Tuesday 8 March is International Women’s Day and to mark the occasion there are events happening right across Europe. This year’s theme is ‘break the bias’ calling on countries and individuals to stand up against gender bias whenever they see it.
Designated an international day by the UN in 1975, many countries already celebrated long before that. While women only get a day’s worth of celebration in most countries, in the UK, US and Australia, they get the whole month of March.
So if you want to champion the amazing women in your life, how can you get involved?
In Italy, the traditional gift given to women during ‘Festa della Donna’ is a sprig of mimosa flowers. Two Italian activists, Rita Montagnana and Teresa Mattei, came up with the gesture back in 1946 as a way to show mutual respect and support for the women in their lives. The flowers - which are some of the only ones to bloom in Italy in winter - are passed between women to mark the occasion.
Here are some other ways to celebrate women in March and beyond.
International Women’s Month events in London
If you’re in London, there are lots of great events happening across the capital. Look Up London are running guided walks from the 5-20 March, telling inspiring stories of London’s women. So whether you want to learn about the women of Bloomsbury or the history of the suffragettes, you’re bound to find something you love.
And if that gets you in the political mood, you can join the International Women’s Day of Climate Action, a protest taking place in Parliament Square on 8 March.
The ever-popular WOW Women of the World Festival is taking place at the Southbank Centre from the 11 to 13 March too. This year you can expect talks from the likes of Bridget Christie, Bernardine Evaristo and a focus on gender equality across the world.
If you can’t make it to any of these events in person, there are virtual ways to celebrate too. The Cooperative Housing Federation of British Columbia, Canada is running a screening of the Margaret Atwood film, ‘A Word after a Word after a Word is Power’. The screening is free via zoom and you can sign up here.
Or you can join Engender host author Professor Akwugo Emejulu and journalist Assa Samaké-Roman for a conversation about activism, resistance and Black feminism and Afrofeminism in Europe. You can find out more here.
Free streaming platform Filmzie has also put together a collection of films directed by women for UK and US viewers. Including horror movies and romantic dramas, there’s plenty to keep you entertained throughout the month of March. Look out for M.F.A, a feminist revenge thriller directed by award-winning director Natalia Leite.
Or book yourself in for an adventure…
If you’re in the mood for something a bit more extravagant, why not book yourself onto a female-only expedition? Intrepid Travel offers a range of all-female adventures, from a trek around Morocco to a tour of Peru. Here you’ll learn how Peruvian women live and explore the spectacular Machu Picchu.
For fans of the great outdoors, there are some amazing women-only tours in Scotland too. Wilderness Scotland runs cycling holidays of the country’s most stunning national parks, as well as wilderness walking retreats and sea kayaking adventures.
You can find a full schedule of International Women’s Day events here.