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The Best Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day

Lindsay Tigar  |  February 28, 2023

From dinner with good friends to a workplace panel, to treating your mom to high tea, here are some ways to celebrate the women in your life.

When I was expecting my daughter, I hoped she would come a few days early and arrive on March 8: International Women’s Day. It felt fitting; since becoming a proud feminist and activist for female equality and representation in college, I’ve always celebrated IWD with my friends. My girl didn’t choose March 8 as her birthday—but I’m still looking forward to many years of teaching her all of the extraordinary feats she can achieve. And maybe more importantly: how vital it is to build a community of women around her, from friends and mentors to, hopefully, her own mother. 

If you would like to create a tradition around this all-important day where we honor the ladies who have come before us and use our time or resources to pave the road for all those to come, consider creating a ritual around IWD.

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“No matter how or with whom you choose to celebrate International Women’s Day, the important thing is to be intentional about recognizing those women in your life who have been instrumental in teaching, guiding and supporting your journey; and about knowing the role you play in their journeys,” says Kelly Snider, a best-selling author, story curator and event expert. “No matter how we celebrate, every time we gather, it’s an opportunity to honor those people and relationships that have paved our way forward.”

Here are some ideas from event planners on creative ways to celebrate International Women’s Day:

With your best friend

When you envision your bestie, you probably feel all fuzzy inside. Our pals—and particularly, our best friend—provide a safe haven to be our authentic selves. Or as Snider puts it, the greatest part of the best friend relationship is they know, accept and love us, even at our worst. Consider IWD as an opportunity to do something special to celebrate that relationship by demonstrating just how important they are. “Take your best friend to do something they love: visit a museum or art gallery, attend a concert, or even take a scenic hike,” Snider suggests. “Show your best friend that you know them and let them know just how important your relationship is. Tell her what you appreciate. Make it about her.”

Does your best friend live in a different ZIP code? Or, worse yet, an opposite time zone? Consider a small act of kindness across the miles, instead, suggests lifestyle expert Chantelle Hartman Malarkey. Send flowers with a handwritten note or, perhaps, even affirmation cards to remind them of how impressive and remarkable they are.

With a big group of friends

Block off March 8 on the calendar, because you’re throwing a dinner party. One of the most meaningful ways to celebrate women is to gather your closest ones together for an intimate evening of connection, discussion—and wine if you’d like, says Grace Chow, a senior product at 1540 Productions. And don’t worry if you’re not exactly a chef; she says the experience could range from cooking at home, dining out at a favorite restaurant, or something more experiential like a wine maker’s dinner. “Either way, curating a menu that you know your friends will love, with bonus points for featuring dishes from some of the many amazing female chefs past and present, is a festive and considerate way to honor the day,” she explains.

With your mother

If you have a close relationship with your mom, consider IWD an opportunity to thank her. “There is nobody who has poured more of their time, energy, experience and affection into us than our mother,” Snider says. She recommends treating her to a meal at her favorite restaurant or even making her feel like royalty with a high tea experience.Whatever makes your mom the happiest or feel the most alive, take extra time to give back to her and dazzle her with a day of gratitude and quality time.

With your children

Malarkey says having her children learn about our history as a whole is important because it exemplifies how far we have come. “Women have shown so much bravery in history and do so daily. Women stand up for themselves and fight for their rights so that our kids, and their kids, can have a better life and so on,” she says. 

Use IWD as an educational opportunity and dedicate time to trying out the following ideas:

Make a family tree of the women in your family

“Go as far back as you can go and speak about their time period and something they experienced,” Malarkey says. “It’s a great opportunity to have your kids weigh in on what they have experienced while sharing what you and other family members have experienced. Such a great learning opportunity for your kids and a time to celebrate women in the family. This also allows them to be involved and share their experiences.”

Make an heirloom recipe 

Snider suggests choosing a favorite family recipe and making it together with your children. “As you mix the ingredients and bake ‘Grandma’s Famous Shortbread’ together, share some of your memories of grandma, her achievements, and what she taught you. If you’re able, include grandma in the activity, creating memories that will last longer than that shortbread will,” she says.

Give empowering books 

For older kids who like to read, giving books as gifts can be a meaningful way to teach them about female activism. “Introducing children to empowering books that feature strong female characters is a great way to inspire the next generation of leaders while also being a fun and approachable activity for children,” recommends Virginia Frischkorn, an award-winning event planner and founder and CEO of Partytrick. She says you can read the books outdoors or have a picnic together to make the event even more exciting.

At your workplace

To celebrate International Women’s Day at your workplace, consider organizing an in-person or virtual panel hosted by a group of women sharing their experiences, knowledge, and advice as a way to inspire change, Frischkorn recommends. “And although International Women’s Day celebrations are targeted towards women, involving men in conversations can help to amplify the impact further,” she adds.

If you are in a leadership position, Snider says you can also use IWD to recognize the big and small successes of females within the company. “Sure, the company leaders are often celebrated, as are meeting revenue targets or landing the next big client, but what about everyone else? Honor years of service, dedication to a specific project or client, developing new skills or earning new certifications, even implementing a ‘green’ office recycling program,” she says. “The possibilities are endless.”


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