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Global Celebrations of International Women's Day

Updated: May 22, 2021

We Have One Month, Several Reasons, and Thirty Three Women of Influence Worthy of Celebrating Throughout Women's History Month

While fear runs rampant and travel is a bit prohibited at this time, consider this a window into other corners of the world where women are kicking it. Similar to any good read, we don't have to be there to be transported to that other place and or into the mind of our (s)hero, our fearless lead character.

So, grab a cup of Jo or a hot cuppa and settle into a spirited read on this International Women's Day weekend. We at WAT have assembled 33 women of influence worldwide who are defying the odds and inspiring many women both near and far.

So, today open that window, kick down the door and let your roof rise above you as we rise with you. I will let Casey Lauer take it away and intro you to these phenomenal women of influence below.

Happy International Women's Day! Happy Women's History Month, Friends!

Say WAT: Santa Fe, Argentina

March 8th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: Argentina celebrates International Women's Day (IWD) this year by hosting an “open-air” service and potluck at University College Cork in Argentina. All sides of the gender fence are celebrating IWD as the men of UCC are providing the food.

WAT in the World: What are women

doing in this corner of the world? Karen Hallberg is a local woman of influence. She is a physicist and is the Director of Research at the Centro Atómico de Bariloche. She was awarded the L’oreal-Unesco Science Award for her computational developments that allow scientists to further study the quantum matter. This research has been recognized as an important contribution to understanding nanoscopic systems' magnetic and electronic properties and new materials.

Say WAT: Sydney, Australia

February 29th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: The Golden Coast highlights the women of color in their country by hosting the inaugural We are the Mainstream in Sydney. This event, designed specifically to celebrate Black, Indigenous, and Womxn of Color (BIWoC), is to help explore what it is like to be a part of a marginalized community, who work across numerous industries in Australia’s society. This will be hosted at the Bankstown Arts Centre on February 29th.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

Monica Zanetti, a 32-year-old Australian native, is a director and screenwriter. She is currently crowdfunding the first LGBTQ romantic teen comedy feature film in the country. This is quite the accomplishment as Australia just legalized same-sex marriage in 2017. Zanetti was looking for herself in films for her entire life. She finally decided to create the movie she needed at her coming of age. Her last film, budgeted around $32,000, was shown at eight different film festivals and sold internationally.

Say WAT: Vienna, Austria

March 4th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: The Each for Equal Vienna Panel will be hosted at Webster

Vienna Private University. This panel will feature prominent local politicians, journalists, researchers, and more to cover various topics relating to women and International Women's Day. The head of Media Communications at Webster Vienna will be the moderator of this event.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

Madeline Alizadeh is an Austrian activist who originally came to the spotlight through her blog, “Daria Daria,” which she kept up for seven years before stopping in 2017. Since ending her blog, she has started a sustainable clothing line - dariadéh, and her podcast - “A Mindful Mess. Her focus is to raise awareness on sustainability, fast fashion, conscious living, and politics.

Say WAT: Brussels, Belgium

March 7th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: PWI Brussels International Women’s Day Gala is happening on March

7th, in Brussels this year. This gala hopes to foster learning and provoke conversations that matter by communicating with friends, colleagues, and guest speakers. The goal is to have each guest leave feeling inspired and ready to engage in their day-to-day life and assist the incredible women in their lives to grow and succeed.

WAT in the WORLD: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

The artist behind the golden disk album Brol, Angéle, is a Belgium powerhouse. She uses her art to cover topics like sexuality, feminism, the dangers of social media, and sexual intimidation with her lofty voice. She was also declared Brussels personality in 2018 after her overarching success in the D6bels Music Awards, the MIA’s, and les Victoires de la Musique.

