6 Alternative Gifts for International Women’s Day

6 alternative gifts for International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8 March to commemorate the struggles of the women’s rights movement. For some, it is a day filled with vibrant celebrations, an opportunity to honor women’s achievements. A moment to reflect on the progress made in the struggle for gender equality and to work on the aspects that need improvement. For others, it is a day they would describe as “unnecessary”. A holiday that has become increasingly commercialized, marked by sales, flowers and an avalanche of marketing campaigns.

Historical background

This day has its roots in the early 20th century, beginning with the labor and socialist movements. The Socialist Party of America organized the first National Women’s Day in 1909 to support women’s right to vote.

Inspired by this, the International Socialist Congress decided in 1910 to create an international version of the American celebration. On March 19, 1911, it was first celebrated internationally in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Over a million people participated in rallies, marking the significance of the day.

Παγκόσμια Ημέρα της Γυναίκας
Suffragettes. Poster parade organised by the Women's Freedom League to promote the suffrage message, c. 1907

From that moment on, the celebration starts to spread to more countries. Its establishment was fueled by the events of March 8, 1917in St. Petersburg, Russia. Women in St. Petersburg went on strike, demanding better living conditions, food shortages and an end to World War I.Over the years, the day became a global celebration of women’s achievements . It evolved, in effect, into a call for gender equality and today, it is an important opportunity to promote women’s demands and rights.

The commercialization of International Women's Day

This particular celebration has always generated a set of tensions and different views on how to celebrate it. Some consider the celebration to reinforce the perception of inequality. Others are unaware of the reasons why it no longer deserves to exist. A significant section, however, argues that it is just another commercial, capitalist celebration.

With the latter, one could not disagree. It is true that International Women’s Day has become a capitalist celebration. After all, in modern society these elements are intertwined with most celebrations. And let us not forget that our whole way of life seems to revolve around capitalism. From the fast fashion industry that exploits cheap labor, to the technological gadgets we replace every year, to the trends we follow. Capitalism is deeply ingrained in our daily lives, so should a day as important as Women’s Day be dismissed because of its commodification? Perhaps not.
If we are so concerned about a commodified society, perhaps we should focus first on other things and not on the gift we get for this particular holiday.

Παγκόσμια Ημέρα της Γυναίκας
The ‘Black Protest’ in Poland

The celebration of Women’s Day is extremely important. Not only do we honor the achievements of women throughout history, but we also recognize the work that still needs to be done.It is about raising awareness of the issues that affect women and is a reminder of the ongoing struggle for gender equality.Despite significant strides forward, women still face systemic barriers in many areas.

So yes, we deserve a gift and we’re going to suggest not 1 but 6 different gifts that every woman surely desires.

6 Alternative Gifts for International Women's Day

  1. Instead of spending time writing a greeting card, you can focus on keeping up to date. Take some time to read about the history of Women’s Day and the ongoing challenges women face globally.
  2. Instead of chocolates, you can stop making stereotypical jokes. Stereotypical jokes are found in the family environment, in the workplace and in the media.
  3. Instead of jewelry, you can stop catcalling. Catcalling is a form of sexual harassment that can make women feel unsafe and uncomfortable in public places.
  4. Instead of perfume, you can stop expecting us to conform to traditional gender roles and accept our individuality.
  5. Instead of some clothing, you can stop mansplaining; women are just as capable as men of understanding complex issues and making informed decisions. Mansplaining is condescending and dismissive and it’s time to put an end to it.
  6. Instead of dinner, you can stop assuming women are less capable. Women are just as capable as men, and deserve to be treated with respect and given equal opportunity.
  7. Instead of going on a field trip, you can stop assuming that you can have an opinion on matters that are exclusively for women.

And in the end, we wrote 7 alternative gifts, and I’m sure we could all go on writing many more requests.

Παγκόσμια Ημέρα της Γυναίκας
Photo: Vonecia Carswell

Celebrating Women’s Day is about recognizing the struggles and triumphs of all women. It is a call to action, a reminder that the fight for gender equality is not over yet. While it is nice to receive flowers and chocolates, let us not forget the real meaning of Women’s Day: to honour women’s achievements and work for a fairer world for all.

Happy Women’s Day!

Article writer: Katerina Faili

Translated by: Nectaria Lambropoulou

Article Editor: Sofia Dialiatsi

Source: Britannica

Recent Articles

Scroll to Top
Skip to content