March is International Women’s Month, which means we will be hearing a barrage of inspiring and empowering messages and images for women all over the world. And rightly so — after all, women have suffered for centuries and have fought for equal rights, and continue to do so today. At its core, International Women’s Month began as a movement and a call to action for achieving gender parity across the globe. Over time, it has also become a global celebration of women’s cultural, political, economic, and social achievements.
If you’re thinking of ways to be part of this global movement in your own little way, here are some ideas you can explore:
Support group for victims of domestic violence
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, reports that violence against women rose intensified during the COVID-19 crisis, with 243 million girls and women experiencing physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in 2020. Some factors that exacerbated this trend includes cramped living conditions, the victims’ forced isolation with their abusers, movement restrictions, deserted public spaces, and security, money, and health worries. These are staggering numbers, and one that we can’t afford to ignore.
While you can’t help every woman in the world who’s going through this, you have the power to reach out to those who live near you. You can set up a Facebook group or a crisis hotline for women in your neighborhood or town who might be experiencing abuse at home, and you can partner with a counselor who specializes in domestic abuse as well as the police.
Fundraising for marginalized women in your area
The best way to help women in need is to meet their felt needs and this includes raising funds for their immediate needs like food, safe shelter, and clothing. You don’t need to be the richest person to be able to extend help — you can just use whatever platform you have to raise funds for women in your area who need help to pay for their bills. The beneficiaries can include women from low-income neighborhoods or those with chronic illnesses or disabilities who may need help with their medical bills.
The best part is that platforms and websites like GoFundMe have made endeavors like this much easier. Make sure to use a reputable website to ensure that your fundraising activities won’t be buried and that you’re able to reach a lot of people for your advocacy.
Webinar for abuse education
The statistics show just how devastating and far-reaching the effects of abuse of any kind can be. This is why abuse education is an incredibly important tool, not just for the victims, but also for those who perpetrate it. If you know a psychotherapist or counselor who specializes in abuse and trauma, consider partnering with them to organize a webinar for abuse education. It can be a channel in which audiences will be informed about the warning signs and red flags, how they can escape their situation safely, and what their options are. You never know — this webinar just might save a life.
A blog or podcast for inclusivity and body positivity
We live in a time when women of all shapes, races, sexual orientations, and sizes need to have their voices amplified. It’s the best time to remind people that all women are valuable and deserve to be empowered. You can do this by starting a blog or a podcast and inviting women of all stripes to start conversations on inclusivity and body positivity.
Advocating for equality
Experts say that if we want to boost the global economy, we need to empower marginalized women. We need to fight for their education, and their ability to participate in existing markets. We need to give them access to dignified work, and agency over their time and resources. UN Women says that doing all these things is key to realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. If we want a better world, we need to empower and support women.
If you’re intimidated by the idea of starting an activity from the ground up, consider looking at organizations that are already doing these things and joining them. Make sure to do your due diligence to ensure that they share your values, ethics, and priorities before you join.
Supporting and empowering women shouldn’t just be limited to March of every year — we need to do it all-year-round. Not just because we want a better future for the next generation, but because women of all stripes deserve it.