International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, this is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​March 8​ ​IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the​ Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.​ Make IWD your day! – everyday!

The theme for this year is #PressforProgress to encourage everyone to think, act and be more gender inclusive.

There are lots of resources that schools can use both today and throughout the year to educate and inspire pupils about the role of women in society as well as challenging gender stereotypes and bias. The International Women’s Day website has a huge range of resources for schools. From Doctor Who and Suffragettes, to comic strips and poems – the International Women’s Day classroom resources cover a great deal of important content and activities.

They are also running a competition for schools asking children to write about a person, in 150 words or less, who has inspired them and draw a picture of them in their own style, the prize is  framed Artist’s print plus Puffin books for there school library. The competition closes on March 30th 2018 and you can find out more information here

In honour of International Women’s Day, Google are swapping out their normal ‘doddle’ for 12 interactive doodles that celebrate the work of female artists from around the world. These could be a great way to introduce the day, a

“We hope that the combined power of words and images help bring these stories to life in a way that invokes feelings of understanding, empathy and spirit of the day,” wrote Lydia Nichols and Alyssa Winans, Google’s project leads for International Women’s Day, in this post about IWD.

LGfL have a range of resources that you can use in schools to support IWD, Women in Computing aims to recognise and promote the achievements of women in British computing within the social context of the time. It does not seek to dwell on negative aspects where woman have been prevented from contributing to the computing landscape, but it does explore the issues surrounding how and where their unique contributions have developed understanding and achievement within the computing industry and in wider society.

The video clip below from Tudors in London can be used to explore how attitudes to learning and education have changed, a great discussion point to start a discussion about the rights of women and girls in society especially as this year also celebrates 100 years since women got the vote in England. The Museum of London have an exhibition running until the end of month about Votes for Women you can find out more here.

Our Online Safety portal also has a range of resources that look at promoting a positive body image, these are an excellent resource for PHSE lessons as well as a starting place for discussions about the way that women are presented in the media.  Other resources that could be used include LGfL Gallery, which at present contains over 60,000 Image, Audio and Video resources covering a wide range of topics relevant to the curriculum. Its purpose is to provide free repository of high quality materials copyright cleared for use in teaching and learning. You can search using the tag ‘women’ to see different ways that women have been portrayed over time and Reading Zone Live which features a range of female authors including Gillian Cross Jacqueline Wilson and in our latest Reading Zone Live event on the 21st March the author Mini Grey.

Whatever you do today for IWD please share via our  twitter or Facebook pages using the #PressforProgress and remember all the resources can be used across the school year to celebrate, educate and inspire pupils about the roles of women in society.


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