Nowadays, some people disregard the day, while others look forward to receiving flowers. However, we encourage you to spend the 8th of March honouring women's resilience, recognizing their achievements, and offering support where possible.
How can you celebrate International Women's Day in a way that brings you happiness and acknowledges the significance of the occasion? According to one account, the date became significant following protests in 1908 by female workers in New York, who were tired of working under unfavourable conditions and took to the streets to demonstrate. However, it's possible that the 8th of March gained importance later when suffragettes across Europe came together to demand rights that were previously unimaginable, such as the right to vote and run for office. Additionally, for some people, the 8th of March is linked to the Soviet-era celebration, which was criticized for placing more responsibility on women.
The power of appreciation
In the past, giving flowers was the only socially acceptable way to express emotions. We may still feel too shy to show our pride in women's achievements, but flowers can help. However, it's important to also express appreciation and respect through words. In Italy, women's emancipation is symbolized by the mimosa flower, established by women's rights activists. Flowers can be ordered remotely or from women-owned businesses for added value.
Supporting women's work-life balance
When a woman is overworked and overwhelmed, taking a day off isn't enough. Instead, consider giving her a break from household responsibilities, child-rearing, and caring for elderly family members. It's crucial to divide household tasks equally to ensure a fair distribution of work.
According to OECD data, women in Latvia spend twice as much time as men on household chores on average, leading to burnout, career setbacks, lower income, and a negative outlook. Studies indicate that women's earnings typically drop after childbirth and do not fully recover. If you know a single mother, extend a helping hand on International Women's Day.
Subconscious bias and the gender pay gap
Despite the fact that women tend to have more qualifications, men continue to receive higher salaries. This is due in part to our subconscious bias, which values male candidates over equally skilled female ones. Our upbringing and social prejudices, such as boys being given more pocket money than girls, contribute to reducing women's self-confidence, but it is in our best interest to work towards equal pay and representation of women in corporate and political leadership roles, which has been shown to increase national well-being and GDP.
Supporting women in need
On a day like International Women's Day, it's easy to get lost in celebration and forget about the challenges women still face. Unfortunately, poverty and domestic violence disproportionately affect women in Latvia and around the world.
Organisations like the Marta Center, Pink Train Foundation, and Skalbes offer much-needed support for women facing difficult situations. Additionally, many projects on Ziedot.lv focus on issues that specifically affect women. Consider making a one-time or recurring donation to a cause that resonates with you and turn it into a yearly tradition. Not only will you be supporting a worthy cause, but studies have shown that donating can also have a positive impact on your mental health.
Overcoming gender stereotypes in the workplace
Are you acquainted with a colleague who frequently shares sexist images on social media and dismisses gender equality discussions by claiming that equality has already been achieved? Perhaps he hasn't considered certain aspects yet. For instance, do equally qualified men and women receive the same pay in your organization? Are men promoted more frequently than women? Is the workplace safe for women, and why are sexual jokes inappropriate? Do we hold subconscious stereotypes about women in the workplace?
A recent study revealed that when an identical business email is sent by a woman and a man, the one purportedly written by a woman is more frequently considered by its recipients to be more impolite and demanding, whereas the one purportedly written by a man is viewed as direct and precise. Successful global corporations place a strong emphasis on ensuring diversity and equality in the workplace because they believe that if everyone enjoys their work environment, they can achieve more.
Celebrating women's achievements through film
Having a real-life example of what women can accomplish in front of your eyes makes it easier to believe in your own and other women's potential. Just a hundred years ago, it was believed that a woman's place was in the home, and women with opinions were considered dangerous. On the 8th of March, celebrate how far women have come and everything that still lies ahead.
Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix and local providers, you can find a variety of films that showcase the incredible accomplishments of women, such as "Suffragette," which explores the early days of the women's rights movement, "Wadjda," the first women-made Saudi-Arabian film about daring to be a girl and ride a bike, and "Becoming," Michelle Obama's autobiography, among many others. So why not choose a film and celebrate the achievements of women this International Women's Day?
Try out new platforms that have been created specifically to facilitate remote communication. Organize your own remote events, and participate in courses and seminars offered by other women – as a start, take a look at what “Novatore” has to offer!