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I’m every woman; 5 ways to celebrate

by Marlies Dekkers
This Sunday the world celebrates Women’s Day. The theme this year: ‘Make it happen’. I couldn’t agree more. Let’s do it!

The first International Women’s Day took place in 1911 as a political event. Since then the 8th of March has become the date to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide, while fighting for greater equality. In some countries, like Italy and Russia, Women’s Day has become a mixture of Mother’s Day and Valentines Day –bring on the heart-shaped chocolates!- while in others, women take it to streets to raise awareness for their struggle. (I’ll never forget the image of an Egyptian woman holding a statue of Queen Hatshepsut, the only woman that ruled Egypt, during a demonstration in Cairo two years ago) I personally like to celebrate this special day in a joyful way, paying tribute to the women I admire and love. Here’s how you can join in:

1. Paint it purple
Traditionally, people wear purple ribbons on Women’s Day. Purple stands for justice and dignity, two values strongly associated with women’s equality. I have nothing against a ribbon, but how about some sexy purple eye shadow as an alternative? Or a fabulous purple bra? Wear it, take a picture, and post it to show your colours. #PaintItPurple

2. Have a ladies night In Portugal groups of women usually celebrate Women’s Day on the night of March 8 with ‘women-only’ dinners and parties. I love that, women should get together much more often! Make those men wish they could be a fly on the wall…

3. Say it with flowers
Is there a woman in your life you admire? Show her this Sunday! Be inspired by countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Russia, where on Women’s Day, employers spoil women with flowers and schoolchildren bring gifts for their female teachers. Flowers and chocolate may be cliché gifts, but they’re always appreciated! (Yes, that might be a hint, ahum)

4. Give a little
Did you know that 70% of those living in poverty are women? On Women’s Day, donate to your favorite women’s charity, be it the Global Fund for Women or a small local initiative. Got some clothes that you don’t use anymore? Drop them off at your local branch of Dress for Success; they will use them to create a professional wardrobe for disadvantaged women.

5. Use that hashtag
Share women-empowering content through your social media canals this Sunday, anything that you find inspiring. (a recent favorite of mine is the ’12 historical women who gave no f*cks’ on Buzzfeed) Use this hashtag: #MakeItHappen, to create a world-wide kick-ass feed. Make it happen! Happy Women’s Day!

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