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Celebrating International Women’s Day #IWD2016

When our team first suggested I write something for International Women’s Day, I thought, of course! How could I not?! As an active woman business owner this is a cause near and dear to me. March 8th is a day to celebrate women’s achievements economically, politically and socially. Of course I believe we should celebrate these every day, but having a holiday celebrated around the world and supported by the United Nations is a fabulous way to do it.

This year our team is excited to be a part of local celebrations in Santa Barbara, with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) hosting an Empowered Women Luncheon today, and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) hosting their Bravo Awards Luncheon highlighting women business owners, philanthropists, and rising stars on Thursday.

Throughout the years, we’ve been lucky to be involved in many groups and activities around International Women’s Day, both locally and internationally, from the International Women’s Festivals to NAWBO, AAUW, and American Women for International Understanding. We’ve sponsored events, traveled to Washington DC to meet with women leaders from around the world, and celebrated the amazing accomplishments of women across cultures.

I’m constantly inspired by the amazing stories I hear, and I know there are many we have yet to hear. We’ve all come so far.

We also have a long ways to go.

The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.

This year the #IWD2016 theme announced by the UN is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality. The theme ties into the UN’s work tying poverty, gender equality, and climate change together into a document adopted at the UN summit in New York September of 2015: “Transforming Our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development“.

International Women’s Day is another opportunity for us all, men and women, to look at what we’ve accomplished and to be a part of making a more equitable future. And women have been making history, well, since history started. Even if you only have 2 minutes, I encourage you to check out the Women’s Footprint in History, put together by the UN:

It highlights a sampling of women making tremendous contributions to their societies and reminds us of what reality is still like for many women today.

I encourage you to share something today about International Women’s Day with your circles, whether it’s a tweet, an email, a nod or a high five. Get involved in the social conversation and help support the momentum using #IWD2016 — further join the international conversation with #DíadelaMujer and #Journéedelafemme. Check out #Planet5050 for more on the UN’s initiatives. And mark down March 8th as a day for future celebrations.

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