Mamatoyz: What is International Women's day and why do our children need to know about it?

International Women’s Day dates back to 1911 when women were fighting for the right to vote. Each year on March 8th, we now celebrate International Women’s Day. In 975, the United Nations started sponsoring International Women’s Day and in the 21st century, the day is celebrated and used to raise awareness along with educating and pushing for greater. In different countries, this day is celebrated in different ways. Some groups will send gifts and flowers to women and others create performances, events and activities to increase knowledge on why this day is so important. In this article, we’re going to explain how children can be involved with this day and why they should be part of it!

What is the theme for International Women's day 2022?

Each year a theme is chosen for those participating in events to focus around. In 2021, this theme was ‘choose to challenge’. This encouraged those celebrating to recognise and call out gender bias and equality in and around their lives to help make a great difference. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is ‘break the bias’. As a continuation of the previous year's theme, ‘break the bias’ encourages participants to use their knowledge from the previous events to help remove these stereotypes and bias’ from workplaces, schools, public places amongst many other areas. 

Imagine a gender-equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Together we can forge women's equality.
Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

What can be taught this year for International Women's day?

Sometimes these topics of conversation, although incredibly important, aren’t at a level that our children are of the age to easily understand. We want our children to grow up in a happy and healthy world. Awareness days that educate are an important part of making the change so our children can have the best future possible. Here are three easy ways to get younger children involved with International Women’s Day:

Inspiring with art and authors 

Over the course of centuries, artistic mediums have provided outlets for people to discuss topics of importance. There are two avenues that these mediums can provide us as parents to talk about important topics with our children. We can use artists and authors who historically are renowned for how their work impacted the path of women’s rights to start conversations with our children about why we support this day now. With a continual conversation on this topic, artists and authors have also produced incredible resources for younger children to be involved in the conversation too. From beautifully illustrated books to activities, there's something for everyone to be involved in this year!

Asking leading questions for thoughtful discussions

For older children who have been more aware of the events leading up to International Women’s day through school or social media, having an adult conversation with them about the meaning of the day and what outcomes happen from it can help them to have an understanding of why it is so important. Leading questions are a great way to help them think on their own and come up with their own ideas to be discussed. It helps them take the time to digest what's really happening and creatively think about how it impacts them and their future. 

Creating to share

Our favourite activity for children of all ages is using their imagination and creativity to make something that they can share with others. International Women’s Day is about coming together collectively to make a difference and your little one can be a part of this too! It’s great if you’re able to explain what the day means so that your little one can come up with their own creation, but if they’re a little younger or need some extra help, choosing a woman who’s made a historical difference can be a perfect starting place for getting creative, from tracking their journey to replicating an iconic image, this all adds to the collective conversation. 

How does International Women's day affect our children?

International Women’s Day is helping to provide a world of equal opportunity for our children to grow up in. Their positive and prosperous future is helped by these conversations and to remove stereotypes and bias in places they may wish to venture as they grow. By having these conversations with our children, their generation becomes the generation for greater change which will benefit their future families too. Each and every conversation that helps educate both adults and children on the impact that culturally, societally and politically defines the world will help make it a better place. 

What have previous years achieved?

‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’

Each year new conversations are had, new support is put in place and women increase their recognition for achievements that they have made. People learn why equality is important and how to remove those who place a negative impact on their environment making it a safer place for all. It also has helped to have impacts politically on how people are treated and making changes for a healthier and more inclusive place to be. 

International Women’s Day is an important event that helps to educate many on political, economic, social and cultural issues that need attention to be changed. Like many other awareness days, it helps to create a collective togetherness that the subject would otherwise miss out on. We hope that you and your children are inspired to be involved this year!