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BLOG: On the Lam

with Chrissie Lam

We’re Celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th

We’re Celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th

Join us as we recognize the contributions of women around the world (including our own artisans) and #PressforProgress.

In a 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum found that gender parity is over 200 years away. That’s a sobering statistic, but one that makes the importance of demands for change like International Women’s Day even more apparent.

Do you remember (or did you participate in) 2017’s a Day Without a Woman? An IWD event led by the Women’s March organizers, A Day Without a Woman was intended as a strike— a way to drive attention towards the many ways in which women contribute, and to make their absence from daily routine felt and appreciated.

If last year’s event was intended to call attention to the fact that women are often taken for granted, this year’s is a rallying cry uniting women across the globe in a display of solidarity that demands change. Last year’s strike set the stage for today’s actions.

International Women’s Day is more than just a 2017 strike; it has an illustrious history spanning over 100 years of activism, celebrating women’s achievements and providing an occasion to continue to fight for gender parity. In 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin proposed an International Women’s Day, a day where globally women could come together to make their demands heard and use collective action to press for progress. Just a year later, more than one million people (including men!) attended IWD rallies in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.

In 1975, the United Nations recognized the occasion for the first time, and has been contributing its own annual themes ever since, including 2018’s “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.” It aims to capture the momentum of movements like #MeToo in the US, #YoTambien in Mexico, Spain, and South America, “Ni Una Menos” against femicide in Argentina, and many other issues impacting women across the world.

As you might have guessed based on events like A Day Without a Woman and “Time is Now,” IWD is intentionally not country, group, or organization-specific; its goal is to belong to everyone everywhere, and in the process to model the kind of inclusive behavior they are promoting. While everyone is invited to contribute in their own impactful ways, collective action remains IWD’s rallying cry, and they suggest five key positive behaviors for participants and allies to embody:

    • Maintain a gender parity mindset
    • Challenge stereotypes and bias
    • Forge positive visibility of women
    • Influence others’ beliefs and actions
    • Celebrate women’s achievements

Founder of Love is Project Chrissie Lam with artisans

We’ve sought to build Love Is Project’s business model on these very behaviors. From providing opportunities to female artisans no matter their country of origin to making different cultures and designs visible to customers across the world, we seek to challenge stereotypes, celebrate the power of femininity, and to influence others with our business model and best practices.

If you’d like to participate in International Women’s Day, you can find a list of events near you, or participate in a Thunderclap on social media regardless of your location. The International Women’s Day website also has resources for downloading selfie cards and printable posters, throwing IWD events near you, and suggestions for documenting activism.