As a woman, the mother of two girls, and just simply, as a person, International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day that matters significantly to me. In my opinion it should be a day that matters significantly to everyone because it is, as the IWD websites states, a “global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women” and let’s be honest – women (most women) are pretty damn amazing and undoubtedly worth celebrating.
March 8 is a date prominently marked on our calendar at home, highlighted in purple and green for extra impact (and very thematic of course). IWD is an occasion that I utilise to generate discussion with my two girls, including the history of the date, why it came to be, the issue of gender inequality and many other aspects related to it.
My girls are young, so these discussions aren’t too complex, but they are enough that they are aware of the struggle women have faced and still do face on the path for gender equality.
This is what it would look like if a man lived like a woman for a day.
As well as discussion on the ‘heavier’ (yet important) side of IWD, we also utilise March 8 to celebrate the kick arse women that have been brave, strong, resilient and who have pioneered the way for others. We commemorate the brilliant, real life, role models for our kids to look up to and share their stories.
While all women will be celebrated on IWD (as they should be), here are five of the fabulous (and perhaps lesser known) women that I am sharing with my girls this IWD to showcase the unique and special ways women from around the world have impacted our lives today:
Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochran)
Nellie was an investigative journalist in the 1800’s long before women were commonplace in a news room. She launched her own career by penning a rebuttal to a male editor’s article that labelled women a “monstrosity”. She was only 18 at the time.
As well as forging a highly successful career in journalism, Nellie set out to travel the world in 80 days like the 1873 Jules Verne adventure story. Being the kick arse woman she was, it only took Nellie 72!