Say WAT: Vancouver, Canada

March 4th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: In Vancouver, the Strong Women, Strong Music 2020 concert series will be hosted. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Enterprising Women Making Art, a program from Atira Women’s Resource Society. Help the art of the West Coast, and help empower the women creating it.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

Lilly Singh is one of the most successful YouTube creators that the platform has ever hosted, amassing over 14 million subscribers, with her most popular video reaching 38 million views. Singh has also just become a late-night TV host, following Seth Meyer's nightly broadcast on NBC. Besides her media successes, Singh has spearheaded the #GirlLove movement, encouraging female empowerment and breaking the girl-on-girl hate cycle. This movement was also used to give girls and young women in Kenya access to education in 2017.

Say WAT: Copenhagen, Denmark

March 8th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: Support women in STEM by supporting the Hackathon for International Women’s Day: AI Towards Sustainability on March 8th. This event is being hosted in Copenhagen to utilize women’s AI skills to “tackle some of the most important global problems we face today.” With sponsors and hosts from Women Techmakers, WomenHackCPH, Nordic.AI, and BitGrit, different concepts will be taught to help take each idea closer to reality.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

Creative director of fashion brand Ganni, and co-founder, Ditte Reffstrup has made waves in the fashion industry through this Copenhagen-based line. After growing up in a rural town, she gained inspiration from local charity shops and now has her designs sold internationally through Selfridges.

Say WAT: Helsinki, Finland

March 5th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: Female business owners in Helsinki are hosting a panel on March 5th about their experiences. They cover all from how to be an individual starting a business, creating a business, parenting, and supporting themselves throughout these times in their professional journey.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world? Anne Brunilla has an extensive reach in the Finnish financial circle and research circle. Brunilla is currently on multiple boards for top companies and has previously served as President and CEO of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation; and Sanoma, a media group in Nordic countries.

Say WAT: Berlin, Germany

March 5th-7th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: The Wein Saon International Women's Day Festival is a four-day-long celebration in Berlin, featuring women performers, workshops, and independent films. Join them on March 5th-7th to experience acrobatic lectures, Storytelling with Cameryn Moore, or watch La Petite Morte.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

Melanie Kries is first and foremost a businesswoman. Since 2016, she has been the CFO of the world’s largest logistics company, the Deutsche Post. Kreis is also the first woman to hold this post in the company's history, which employs nearly half a million people.

Say WAT: Hong Kong

March 8th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: If you want to attend a free workout that empowers women, whether virtually or in person, join fitness coach Kristen Handford for an hour-long workout on March 8th. Bring your yoga mat and water bottle and a good attitude to get sweaty and to feel the female bonding.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world? Carrie Lam made history by becoming the first woman chief executive of Hong Kong in 2017. From a low-income family, Lam attended the University of Hong Kong (also making her the city’s first leader to have graduated from there), graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in 1980, and joined the city’s Administrative Service.

Say WAT: Bhopal, India

March 8th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: In Bhopal, India, on March 8th this year, the IWD 2020 Women.

Photography Exhibition will be held at Swaraj Bhavan. This exhibit will showcase 10 women photographers from Bhopal, and the incredible art they have produced.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world? Kinjil Manthur is one of the three percent of women of color in the country that are C-level executives. As the Chief Marketing Officer at Squarespace, she has raised awareness around pay equity between men and women with her team, feminist customers, and even Gloria Steinem.

Say WAT: Tangerang

Indonesia | March 8th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: Organized by the Indonesia Business Coalition for Women Empowerment, this run is being held to foster public support of gender equality and raise awareness of the HeForShe movement. Swing by Tangerang, lace up your shoes, and join the 10K (or 5K)!

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world? As one of Indonesia’s foremost contemporary female artists, Christine Ay Tjoe has seen and appreciated her works in the public eye. Her work sells internationally, with high demand in the global market and local galleries. Her heartfelt works portray Indonesia’s social transformations throughout her years.

