March 8th is International Women’s Day and though it has been celebrated internationally since 1911, it wasn’t until having my daughters that I started celebrating the day. Why did I wait so long to start celebrating an amazing day dedicated to strong, powerful women from all over the world? I was already celebrating Taco Tuesday and National Doughnut Day, why the heck wasn’t I celebrating the ladies of the world?! Maybe it was the political climate, maybe it was having the terrifying responsibility of raising my daughters to be strong confident women in a male dominated world, and maybe I was tired of women constantly taking the backseat and I wanted to finally see some change and recognize the awesome women who came before me. Whatever the reason, there are numerous ways to celebrate International Women’s Day and it is not exclusive to those with XX chromosomes.
This years International Women’s Day campaign is Balance for Better.
Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage …Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive. International Women’s Day Website, 2019
On March 8th follow #BalanceforBetter on all social media platforms to see how those around the world are celebrating and striving for a gender-balanced world. The campaign will continue through the year so make sure to check back! And don’t forget to post your own #BalanceforBetter picture and tag us @OmahaMomsBlog so we can see what you’re doing too!
Read a Book
What a fortunate time to be alive and have access to so many amazing books written, illustrated, and published by and about women. My daughters are three years old and though they get their share of princesses and damsels in distress, I try to limit the helpless female message at home. One way is to read books about strong female characters. Here are some of our favorites that can be enjoyed by girls, boys, moms and dads!
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, Timbuktu Labs, 2016
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, Timbuktu Labs, 2017
- Rad American Women A-Z written by Kate Schatz, Illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, City Lights Books, 2015
- She Persisted written by Chelsea Clinton, Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, Philomel Books, 2017
- Women in Science- 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky, Ten Speed Press, 2016
- The Paper Bag Princess Written by Robert Munsch, Illustrated by Michael Martchenko, Annick Press Ltd, 1980
- Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole, G.P. Putnam Sons New York, 1986
- Beautiful Written by Stacy McAnulty, Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, Scholastic Inc, 2016
- Eloise Written by Kay Thompson, Illustrated by Hilary Knight, Simon & Schuster, 1983
Watch a Movie
There has been a lot of attention on the rampant sexual assault and gender bias in Hollywood. And though this is not exclusive to the entertainment industry, they’re shining a light on why we need Balance for Better now more than ever. Though we are far from a Balanced Hollywood we need to support movies about women and produced by women! Here is my list of my favorite movies that are produced by women or show strong female leads. Check out the film trailers below.
- Wonder Woman PG-13 (2017) Directed by Patty Jenkins, Starring Gal Gadot; Warner Bros Studio
- Erin Brockovich R (2000) Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Starring Julie Roberts; Universal Pictures
- Fried Green Tomatoes PG-13 (1991) Directed by Jon Avnet, Starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson; Universal Pictures
- Moana PG (2016) Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, Starring Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson; Walt Disney
- Hidden Figures PG (2016) Directed by Theodore Melfi, Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae; Fox 2000 Pictures
- A League of Their Own PG (1992) Directed by Penny Marshall, Starring Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Tom Hanks; Columbia Pictures
- RBG PG (2018) Documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsberg Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, Starring Ruth Bader Ginsberg; CNN Films
- Lady Bird R (2017) Directed by Greta Gerwig, Starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts; Scott Rudin Productions, Entertainment 360
- 9 to 5 PG (1980) Directed by Colin Higgins, Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton; Twentieth Centrury Fox
- Hunger Games Trilogy PG-13 (2012) Directed by Gary Ross, Starring Jennifer Lawrence; Lionsgate
- Bend it Like Beckham PG-13 (2002) Directed by Gurinder Chadha, Starring Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley; Kintop Pictures
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Not Rated (1953) Directed by Howard Hawks, Starring Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe; Twentieth Century Fox
- Ghostbusters PG-13 (2016) Directed by Paul Feig, Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones; Columbia Pictures
- Brooklyn PG-13 (2015) Directed by John Crowley, Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen; Wildgaze Films
- On the Basis of Sex PG-13 (2018) Directed by Mimi Leder, Starring Felicity Jones; Amblin Partners, Participant Media
And if you are looking to binge watch some great TV shows that also feature strong female characters, I recommend the following:
- Marvelous Mrs. Maisel TV-MA Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, Starring Rachel Brosnahan; Amazon Studios
- The Mindy Project TV-14 Created by Mindy Kaling, Starring Mindy Kaling; Kaling International, Hulu
- Gilmore Girls TV-PG Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, Starring Lauren Grahm, Alexis Bledel; Warner Bros, CW, Netflix
- 30 Rock TV-14 Created by Tina Fey, Starring Tiny Fey; NBC, Broadway Video
- Parks and Recreation PG-14 Created by Greg Daniels, Michael Schur, Starring Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones; NBC Deedle-Dee Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment
- The Crown TV-MA Created by Peter Morgan, Starring Claire Foy, Victoria Hamilton, Matt Smith; Netflix
- Grace and Frankie TV-MA Created by Marta Kauffman, Howard J. Morris, Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin; Netflix
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TV-14 Created by Tiny Fey, Robert Carlock, Starring Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Titus Burgess; Netflix
- Veep TV-MA Created Armando Iannucci, Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale; HBO
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show TV-PG Created by James L. Brooks, Allan Burns, Starring Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Valerie Harper; MTM Enterprises
- Ugly Betty TV-PG Created by Silvio Horta, Fernando Gaitan, Starring America Ferrera; ABC, Silent H Productions
- Doc McStuffins G Created by Chris Nee, Starring Lara Jill Miller; Disney Junior
- Spirit Riding Free TV-Y7 Created by Aury Wallington, Starring Amber Frank, Bailey Gambertoglio, Sydney Park; Netflix
Somewhere between the Women’s Suffrage Movement of 1920, the Women’s Movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and today’s #MeToo awareness the term feminism has gotten a negative connotation. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary the definition of feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. So why do people give you an odd look or do an eye roll when you mention you are a feminist. Being a feminist does not mean you are a bra-burning, non-shaving, man-hater; but someone who supports women AND men, wants equal and balanced opportunities for everybody, and for people to feel and be safe in any and all situations. Now why would that be a bad thing? Can’t we all agree that International Women’s Day is more than just one day, it’s a movement that needs to continue so current generations of girls AND boys can grow up in a world of love, generosity and fearlessness.