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National Women's Day and Intersectionality

 

"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."—Gloria Steinem

 

On March 8, the world will recognize International Women’s Day (IWD), a day established in the early 1900s to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.” This year’s theme, #PressforProgress, aims to inspire people to continue to be vocal and active in pushing for parity and equality across genders. In honor of this year’s IWD, take a moment to talk to your children (not just daughters!) about the evolving roles of women in different societies or ask your child to identify some women who have made difference in their lives (personally or historically). To take it a step farther, take a pledge for parity (e.g., valuing women and men’s contributions equally) as a family and talk about how you might fulfill that pledge over the course of this next year. It is becoming increasingly easier to provide books and media that tell the stories of powerful women taking action and making a difference (hint: Jessica Jones, season 2, drops on Netflix on March 8th!), so our children can see models of how to own and use their power to not only fulfill their own potential but to also support their peers in fulfilling theirs.

 

A Note on Intersectionality

With the beginning of March also comes the end of February and the end of Black History Month. It is important to highlight, as Becky mentioned last week, that just because the month is over, the importance of learning about and recognizing the profound impact black Americans have made on this country cannot be contained in one month. We thought this would be a good time to touch on the concept of intersectionality. If this is a new term for you, intersectionality is a term introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a legal scholar and theorist, who sought to explain how different types of discrimination interact and intersect and are difficult to isolate in terms of their impact on the individual experiences discrimination based on multiple factors—gender, sexual orientation, race, ability, etc…. In the context of International Women’s Day, consider, for example, the impact of gender discrimination on women of color versus the impact of gender discrimination on white women.

 

To learn more about the origins of the day and how to celebrate this year, check out https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/international-womens-day-did-start-important/.

 

The International Women’s Day website: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

 

Some neat ideas for how to celebrate International Women’s Day with your child(ren): http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/celebrating-international-womens-day-with-kids/

 

To learn more about intersectionality: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/09/21/intersectionality-a-primer/?utm_term=.0b169f0b3210.