of color, who have systematically erased and ejected from discussions. Read their books, listen to their podcasts, watch their movies. Comment on a brand’s social media for the lack of inclusivity, leave a message on the lack of diversity in the media and share the post’s activists on social media and get their message to a wider audience.
This International Women’s Day, listen to the voices of others and remember equality is not just women’s rights, it’s entwined with many communities who are still fighting for their right to be equal.
5. Embrace Body Positivity
Celebrate equality and diversity by embracing the bodies we were born and grown with. There is no one perfect body that we should all strive towards. Appreciate all that your body can do. It runs, it dances, it breathes, it dreams, it can do millions of wonderful things and is so much more than a dress size. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you will carry yourself with a confidence that makes you more beautiful.
With a positive mindset, no outfit is off-limits. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and there is an outfit that will enhance every type of figures. There are no rules that say you can’t wear a short skirt, crop top or bikini if you’re anything other than a size zero!
Loving the way you are doesn’t mean you have to stay looking natural. If you want to change for healthy reasons, not because you are being pressured into it by other people and social media, then go for it! Love the person you grow into. Body positivity embraces all bodies, it celebrates natural curls and neon hair, it embraces plus size women and those who have chosen to have plastic surgery, it celebrates androgyny and disabilities.
Love the body you have, because you only have one.
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