Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Nonprofits and NGOs Celebrate International Women's Day

Did you know that in some countries International Women's Day (March 8) is celebrated with flowers and gifts? For others, it is a day of political significance to raise awareness around women's rights.

Numerous nonprofits and NGOs are organizing events and campaign to celebrate. I've included a sampling below, and hope that you'll add other events in the comments.

One of the most highly publicized campaigns is the screening of the documentary about three women changemakers, A Powerful Noise, on Thursday, March 5th in select theaters. The film is being presented by Fathom Events, CARE, ONE, and the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.

Fellow BlogHer Contributing Editor, Beth Kanter, writes about the fundraising Twitter campaign for CARE happening in conjunction with the film in her post, Tweetathon To Honor International Women's Day and To Spread The Word About A Powerful Noise Live. Nancy Schwartz, of the Getting Attention blog, also reflects on the campaign in her post, Brilliant Awareness Building & Micro-fundraising Campaign for Global Women's Rights -- Twitter Used to Spread the Word like Wildfire

Cory Doctorow writes about Amnesty UK's 1:10 campaign in his Boing Boing post, Amnesty UK's International Women's Day Campaign This Weekend. The organization is asking supporters to change their Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook avatars at 1:10 on Friday, March 6th to the "oneten" avatar. The campaign is trying to raise awareness that, "Each year, around 1 in 10 women in Britain experience rape, or other violence." For more information, go to www.oneten.org.uk.

The United Nations has chosen the theme of, "Women and Men United to End Violence Against Women and Girls," for this year's International Women's Day. You can find UN-related events on WomenWatch. One of the events listed is an exhibition of photos at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris from the book Celebrating Women by Paola Gianturco (who I interviewed in October 2007). 100% of the royalties from Celebrating Women go to the International Museum of Women.

The International Museum of Women will be hosting a live, online chat on Friday, March 6 at 9:30 AM PT with Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International, an organization that supports women survivors of war. To join the chat, go to www.imow.org on March 6th (you'll need to create, and be logged into your profile on imow.org). Check out Salbi's blog posts on the Huffington Post, and get more info about the chat on the imow Facebook page.

Women for Women International has a number of ways you can celebrate International Women's Day:
  • Join their March 5th conference call with Global Program Executive Director, Karen Sherman, and Agribusiness Specialist, Dr. Grace Fisiy, to talk about what participants in Women for Women International's programs are doing to eradicate hunger in their countries.
  • Post a Women for Women International digital badge on Facebook, MySpace, your blog, or your website.
  • "Donate your status" on Facebook to Women for Women International on March 5th with a special message they provide for you.
  • Host your own event.
The Global Fund for Women also has an online toolkit to help you host a house party.

You can find an International Women's Day event near you by searching the listings on http://www.internationalwomensday.com/events.asp, and find women's organizations to support by browsing www.wiserearth.org. If you live in the Bay Area (like me), the Global Fund for Women has created a calendar of local events.

Finally, why not celebrate by giving a micro-loan through Kiva.org to a woman entrepreneur, or join a Dining for Women giving circle in your community.


Full disclosure: I have donated to Amnesty International, have sponsored 2 women participating in Women for Women International's programs; have worked for, and donated to the Global Fund for Women; am on the Advisory Board of Dining for Women and am a member of one of their chapters; and I have made 3 loans to women entrepreneurs on Kiva.org.

Cross-posted from BlogHer.com. Britt Bravo is a Big Vision Consultant.


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