Twelve Ways to
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
March is dedicated to Women’s History: remembering the visionaries and trail-blazers who came before and provided so many of the rights we enjoy today. Artists, activists, entertainers, educators, authors, scientists, athletes and more, all paving the way for the next generation to have even greater opportunities.
Here are twelve ways to support the progress women have made to date, and to involve yourself in the history that is being made right now.
1. Support female-owned businesses.
Obviously, the best and first way you can support female owned business is to trade with them. But there are other ways you can promote women entrepreneurs: share their businesses and/or products and services on social media, leave positive reviews online and refer them to your friends.
2. Read books by female authors.
In her amazing TED Talk, The Danger of a Single Story, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says, How stories are told is dependent on power. In other words, whoever has the most power is the one whose stories are being told.
Books are such an important influence on how we percieve the world. So in order to have a more complete picture, we need to be sure to read books from multiple perspectives. This month, grab a few books from female authors to help broaden your own point of view.
3. Support female artists and performers.
A great way to support female creatives is to purchase time with them. Online classes abound from small business owners in every subject: art, style, writing, technology, the list goes on and on.
You can also give them your attention by watching their comedy acts, attending their performances, viewing their art. And then sharing what you love with others.
Make a point to search out women who create in areas of interest to you.
4. Watch a documentary or movie featuring a strong woman.
Documentaries are available about women in every field: sports, the arts, writing, fashion, politics. Great documentaries exist showing how women in other countries are changing the world. About the struggles and triumphs of girls around the globe fighting for education. And about the fight for women’s rights here at home.
The list of movies with strong female leads is also endless. Make a list of your favorites to revisit. Then get inspired by watching some you have never seen before and recommend them to your friends.
5. Watch a TED talk by an influential woman.
If you only have 20 minutes, take the time to watch one of the many TED talks given by women. There are talks on every subject you can imagine, so search for a subject that interests you and spend the next quarter hour gaining a new perspective.
6. Learn about an influential woman from history.
We are all familiar with the stories of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr. But how many stories do you know about influential women in our country’s history? The women behind those men in power? And how many stories do you know about the women who have tipped the balance of power?
Choose an influential woman, past or present, and get to know her a little better by exploring her work, reading a biography, watching a movie about her life, or just reading about her online from a reliable source. Here is a list to get you started.
7. Get to know our current women in power.
There are now more women in politics than ever before. But how much do you know about them…really? Only what soundbites you have seen in the news or on social media?
Do a deep dive on some of the women representing us in office. And keep an open mind as you read about their lives and stories. We all have so much more in common than we assume, even when our political views are different.
8. Support a woman’s not-for-profit.
Women around the world (and sadly even here in the US) still struggle with food insecurity, human trafficking, domestic violence and period poverty. Find a not-for-profit group you can support who fights against injustice for women.
Google ‘women’s not-for-profit organizations’ for ideas. Be sure to check with a site like Charity Navigator to confirm the organization you choose operates with transparency and accountability.
9. Learn something about the history of the women in your own life.
Take the time to listen to some of the stories about the women in your own family. Ask older relatives about their lives, look at photos from the past and see what your female family members remember about them. Women’s History Month is about our collective history as women, but it is also about the more personal history of each of us and the women who made us who we are today.
10. Say Thank You.
We have all been molded and encouraged by women mentors and role models. Take the time this month to say thank you. Make a call, write a note or schedule a lunch date and let a women who has made a difference in your life know how much her investment in you has meant.
11. Preserve history for the next generation.
If you are a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister or mentor to younger women, then you have experience and wisdom that should be passed down. Consider keeping a journal or creating a scrapbook to share your knowledge and stories with the younger women in your life. Or begin a family genealogy and start collecting family stories to document your own family’s history.
12. Empower other women.
When women support each other, incredible things happen. Look for ways to empower other women. In our current culture of divisiveness, it is easy to tear each other down. Make the conscious choice to choose encouragement and empowerment instead. Actively support the women you admire, and let anything else go.
It can sometimes be our tendency to look at women who are ‘out there’ doing things or trying to make a difference and sit back and critique them, can’t it? We can be quick to criticize, when perhaps we should be inspired instead.
We don’t need a big stage or nationwide attention to impact our world. We just need to step up and show up. Look for ways you can empower and encourage other women. Serena Williams said: The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up.