10 ways to help women on International Women’s Day

Mar 7, 2024 | News

How can you help girls and women this International Women’s Day in a meaningful way?
How can you help girls and women this International Women’s Day in a meaningful way?
With roots in the universal-suffrage movement , it became a mainstream event when it was promoted by the UN. Today, 8 March, is a day to focus on issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, violence and abuse against women. It also leads to a slew of PR tie-ins that are, at best, irrelevant or, at worst, thinly-veiled attempts to sell things – anything other than empowering. In order to help women and girls this year, we have compiled a list of 10 practical ways.
1. Volunteer as a Big Brother The social enterprise Girls Out Loud, based in Manchester, offers a unique mentoring program that allows you to be a mentor without the usual sibling rivalry. The Big Sister mentoring program helps girls shine in those challenging teenage years. Image: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash
2. Gift a glowing interview glow-up Is it possible for you to power dress yourself to a better future? Smart Works, a UK charity, believes so. It offers disadvantaged women free coaching and a dressing consultation to boost their confidence for that important job interview. Consider supporting the charity by hosting a clothing swap or shopping with one of its partners: new launches and promotions will coincide with IWD. Image: Christina @ wocintechchat.com/Unsplash
3. Back women in business Spending your money wisely on a small business run by women, hiring a woman tradesperson or promoting them through a five-star rating can be simple. If you are a business owner, you can feature products from women owned stockists or become a mentoring through an organisation such as the Cherie Blair foundation – its application period is open until 12 April. You will be supporting a woman who is running a business in a country with a low- or middle-income. Image: Former Cherie Blair Foundation for Women mentee Suubi Njuki and the owner of Suu-Bee Ltd. in Uganda
4. Challenge gender stereotypes Praise and support children who are against the norm and champion their freedom of expression. Subvert gender norms by using non-gendered activities and toys. Encourage girls to play outdoor games, instead of dolls, in order to develop their social, cognitive, and physical skills. This will also help them shed the stereotyped role as ‘caregiver.’ Image: cottonbro studio
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5. Take a stand to stop misogyny, gender-based violence and sexism Men have an obligation to challenge and call out unacceptable language, banter and behaviour. This helps to dismantle a toxic culture that encourages gender-based violence. Follow the example of former policeman Graham Goulden who trains men to stop being passive bystanders and become voices for positive changes instead. Or Ben Hurst, who is helping to rewrite ‘the masculinity script’ in workplaces, schools and universities. Sam Bush for Positive News
6. Close the gender pay gap It’s shocking to see that the gender pay gap still exists in today’s world, even though it is smaller than it was before the pandemic. Employers can take inspiration from the Fawcett Society to challenge the status quo. This includes flexible working hours for all employees in order to balance work and family life. Employees can do no better than to support their female colleagues and give them the opportunity to be heard. Image: Fabian Blank/Unsplash
7. Share parental leave Consider using your right to shared parental leaves when balancing childcare and work. It allows birth mothers and their partners to share maternity pay and leave. The scheme is currently underused. Employers are required to facilitate the scheme, so you should start a conversation with your employer if you believe it could work for you. Image: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash
8. Shop for Change The Prince’s Trust raises money to help women and girls who come from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with employment, education, or assistance in starting a small business. Shopping with one of its many partner brands that donate a portion of their sales is a great way to support its #ChangeAGirlsLife Campaign. The Prince’s Trust
9. Support a women’s charity Support causes that promote empowerment and equality. You could start by supporting The Global Fund for Women which has supported feminist movements around the world for over 30 years, Girls Who Code which aims at closing the gender gap in technology, or Equality Now which is fighting against the many laws that discriminate based on sex and gender. Image: Maksym Ostrozhynskyy/Unsplash
10. Watch women’s sports Women’s sport finally received the attention it deserved last summer when record numbers tuned in to the Women’s World Cup. The tournament proved that women’s sports are equally captivating. The money at the top helps to catalyze grassroots changes that benefit the young female athletes of tomorrow. Image Nima Sarram/Unsplash Main Image: Former Cherie Blair Foundation for Women mentee Esther Gathage of Herstee’s Bespoke Cakes in Kenya
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