Say WAT: Kinsale, Ireland

March 8th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: In Kinsale, Ireland, on March 8th, the International Women’s Day Festival will be held. Women-owned businesses and female-focused businesses will be promoted to help foster conversations with everyone. There will also be ticketed events, with workshops and talks hosted in Think, Move, and Feel rooms.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

Vera Twomey is a hero to her daughter and the people of Ireland. Twomey’s daughter Ava is diagnosed with Dravet’s syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, leading to severe seizures. Once the Minister for Health restricted access to medical cannabis, which was one of the most effective treatments for Ava, Twomey decided to march from Cork to Dublin in protest. Not once, but twice, totaling over 160 miles. Not only was Twomey successful in getting her daughter a special license for her condition, but she also sparked a national conversation about medical cannabis and using it in treatments.

Say WAT: Jerusalem, Israel

March 3rd, 2020

Say WAT WAT: The 49% Film Festival is being held on March 3rd in the Jerusalem District of Israel. The VIP Opening Night Celebration features the screening of the film Daughter Tree, a movie that documents an Indian village where there hasn’t been a girl born in over 20 years. Director Rama Rau will be in attendance and will stay after for remarks.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

Arguably one of the most famous women from Israel, Gal Gadot is everyone’s Wonder Woman. Former Miss Israel laureate, Gadot has a history of playing feisty, independent women in Hollywood blockbusters and uses her comprehensive platform to spread messages of independence and empowerment.

Say WAT: Nairobi, Kenya

March 6th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: The Zuri Awards are being held on March 6th as a platform to celebrate the outstanding women who are creating movement and change through hard work in their Kenyan communities. Some objectives that the awards have been to create a gender-equal world by actively choosing to broaden perceptions, highlight womens achievements, encourage corporate or visionary leaders to mentor these award recipients, and help them adapt their projects on a larger scale.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

Wanuri Kahiu is a notable storyteller in the African entertainment community, and she uses her talent and skill to spark fire into conversations that need to happen. Her sophomore film, Rafiki, is famous for being banned by the Kenyan government to display homosexuality. Then it went on to receive a swell of support and a standing ovation at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Kahui is also the co-founder of Afrobubblegum. Afrobubblegum is a media collective and local art genre described as fun, fierce, frivolous content about people of color.”

Say WAT: Kuwait

March 10th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: International Women's Day Convention 2020 is a thrilling program that targets multiple audiences in hopes: advance technical skills to bring to Kuwait, and discuss and solve sustainable issues in the environment. There will also be cybersecurity training and a hackathon!

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world? Alanoud Alsharekh, a founding member of Abolish 153 - a campaign demanding an end to honor killings in Kuwai t- Alsharekh is a women’s rights activist. She was awarded the Ordre national du Mérite (National Order of Merit) and made BBC’s 100 Women in 2019.

Say WAT: Beirut, Lebanon

March 6th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: The Diplomatic Spouses’ Association of Lebanon hosts an International Women’s Day celebration breakfast this year. All women are invited to participate in the meal and help raise money and support for vulnerable women in Lebanon. Women-focused non-profit organizations will host presentations during breakfast, and the Association will be collecting nonperishable food items, clothing, and money for numerous organizations helping these women.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world?

Nisrine El Turky is the co-founder of the startup IoTre. This stemmed from the simple idea of protecting fruits against harmful pests and has just kept growing since. IoTree has won the LIRA award, the GSVC regional competition, and reached third place in the Argytech Accelerator. Nisrine herself also was awarded as one of the top three Arab women entrepreneurs by Potential.

Say WAT: Tijuana, Mexico

March 5th, 2020

Say WAT WAT: This year, the IV International Women's Day 2020 will be hosted at the Autonomous University of Baja California on March 5th. There will be screenings of films and discussions from the Faculty of Tourism and Marketing.

WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world? Fernanda Canales is an award-winning Mexican architect who has won numerous awards for the beautiful and distinct creations. Canales was chosen to design the 2018 Tamayo Pavilion, one of the most notable commissions of the annual Design Week festival in Mexico.