Happy March! It is a month of leprechauns and gold coins, springing forward and a holiday you may not have heard of before: International Women’s Day. Happening every year on March 8 (today!), International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19 (it moved to March 8 two years later). The idea was to campaign for a woman’s right to vote, as well as fair working conditions and labor legislation for women, and the event has since spread in celebration across the world, according to its web site.
Because March is also Women’s History Month in the United States, I plan to acknowledge these two meaningful holidays all month long—you should, too! Here are five ways I will be celebrating:
- Bake cupcakes. I am the Bryn Mawr College chapter president of She’s the First, a non-profit that utilizes creative fundraising efforts to sponsor the education of young women in the developing world to help them become the first in their families to graduate. This month, we will be hosting a film screening of one of Katharine Hepburn’s movies, Adam’s Rib. Hepburn is a Bryn Mawr alum, so we thought it would be fitting with the Women’s History Month theme. We are partnering with the Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education to host the movie. Because cupcakes are a signature fundraiser of She’s the First, we will be selling cupcakes adorned in the traditional colors of International Women’s Day—purple, green, and white. Proceeds will go to our chapter’s scholarship fund for the girl we are sponsoring in Tanzania!
- Be thankful for my right to vote. I voted in my first-ever presidential election in November, which was so exciting. But sometimes, I forget that one hundred years ago, I would not have had this opportunity! (The Nineteenth Amendment, which prohibited any United States citizen be denied the right to vote based on sex, was ratified on August 18, 1920.)
- Make the most of my last March at college. Did you know? According to UNICEF, more than half of the 101 million children in the world not in school are girls. And that’s not even college—that’s elementary and secondary schools. I feel blessed and empowered by my Bryn Mawr education, and I plan to not only make the most of it before I graduate in May, but I also plan to continue helping girls around the world to receive education through She’s the First and other avenues.
- Write letters to my “Sheroes.” These are the female heroes in my life who have filled it with happiness and inspiration. I’m looking at my mom, my grandmothers, my teachers, professors, classmates, and friends who have shown me strength, perseverance, love, and care. Love you all!
- Wear International Women’s Day Colors as much as possible. Go purple, green, and white!
What a great day for this post. Happy International Women’s Day AND Women’s History Month!
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