Today, March 8th, we join together across all perceived ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, and political boundaries to celebrate women.  It is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the social, political, and economic achievements of the past, and a day to look forward towards a time when women everywhere are treated with equity and dignity.  It is a day to honor each other and revel in the power and beauty of a woman.  To celebrate and be grateful for our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, girlfriends, and all the women in our lives that inspire us to be better women.

The United Nations recognizes International Women’s Day as the story of ordinary women as makers of history. Philanthropiece Advisory Board and Staff Last week, the Advisory Board of Philanthropiece – made up of 11 powerful women – attended “Half The Sky Live,”  in which Nicolas Kristoff, Sheryl WuDunn, and a host of others, paid heed to three of the great abuses facing women today: sex-trafficking and  forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality. The Half the Sky movement can urge us to realize that we all are those ordinary women who have the ability to make history.  Each of us – in our vast power, energy, creativity, and intelligence – can step up and do one thing (and perhaps more!) to support women everywhere to realize and use their voices.

To celebrate the day, we encourage you to take steps, both big and small, to achieve equality for women and girls.  In his NY Times Opinion piece to commemorate the day, Nicholas Kristoff points out three proven steps to advance the world’s women. He notes education, deworming and micronutrients (including family planning), and support for women to start their own businesses as his suggestions for the most effective interventions to raise women’s status around the world.

What about you? How might you use your voice, your energy, your expertise, your resources to support even one woman or girl in this world?  We offer a few more of our own suggestions and wish you a very Happy International Women’s Day!

  1. Recognize your women heroes and share their stories here, in the comments section.
  2. Honor all the women in your life by donating to the Girl Effect, via Global Giving, in their name.
  3. Educate yourself about the issues facing women around the globe by reading Half the Sky.
  4. Sign the Voices Against Violence petition to help put an end to violence against women.
  5. Empower yourself to move from concern to action by joining Mother’s Acting Up’s Daily Actions for inspiration.