Self, Sex

Happy International Women's Day! 8 Reasons To Celebrate

Happy International Women's Day

Not only is March Women's History Month, but today is International Women's Day, a day to celebrate everything women have achieved, and remember that we still have a long way to go. Today we're thankful for the reasons to celebrate women's progress, as well as mindful of the setbacks we still have to grapple with. A list of our favorite reasons to celebrate from the web:

1. Celebrate! Maura Judkis from the Washington Post provides an excellent list for useful things to do today, from viewing art made by women to taking the day off (workers in Armenia, Burkina Faso and China have holidays today) to giving flowers to the favorite women in your life, which is a custom in Russia and many other countries.

2. Consider how far we've come in terms of education. According to the Women's Rights Report Card we've put together, women and men are graduating from college now at essentially the same rates, and women outnumber men in terms of college enrollment. In 2012, they're expected to earn 63% of master's degrees and 54% of doctoral and professional degrees.

3. But, remember how much we still have to work on in terms of contraception and reproductive rights. Utah's legislature just passed a bill that would ban public schools from teaching contraception as a way of preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. And certain radio hosts think it's okay to call women sluts because they argue for insured birth control

4. Yet there's a silver lining, despite all the setbacks: As of 2011, health insurance companies must cover birth control as preventive care with no co-pays. Church-affiliated employers have protested, saying the new law violates their freedom of religion, but in January, President Obama upheld the ruling. 

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5. Celebrate International Women's Day by loving your body, because lots of women don't. We have got to get better body images. (Case in point: The founder of Spanx is a billionaire.) In a recent survey, most U.K. women said they would prefer having bigger boobs to bigger IQs. That's scary! To prevent them from growing into body-image obsessed women, check out these 5 organizations that support young girls' advancement and prevent their sexualization.

6. Speaking of body image, Jessica Simpson looks amazing naked and pregnant on the cover of Elle. Remember how much hate she got when she gained just a few pounds and wore those mom jeans? I would call that a step forward in the right direction!

7. Maybe it's because we're beautifying and going to the gym a tad too obsessively, but women right now have NO FREE TIME whatsoever and don't seem to know how to relax. Jessica Pearce Rotondi from The Huffington Post writes about how her friends, all single women in New York, never have time to meet for dinner because of constant book clubs and zumba classes. Can you relate? Take a breather tonight to drink a glass of wine and read a good book.

8. Newsweek/The Daily Beast's Women in the World Conference this weekend is a great time to celebrate women leaders. We are very excited to attend, as the event will feature speakers such as Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep discussing a host of women's rights issues, such as the lack of women CEO's around the world. We're especially excited for a Saturday panel called "The Digital Lives of Girls," hosted by Chelsea Clinton, which will discuss how the Internet has transformed girls' images of themselves both positively and negatively. 

And a bonus reason to celebrate, the most important one: Our mothers, who have done so much for us. Happy International Women's Day, mom!

How are you celebrating International Women's Day?