international women's day

Photo: Thinkstock

At a 1910 conference in Copenhagen for working women, the 100-plus attendees unanimously agreed to designate one day each year for women around the world to rally for equality—a unified, amplified call for change. The following March, the first International Women's Day was observed. We've come a long way since then (women now hold a record 20 seats in the U.S. Senate). There's much to be proud of, and further to go (that's 20 Senate seats out of 100). On March 8, choose from these six great ways to participate, educate, and celebrate.
international women's day

Screen a Not-Your-Average Chick Flick
Martha Plimpton, cofounder of the reproductive rights group A Is For and star of Fox's Raising Hope, shares four female-forward movies more than worthy of a rental.

"Sigourney Weaver's gladiatorial dedication to exterminating an enormous, terrifying, bloodthirsty beast is rooted in something mythic."

"Gena Rowlands gives my favorite female performance, bar none, in this thriller. I could watch it five times a day, every day, till I'm dead."

I Am Love
"This is a movie about intimacy and risk, and the ways in which they do battle. To me, it gets to the heart of the female experience."

Terms of Endearment
"One of the most honest portrayals of a single mother–daughter relationship ever."

Photo Credits: AF Archive/ALAMY, Moviestore Collection LTD/ALAMY
international women's day

Illustration: Courtesy of the International Museum of Women

Time Travel
Appreciate where we are by tracing how we got here.

Marvel at the only all-female major museum collection in the world at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in Washington, D.C.

Salute women in uniform from the Revolutionary War to now at the United States Army Women's Museum, in Fort Lee, Virginia.

At the International Women's Air & Space Museum, in Cleveland, learn about the 1,102 young female pilots who served between 1942 and 1944.

Can't get to any of these? Visit the International Museum of Women online. (

Left: Laila Shawa's "Hands of Fatima" is on display starting March 8 as part of the "Muslima" exhibit at the International Museum of Women.
international women's day

Photo: Thinkstock

Have a Girls' Night In
Host a dinner to raise funds for the nonprofit Dining for Women. The money you save by not dining out goes to a revolving set of grassroots programs to bring education, job training, and healthcare services to women in developing nations. Check the site for a chapter near you (or start your own!). Need help organizing the meal? Try
international women's day

Photo: Women for Women International

Bridge the Divide
In 2010 a group of women in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo met on a bridge connecting their war-ravaged countries, creating a human conduit of peace. Since then, Join Me on the Bridge ( has grown into the largest women's rights campaign in the world. Tens of thousands of people have gathered on bridges in 70 countries on six continents.
international women's day

Photo: Carolyn Snell

Pamper Yourself (with Purpose)
The Bath Tea, Body Butter, and Lip Smoothies from Thistle Farms are handmade by the women of Magdalene, a two-year residential program in Nashville that gives them job skills and a fresh start after lives of prostitution, addiction, or incarceration. All profits from go right back to the program.
international women's day

Get Lost in a Good (Girlie) Book
From O's books editors: fresh reads starring fierce females.

The Memoir: Astonished, by Beverly Donofrio
The brutally honest author of Riding in Cars with Boys reveals how a terrifying brush with a rapist sparked her spirituality and set her on a journey of recovery paved with prayer.

The History: The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan
True stories of the adventurous women who worked on the top-secret Manhattan Project, producing uranium for the first atomic bomb used in combat, which helped the U.S. end World War II.

The Novel: The Accursed, by Joyce Carol Oates
In this turn-of-the-century thriller, Oates imagines a quiet town being overrun by a demonic presence capable of inhabiting the dreams of its residents.

Next: Meet the first graduating class of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls