When I thought about all that I wanted to say about International Women's Day and why it's an important date to recognize, I was a bit lost on how to sum up everything that I wanted to say about how great it is to be a lady, the specific challenges and barriers faced and how we can move forward to make things better. I ended up heading to the resources page of the IWD, and found this video that sums up everything I want to say as well as my thoughts on how we can start to truly love ourselves, feel fulfilled in our lives and inspire the next generation of girls to be leaders where we have been scared or held back.
So sure, there's statistics about how women are still not equal in terms of education, employment, leadership position, wages and health, but to most people, statistics are a detached thing that exist, but which don't have a lot of obvious impact on their day to day lives, nor are there obvious ways that one person can change things for the better. I came across the video below on the IWD site, which is a promotional video for the documentary Miss Representation, a documentary about all of these kinds of issues with some specific suggestions about what one person or a group of people can do themselves in order to make their lives better and more meaningful, as well as how to improve things for other women and girls and your community as a whole.
The suggestions to rise above the stats suggested in the video really spoke to me, although they almost seem like they should be obvious. In order to highlight them and remind myself of what I'd like to do to make myself happier and healthier in mind and body, I've reproduced them below.
1) Get Healthy
- Be Conscious of Your Media Consumption, online and off
- Take a Media Break
- Focus on Achievement over Appearance
- Find out What makes you happy
- Appreciate your Uniqueness
- Celebrate your accomplishments
- Personify the characteristics you hope to see in the world around you
- Be a mentor to others
- Volunteer in Your Community
- Boycott Harmful Media
- Use Your Voice to Create change, Online and Off
- Don't be Afraid to Step into Leadership Roles
- Encourage and Invest in the Leadership of Women
- Remember that you are the Lead Character of the Story of your Life