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International Women's Day And The Influence It Can Have In The Classroom

March 8 was designated as International Women's Day (IWD) by the United Nations in 1975. However, it was first celebrated on March 19, 1911, in the United States and several European countries. The purpose of International Women’s Day is to reflect on the progress women have made in the world throughout history, honoring the courageous steps women have taken to create positive change in the world and talk about the changes that still need to be made.

International Women's Day provides an important opportunity for teachers, parents and caregivers to educate and inspire children and students about gender equality. Purple, green and white are the colors of International Women's Day. Purple signifies justice and dignity, and being loyal to the cause. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity, albeit a controversial concept. The theme for this years IWD is Inspire Inclusion. When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world. When women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.

Let's forge a more inclusive world for young girls during the month of March and continue this celebration throughout all interdisciplinary studies year round. All classroom educators around the world should be discussing and celebrating women's achievements. These discussions may encompass a spectrum of topics, including notable women from the country where the educational institution is situated, the examination of gender stereotypes and biases, and the instruction of forthcoming generations on the significance of gender equality—an endeavor recognized as one of the most fundamental changes at the grassroots level. It is of paramount importance that educators, when honoring women who advocate for a cause, it is imperative to acknowledge the anticipated constraints within the countries that embrace these women and their advocacies.

Make International Women's Day A Huge Success

The classroom can be both educational and empowering. Here are some steps a teacher can take:

Educate about the History: Begin by teaching students about the origins and significance of International Women's Day. Explain its history, including the struggles and achievements of women worldwide in the fight for gender equality. For example this can be explored in Literature studies, History, Maths, Science and Economic Business classes.

Highlight Women's Contributions: Showcase the contributions of women in various fields such as science, literature, politics, and arts. Introduce students to influential women from different cultures and backgrounds, emphasizing their accomplishments and impact on society. For example share woman who have made significant contributions world wide such as Greta Thunberg, Sweden; Emmeline Pankhurst, England; Amal Clooney, Lebanon/England; Wangari Maathai, Kenya; Malala Yousofazi, Pakistan and Rigoberta Menchu, Guatemala.

Engage in Activities: Plan activities that celebrate women's achievements and promote gender inclusivity. This could include debates on gender-related topics, creating art or writing pieces inspired by influential women, or organizing a guest speaker event with a prominent female figure. These ideas can be folded into other school wide events such as, International Festival, Heritage Week, local country celebrated festivals etc.

Encourage Reflection: Encourage students to reflect on the role of women in their lives and communities. Have them consider the challenges women face globally and brainstorm ways to promote gender equality and support women's rights. Students can develop their speaking and writing skills by developing stories, essays, debating student exposition and much more.

Continue the Conversation: International Women's Day serves as a starting point for ongoing discussions and actions to promote gender equality. Encourage students to continue learning about women's rights and to advocate for gender justice beyond just one day. Again, this idea of continued conversation can start with a simple wonder query and progress to deep inquiring questions about the subject topic.

International Women's Day serves as a starting point for ongoing discussions and actions to promote gender equality. Encourage students to continue learning about women's rights and to advocate for gender justice beyond just one day. By taking these steps, teachers can play a crucial role in educating students about the importance of International Women's Day and empowering the next generation to become advocates for gender equality.

Helpful resources to access:

International Women's Day

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