An opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.
We are celebrating the International Women’s Day (IWD) today. The first International Women’s Day was marked in 1911 and has been celebrated every year since.
Thousands of events are taking place today around the world to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women. There is a lot to celebrate and it is great to have a day like today when we can pause and be grateful for all the positive developments. But there is still a lot to be done and the IWD’s role is also to bring attention to the unsolved issues affecting women worldwide. I find that Hillary Rodham Clinton put it beautifully in her speech at Fourth Women’s Conference in Beijing in 1995.
To honour women I wanted to pitch in today with my best resources for women, both for raising awareness of women’s situation and problems they face as well as providing resources for their growth and development.
Let’s start with resources raising awareness of women’s issues and offering solutions to the most burning problems.
The book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicolas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. They describe various problems such as gendercide (killing baby girls), forced prostitution, slavery of women, maternal mortality (one woman dies in childbirth every minute worldwide), domestic violence and no or limited access to education. The book has also inspired the Half The Sky Movement.
As they explain, their mission is
“… igniting the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide (…) not only to raise awareness of women’s issues, but to also provide concrete steps to fight these problems and empower women”.
Another great resource and a way to help, which I personally support, is the Plan International’s initiative Because I’m a Girl. They help girls and young women by providing opportunities through local projects and by campaigning for their rights such as right to a birth certificate and right to education. The best thing is that with your small donations you can get involved in their efforts and give those girls a chance for a better life.
“Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”
So far 237,286 men have committed to the case, among them President Obama and Matt Damon.
Let’s take a look at the resources for all women who want to grow and take charge of their private and professional life.
One of my favourites is Marie Forleo. As Marie puts it, her mission is to
“ add more value to your world than you ever dreamed possible by giving you tools that you can immediately use to improve your business and life.”
And after three years of taking advantage of that promise I can honestly say that she means every word of it. She has been recognised as a great business coach and mentor to women by such business giants as Sir Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey, so sign up for her newsletter and “create the life and business you love” with Marie’s help!
Another great source is DailyWorth:
“a community of women who talk money”.
You can sign up for their daily newsletter with financial, business, entrepreneurial and other practical tips and inspiring ideas. They keep a laser-sharp focus on women’s issues and offer practical advice on all issues relevant to working women from money through retirement plans, investments, career strategies, best lunch tips to professional make up and clothes.
Similar strategy is behind the Little Pink Book:
“A digital magazine and events to empower and inspire career women.”
They also offer advice and ideas about business, money, career and events for working women.
The last resource I’d like share with you today is Sheryl Sandberg’s book and organization Lean In. They
“…are committed to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals. If we talk openly about the challenges women face and work together, we can change the trajectory of women and create a better world for everyone.”
This is what I believe, too, with all my heart as I explained in my speech last year. Women’s issues are human issues. Let’s remember this simple fact today, and every day.