Established by the United Nations in 1977, International Women’s Day originated at the beginning of the twentieth century in workers’ struggles to improve their working conditions. While the times have indeed changed, this day nonetheless remains relevant!
So, we want to inspire you and encourage you to take care of yourself on this important day. Here are a few ideas to really celebrate International Women’s Day.
1. Watch a movie produced by an inspiring woman
- Lost in Translation, by Sofia Coppola;
- Selma, by Ava DuVernay;
- The Hurt Locker, by Kathryn Bigelow;
- Inch’Allah, by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette.
2. Devour a book written by a female author
- Harry Potter, the bestselling book by British author, JK Rowling, who is also the films’ screenwriter and producer;
- Vi, Ru and Man (Éditions Liana Levi), three novels written by Canadian author Kim Thuy, who received the Governor General’s Award in 2010;
- Le Voyage pour les filles qui ont peur de tout (Éditions Michel Lafon), a novel that downplays issues related to women’s travel, written by Marie-Julie Gagnon and Ariane Arpin-Delorme, female authors from Québec.
3. Support your female colleagues and the women in your life
While the responsibility for creating an agreeable working environment seems to fall naturally to your employer, it’s actually everyone’s responsibility.
- Take a few minutes to have a coffee and learn more about the people around you;
- Give the floor back to someone who is often interrupted during meetings;
- Celebrate your female colleagues’ victories to help build their confidence (boost yours with these yoga poses here);
- Organize a weekly walking or running group to foster cohesion and enjoyment;
- Suggest or create a mentoring program to facilitate newcomers’ integration;
- Join the ranks of a cause that really matters to you and get other colleagues to join.
4. Dedicate your time to volunteering
Whether it’s at a women’s co-op, or a non-profit organization in your community, give a bit of your time if you can.
- The CDRQ – Montréal-Laval ahelps immigrant women by giving them agricultural experience so that they can be part of the sector’s continuity;
- The Women’s Y has a number of programs where women and girls can take part in support initiatives as volunteers;
- Action travail des femmes (ATF) is a non-profit organization that works with socio-economically disadvantaged women in their search to acquire decent employment. In France, look for Groupe Énergies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarité (GERES), active at the Carrefour des Alpes et de la Méditerranée, but also present on many continents ;
- The Herstreet, a non-profit organization that helps homeless women;
- Women for Women International has helped more than 429,000 women in countries afflicted by war and political conflict.
5. And finally … celebrate!
On a lighter note, organize a dinner among female friends and ask each guest to invite a friend or acquaintance who isn’t a part of your usual circle. It completely changes the dynamic and makes for wonderful encounters, as well as opens the door to new conversations.
Celebrate Big and Cherish Yourselves!
Travel consultant, college instructor in Tourism Techniques, lecturer, author and travel writer, Ariane Arpin-Delorme is passionate about everything she does. She founded theParfums d’Asie travel agency a few years ago, as well as Esprit d’Aventure in 2013, where she continues to work as a made-to-measure travel advisor. Having travelled in 70 countries, she has amassed a variety of experiences in the tourism industry and has undertaken numerous international cooperation projects. Her driving force: meeting people, climbing the world’s highest peaks and taking off to cruise in a sailboat…