Have you seen the defiant girl standing in front of the bronze bull on State Street?  The girl stands with her hands on her hips looking straight at the pawing bull.  It is, undoubtedly, a powerful image.

This statue is part of a campaign to pressure more companies to add women to their boards and was installed yesterday preceding International Women’s Day.  Apparently it will stay on State Street for about a month.

Today, March 8th, is a time worth celebrating, as women’s contributions to society can be highlighted and the unequal treatment of women around the globe can be acknowledged.

Time Magazine has written an article covering what is happening around the world related to women’s rights and participation on this day, and includes coverage of Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia and China.

For some historical perspective, International Women’s Day began around the turn of the twentieth century, in 1908.  The day has a history of protest attached to it to address working conditions, the right to vote and the treatment of women.  These protests occurred throughout the world in the US, Denmark, Switzerland, China, Russia, and Germany.

Today in the United States, the Women’s March on Washington, is encouraging participation in A Day Without a Woman, a protest intended draw attention to the important roles women play in our society.

This Day Without a Woman encourages women to wear red, refrain from working at home or in the community, and avoid spending money, unless it is at small, women or minority-owned businesses.  Marches are planned for the day as well.  Organizational endorsements include Moms Demand Action, MoveOn.org, and Amnesty International.

Schools in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and around the country will be closed for the day given that the district was expecting to be short-staffed due to the teacher and staff absences were expected. The Durham Herald Sun notes absences in Chapel Hill were expected to exceed 300. In effect, schools are closing because they cannot function without the protesting work force, as seventy-five percent of the schools’ employees are women.

A minority woman-owned business, Liberation Threads, posted an interesting perspective on their blog called “What To Do on a Day Without a Woman” about the struggle with how to approach the day today.  Part of the article reads

But I say– spend money, with joy and conviction, if there is any possible way you can, at small and women owned businesses– if we are the future you want to see for your daughters.

Today in Portland, Maine from noon-1 pm there is a Women’s Strike Gathering to raise awareness, provide support and make some noise.

How will you spend International Women’s Day?  Will you donate money to organizations that support women and women’s rights?  Will you wear red?  Will you refrain from working at home or in the community? Will you change your Facebook profile pic?  Will you march?  Will you not shop at all?  Will you shop only at a woman-owned or minority-owned business?  How will you make your impact?

However you choose to acknowledge the day, I hope it is a meaningful one for you.

Note: I took the featured photo at the Women’s March in Portland, Maine.