To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020 I’ve put together 7 things we can do to celebrate the women in our lives and to work for equality for those who don’t yet have it. (PS. These aren’t just for women!)
DAY 1 Send a short message of gratitude to one woman in your life. It could be a colleague, an old boss, a family member or friend.
We have an abundant supply of free words that we can gift to others. The supply is never going to run out and costs us nothing. The added bonus is that words of gratitude not only make the receiver feel good but have amazing benefits for the giver too – studies have shown that gratitude increases mental strength, improves mental and physical health, reduces depression, helps us to build better relationships, enhances empathy, reduces aggression and can help us to sleep better!
I am grateful for my nutty friends.
DAY 2 Educate yourself. Whether it’s how to include men in the equality conversation at work, or how to raise your children to treat boys & girls equally, o,r how to call out bias effectively maybe use those 10 minutes that you would have spent scrolling on social media to learn something that you didn’t know before.
DAY 3 Take action! Whether it’s giving money to a charity like Refuge, signing a petition, or having that difficult conversation about gender-biased language with your boss – if we all take one step for equality today then the world will be a better place tomorrow!
This photo is of my daughter Heidi. One of her close friends Ella died of Sepsis when she was just 4 years old. Heidi wanted to take action to help people learn more about Sepsis so she asked people to sponsor her to cut her long hair off! She raised on £2,000 for the Sepsis Trust. Why am I telling you this? Because sometimes we need to remind ourselves than we CAN make a difference, whether we’re 9 or 90!
DAY 4 Celebrate the body that you’ve been born with. It might have its flaws or limitations but it’s also an incredible gift – male or female, old or young. If you’re feeling energetic, why not do a 20 minute HIIT workout session like this one https://youtu.be/06cBKk6Xkg0 ? Feeling a bit down? Try Yoga for Self-Care with Adriene: https://youtu.be/VpW33Celubg . Lucky enough to be somewhere where it’s not pouring with rain? Head outside to stretch your legs. Here’s my youngest daughter Molly doing just that!
DAY 5 Compliment a woman that you know on one of her achievements or character traits. Natasha Devon writes: ‘Even the most enlightened people are usually surprised when they begin noticing how often they unconsciously reinforce the notion that a woman’s worth is nothing more than the sum of her parts.’
This photo is of my twin sister Hayley Barnard swimming around Manhattan Island. The same year, she swam the English Channel in October WITHOUT A WETSUIT! Hayley’s incredible willpower and determination are always an inspiration to me.
DAY 6 Help make young girls a little safer by twinning your toilet. The lack of a loo makes women and girls a target for sexual attack as they go to the toilet in the open, late at night. As a mother of daughters, Bawili’s story is heartbreaking to watch: https://youtu.be/gYOuM9vSW_0. It costs £60 to twin your toilet and help an impoverished family or school build latrines. Could your company twin all its toilets? https://www.toilettwinning.org.
DAY 7 Strike your #EachForEqual pose and share it with the world to show that you believe that women and men deserve to be treated equally, with dignity & respect.
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