International Women's Day : Not Limited to Celebration in March
Posted: Aug 17 2017
Hey SparkFire Girls,
It's me again, Crystal, one of the SparkFire Ignitors, a high school Junior in Massachusetts, studying here as an exchange student from China. As I've shared in other blogs where I've written about inspiration for Girls Education, I am passionate about opportunities to make a difference for girls and using my voice for empowering young women around the world, I've been thinking a lot about how every year, we come together in March to celebrate women’s achievement on International Women's Day. Women comprise half of the world population and nobody can say that women don't make an impact in one form or another. From Hillary Clinton to Meg Whitman to Beyoncé, our world is a better place because of women. The theme this past year was #BeBoldForChange. It calls for all women and men to make this world a more gender-inclusive place and bring awareness to the unfairness of gender role. It sees no date or no specific month. But it is an inclusive campaign that stems beyond March 8th.
Anyone or anywhere, you can join the celebration by joining “A Day Without Women” to either take the day off or simply say “thank you” to your mom and female friends in the spirit of love and respect. As Gloria Steinem said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” Regardless of race, religion, age or sexual identity, we are women and we have every right to be treated like men.
Here are some steps we can take to promote gender equality in our everyday lives :
Speak up for yourself/friends (Use Your Voice)
When people say something sexist or gender stereotypes, stand up for yourself and tell them it's not okay. It's scary sometimes if it's a teacher or other authority, but we have to see it in the bigger picture. Imagine how different the world would be if we are all willing to make a small change.
Make Education “Gender Equal” (Let Your Light Shine)
We don't necessarily realize some gender stereotypes we face in our education system. In school, girls are falsely encouraged to put more efforts in language related subjects instead of math and science. For example, the teacher may assign boys to move stuff and assign more technical jobs to girls such as to decorate the room. We can stop this by showing them that we are able to do it as good as boys or even better.
Talk about the issue (Be The Spark)
It's okay to talk about the unequal situations you were in. We can't solve the problems if we don't recognize them.
Be a role model for your younger siblings (Spark It Forward)
When you have the chance to buy gifts for your siblings or neighbors, stop sending the message of inequality by buying gender-specific toys. Encourage them to ask for what they like instead of forcing them to make choices based on their gender.
Support Stores or Organizations that support women (Strong Girls = Strong World)
Stores like SparkFire Active help millions of girls out there who don't have the same opportunities as us. Five percent of every purchase at SparkFire Active goes directly to funding & supporting girls' education. You will change someone's life by helping them stay in school. Strong Girls = Strong World!
To all the SparkFire girls and women out there, “ You’ve got everything to take the world under your stride.”
Crystal Z., SparkFire Ignitor