Groups worldwide plan successful IWD activity

Thank you for supporting International Women's Day (IWD) and celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Run annually on March 8, the day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

Running an IWD 2021 #ChooseToChallenge campaign

One of the most powerful ways groups can support International Women's Day is by championing their own #ChooseToChallenge campaign within their communities, networks, organizations, and groups.

Each year an annual IWD campaign theme is celebrated and continues all year long to unify direction and galvanize activity by providing a meaningful framework to connect and amplify action.


Groups run IWD activity using these steps

1. Identify your goals

What do you want to achieve and what is your key message?

For example, some groups tend to focus on:

  • celebrating women's achievements
  • awareness raising
  • influencing behavior
  • smashing stereotypes
  • challenging bias
  • reinforcing commitment
  • launching initiatives
  • cause-related marketing
  • brand elevation
  • lobbying
  • fundraising

2. Identify your audience

Who do you want to reach? The range of communities worldwide fully engaged with International Women's Day is truly extensive.

For example, you may seek to reach and engage:

  • the general public
  • specific communities
  • employees
  • candidates
  • students
  • customers
  • industry
  • friends and family
  • government and constituents
  • the media

3. Decide what you can do

What activity will you undertake?

For example, you may be considering:

  • holding an event (digital or hybrid)
  • launching a project or initiative
  • delivering female-focused activity
  • activating a marketing campaign
  • developing resources
  • conducting research
  • running a social media campaign
  • making a video
  • speaking at a local school
  • collaborating with the media

And remember you can always use the IWD 2021 conversation starter video - in workplaces to affirm the choice to challenge; in the community to engage advocacy; in schools to inspire students; looping in libraries to mobilize action; over the dinner table to raise awareness. Plus, get ideas and inspiration from previous IWD Best Practice organizations.

4. Learn more about the IWD campaign theme

A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequity. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all #ChooseToChallenge.

5. Search or publish IWD events

Participate in IWD events worldwide, including IWD Flagship Events, or host and promote your own IWD event.

6. Prepare an IWD speech

Access useful facts and ideas to help craft an engaging IWD speech.

7. Download IWD selfie cards

Use the #ChooseToChallenge selfie cards to engage colleagues and friends via social media amplification.

8. Download IWD social cards

Access the #ChooseToChallenge social card templates to make your own IWD social cards to share across social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.

Remember to: 

  • raise your hand high and strike the #ChooseToChallenge pose showing solidarity and support
  • post across social media using the hashtags #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021
  • like, repost, comment on the #ChooseToChallenge posts of others

9. Access the IWD Lean In resources

Access the IWD Lean In tools and resources to host an International Women’s Day event for your organization and help challenge bias.

10. Download IWD posters

Download the #ChooseToChallenge posters and collaborate through shared thinking and invite colleagues to:

  • think about and/or commit to progressive actions
  • write ideas and/or pledges on the posters (directly or by adding sticky notes)
  • generate a list of tangible ideas and commitments (think about how these relate to behavior and expectation)
  • collectively commit to #ChooseToChallenge

11. Secure an IWD speaker

Search the IWD Speaker Directory to secure an inspirational and engaging expert on a topic key to your agenda.

12. Develop or watch IWD videos

Watch the purposeful IWD videos as discussion starters, or broadcast them at IWD events to educate, motivate, challenge, and inspire audiences. Develop and submit your own #ChooseToChallenge videos for potential inclusion.

13. Submit an IWD Influencer statement

Chairpersons, CEOs, and C-Suite executive leaders of large organizations who actively support women's advancement and help build a more inclusive world are invited to submit an IWD 2021 Influencer Statement. See examples here.

14. Fundraise for a female-focused charity

Despite the pandemic in 2020, IWD still raised a hefty six-figure sum for charity and 100% of the proceeds went directly to charity. IWD provides an important opportunity to fundraise and call for donations to support the ever-important work of gender equality focused charities, so find out more.

15. Download IWD education resources

If you're an educator, parent or caregiver check out the IWD for Schools section. If you're a librarian, access the Library Displays section.

17. Download IWD Zoom backgrounds

Download IWD 2021 Zoom backgrounds to inspire and engage your friends and colleagues to #ChooseToChallenge.

18. Make IWD 100% women-owned business supplied

Search the IWD Supplier Directory to source and support women-owned local businesses - from photographers and caterers to PR and more. 

19. Help support the IWD missions

Learn about the IWD Missions and celebrate women's achievements, while working to change the game.

20. Submit your #ChooseToChallenge images

Submit images of your IWD and #ChooseToChallenge co-branded activity for potential inclusion on the IWD website or promotion across IWD social media channels. See some user-generated #ChooseToChallenge images here.

19: Contribute professional IWD resources and articles

Looking to develop and provide useful co-branded IWD resources to share publicly? Access more details regarding proposed IWD resources or content submissions to be considered for potential inclusion on the IWD website.

21. Request the IWD logo

Authorized groups and organizations worldwide use the IWD logo to align activity, show solidarity, and demonstrate commitment.

For example, they co-brand:

  • on social media
  • at events
  • in presentations
  • for general branding and awareness raising
  • in email signatures
  • for CEO messaging
  • on resource materials
  • in digital foyer exhibits
  • in customer and supplier communications
  • in lift well displays

22. Become an IWD Partner or Supporter

Across the world a committed consortium of IWD Corporate Partners and Supporters who lead the way in gender action - along with Collaborators, Friends, Charities and Licensees - participate in a community of members who actively work to advance women and forge equality. Join them!  

23: Submit your IWD Best Practice

Get snapping with lots of great images and/or videos of your IWD activity - and get ready to submit a Best Practice case study (details coming soon). Although due to COVID-19 the IWD Best Practice Competition was paused in 2020, you can still get inspired from a wide range of IWD activity from previous years.


About International Women's Day

IWD provides an important moment to showcase commitment to women's equality, launch new initiatives and action, celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness, highlight gender parity gains and more.

The day is celebrated and supported globally by industry, governments, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women's networks, charities and non-profit bodies, the media and more.

Collectively every person and all groups can make a difference within their sphere of influence by taking concrete action to help build a more gender equal world. From small powerful grassroots gatherings to large-scale conference and events - International Women's Day is celebrated everywhere. It's a big day for inspiration and change.

Read more about IWD's herstory here.

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