International Women’s Day March 8, 2016 Mobilizes Global “Pledge for Parity”

How often do you celebrate the women in your life, to show your appreciation and to strengthen them? Imagine doing this and boosting women’s equality too! March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD), to honor the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and encourage concrete actions for gender equality. This year’s theme: “Pledge for Parity.”

Action ideas:

1. Email/text/announce on Facebook: “It’s International Women’s Day, and I’m so thankful for you/the women in my life!”

2. Organize an inspirational day at church for honoring women. Come up with a creative title to draw people in. Share what IWD is and its potential for your community. Use excerpts from LPF’s Women’s Path of Hope in a prayer, sermon, or interactive group reading. Inspire with quotes from LPF’s Inspiration from Women.

Host a festive lunch. Arrange in advance for a few women speakers of different generations to thank a woman or man who supported their equality. Honor unsung women too, not only visible women leaders. Find a way for achievements to be specifically named. Dream up a symbolic, visual activity; e.g. participants write on a ribbon the name of a woman they honor and attach the ribbons as streamers onto a hoop. Take a group picture with the visual and caption it before sending to Facebook, local or synodical media.

3. See who wants to meet after your women’s day, to talk more about equality. Use LPF’s Women’s Resources to affirm women and girls’ empowerment, including anti-violence work. Study the ELCA’s Social Statement on Women and Justice coming out in June 2016. (Response period will end June 2017. LPF will blog more about this soon.)

— Lily R. Wu, LPF Women’s Initiative

(Illustration from IWD 2011 on their 100th anniversary.)