International Women’s Day 8th March 2019

International Women’s Day on March 8th, 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.

Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained. “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

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 #BalanceforBetter to encourage everyone to build a gender-balanced world. This year you can strike the #BalanceforBetter pose, download the selfie cards and promote via social media. You can find out more about the pose and download your selfie cards here.

There are lots of resources that schools can use both on the day 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 celebrating women’s achievements through to challenging gender stereotypes and bias, there are many useful classroom resources available to support International Women’s Day activity. 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.

There are two sets of resources that teachers can download, the first set produced in association with Tech starter, feature printable fact sheets, case studies about inspiring role models and activity task cards – the resources are designed for ages 5-12.

The second set of resources in collaboration with Penguin Schools, features in-depth material for an International Women’s Day Book Study covering literacy, history, drama and art objectives. It serves as an exciting and important introduction to the equality themes addressed in the “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” by Vashti Harrison.

There are also a range of inspiring and thought-provoking International Women’s Day videos available from around the world that you can use a classroom discussion starters as well as teaching resources.

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.

“It is as important for boys to understand that girls are equally able to achieve within the computing industry as it is for girls to aspire to work within the sector”

This resource asks a simple question: what does the historical role of women in computing tell us about the society of the time?  Framing the question in this way allows us to look at the contribution of women unaffected by prior judgements we might have made. We seem to have little difficulty in accepting that machines make history – steam engines in the 19th century, cars, aeroplanes…… and of course computers.  But machines do not come to be, nor do they function in a social vacuum.  Part of the question this resource addresses is how history makes machines. The fascinating interviews contained within the resource situate gender roles in computing in the larger context of society.

There are a range of videos including sections on WWII codebreaking, Cold War computing, Pushing the boundaries and Inspiring the next generation.

Our latest resource Significant People takes a handful of particularly important events and people and investigates their impact on history, making use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and interactive 3D to bring these events to life. The resource features nursing on the front line looking at Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole.

There are a series of resources from DigiSafe that look at promoting a positive body image among girls and boys, these resources include videos, lesson plans and would be great to use to explore how women are presented in the media – you can find the whole collection at bodyimage.lgfl.net

Looking at Gender Equality – you can watch the Keynote from the annual conference last year by Graham Andre who was at the centre of the BBC ‘No More Boys and Girls’ programme that explored gender equality issues in schools. In his presentation he summarises the key points on the topic and shares his own journey towards self reflection and progress on the issues discussed.

You can also access a vast range of Gender Equality resources put together by Graham on this padlet.

BBC Teach have also collated a range of resources to be used in both Primary and Secondary schools for International Women’s Day, they include a range of videos highlighting achievements of women across a number fo fields.

Into film are also celebrating the amazing achievements of female filmmakers and the on-screen heroines that highlight strong women, alternative forms of femininity, and promote gender equality. They have a selection of film lists, articles, film guides and other resources – including their International Women’s Day assembly resources – that each highlight strong female characters and important female voices in the film industry, you can browse the collection here.  As well as films, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) staff have chosen their favourite books for younger readers featuring independent girl characters. A list of books for older children focusing on women’s history will appear later in March which is Women’s History Month. You can view the list here.

Sport England has worked with the Association for Physical Education to produce a range of newly updated resources to support you to bring This Girl Can into your school.

Resources include:

  • Six themed workshops focused on the campaign’s emotional themes and featuring flexible and interactive tasks
  • Hints and tips to help staff and students actively implement the workshop ideas

In order to access the free resources for schools you MUST register on the This Girl Can website.

What do you have planned for International Women’s Day we would love to see pictures and work please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #BalanceforBetter