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Global Celebrations of International Women's Day

Updated: Sep 13

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 from around the world 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 is celebrating 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 food is being provided by the men of UCC.


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 quantum matter. This research has been recognized as an important contribution toward understanding magnetic and electronic properties of nanoscopic systems and new materials.


Say WAT: Sydney, Australia

February 29th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: The Golden Coast is highlighting the women of color in their country by hosting the inaugural We are the Mainstream in Sydney. This event, designed specifically to celebrate Black, Indegenous, and Womxn of Color (BIWoC) is to help explore what it is like to be apart 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 is being 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 a variety of 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, titled “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 to 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 to assist the incredible women in their life 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 as 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, which is 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 became a late night TV host, following Seth Meyers nightly broadcast on NBC. Besides her media successes, Singh has spearheaded the #GirlLove movement, encouraging female empowerment, and to break 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, with the goal 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 extremely broad reach in the Finnish financial circle, and research circle. Brunilla is currently on multiple board 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 history of the company, 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), and graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in 1980, and went on to join 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 worked to raise 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 had her works seen and appreciated in the public eye. Her work sells internationally, with a 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 rooms labelled Think, Move, and Feel.


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

Vera Twomey is a hero to her daughter, and to the people of Ireland. Twomey’s daughter Ava is diagnosed with Dravet’s syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, which can lead 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, she also sparked a national conversation about medical cannabis, and using it in treatments.


Say WAT: Jerusal, Israel

March 3rd, 2020


Say WAT WAT: The 49% Film Festival is being held MArch 3rd in the Jerusalem District of Israel. The VIP Opening Night Celebration features the screening of the film Daughter Tree, a movie which 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 incredibly broad 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 are 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 adopt 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 which need to happen. Her sophomore film, Rafiki, is famous for being banned by the Kenyan government for displays of homosexuality, and then it wen o n 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 which is 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 this year that is targeting multiple audiences in hopes to: advance technical skills to bring to Kuwait, and discuss and solve sustainable issues in the environment. There will also be cyber security 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 is hosting and International Women’s Day celebration breakfast this year. All women are invited to take part in the meal, and to help raise money and support for vulnerable women in Lebanon. During breakfast, there will be presentations hosted by women-focused non profit organizations, 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 she makes. Canales was chosen to design the 2018 Tamayo Pavilion, one of the most notable commissions of the annual Design Week festival in Mexico.


Say WAT: Amsterdam, Netherland

March 11th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: There is going to be a free Workshop on Imposter Syndrome in Amsterdam on March 11th. As several women suffer from this syndrome, this workshop is being held to ask the question of, “Do you still feel like you're the wrong person for a task, even after you've done it a thousand times before?” Understanding imposter syndrome, how to break the thought pattern, understanding the cycle, and recognizing the trigger points that can activate your own person imposter syndrome.


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

Nikkie de Jager, or better known as her screen name, NikkieTutorials, is a Dutch YouTube creator, known for her wild eyeshadow, and innovative makeup looks, and most notably, her Power of Makeup video. After amassing over 1.2 billion views on her videos, Nikkie was being blackmailed and decided to come out as Transgender to keep control over her narrative. While being blackmailed is horrible that she has been publicly strong, and has not stopped creating beautiful looks to share with her followers.


Say WAT: Wellington, New Zealand | March 4th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: A perfect event to follow up the Netherlands workshop, New Zealand

is also hosting an Imposter Syndrome Lunch this year in Wellington. Clearly this issue is a global issue. The goal is to deep dive into imposter syndrome, why it affects so many women, and how to best handle these behaviors that lead to self-doubt. If you can’t make it to Amsterdam, maybe you can make it to Wellington’s!


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

Lisa King is the founder of Eat My Lunch. This organization is changing the lives of Kiwi children living in poverty, since every lunch ordered through Eat My Lunch, one is donated to a child in a low-decile school. By the end of the organization’s first year, they delivered over 178,000 lunches, and their second year they capped out at 450,000. King was also a finalist in this year's Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards.



Say WAT: Nigeria

March 8th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: This year’s International Women’s Day celebration in Nigeria is aimed at raising awareness and knowledge about Nigerian society’s existence of gender based violence. Starting March 8th, this fifteen day campaign will utilize numerous social media platforms, school visits, market places, bus stops, and other major avenues to reach everyone they possibly can on why they must stand up against violence, and give information to victims and volunteers on how to handle this violence.


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

Adepeju Opeyemi Jaiyeoba is a social entrepreneur in Nigeria, who has founded the Brown Button Foundation-an organization with the aim to deliver safe childbirth options and contraceptives to women across the country, and the Mother’s Delivery Kit which packages and delivers low cost health are basics to expectant mothers in Nigeria.


Say WAT: Lima, Peru

March 7th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: Lima, Peru is hosting an International Women’s day two day festival. With artists performing stripped back sets, in intimate spaces, arrive on time, sit back and relax to fully experience the show they are putting on from March 7th-8th.


WAT in the World: What are women doing in this corner of the world? Tatiana Espinosa is an environmental activist, who has been working for years to protect the shihuahuaco tree in the Amazon. After her diligent efforts to protect it from illegal logging in the Madre de Dios area, Espinosa was awarded the Jane Goodall Hope and Inspiration Ranger Award in Nepal in November 2019.


Say WAT: Quezon City, Philippines

March 6th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: The 8th UPRI NOAH TALK will be happening this year in Quezon City, Philippines on March 6th, with TALK standing for Think, Act, Learn, and be Knowledgeable. March's talk will have the theme, #EachForEqual, with its focus this year on women leaders experiences in their field of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.


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

Hidilyn Diaz is the woman that broke the Philippines 20 -ear Olympic medal drought. She was awarded a silver medal in the 53-kg section of the women’s weightlifting event in the 2016 Olympic Games. She has been an Olympian since 2008, and has her eyes now trained on the gold medal at this summer's 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


Say WAT: Moscow, Russia

April 19th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: April 19th this year will be a day full of women in tech for Moscow. The goal of the IWD Gorky, hosted by Women Techmakers Nizhny Novgorod, with the focus on increasing community, visibility, and resources for women in technology. The event will host panel discussions, workshops, networking opportunities, and more for the women in attendance.


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

Zelfira Tregulova is the woman who is credited with the re-birth of the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow’s flagship fine arts museum. Tregulova was named it’s director in 2015, with the goal of bringing the glory back to the museum, and to help it reach as many visitors as its own counterparts, the Pushkin Museum and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Tregulova started rehabilitation on Soviet art, and has since had great success in bringing people back to this museum.


Say WAT: Edinburgh, Scotland

March 8th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: In association with International Women’s Day, Scotland’s Women Print this year will be happening on March 8th in Edinburgh. Edinburgh Printmakers has curated a collection by over 50 women to showcase their original prints from their collection. This is a great opportunity to go out and support women in the arts, and support the beautiful art they make.


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

On February 17th, 2020, Kate Forbes assumed the position of Cabinet Secretary for Finance in the second Sturgeon Government. She spearheaded a movement for children to practice whichever religion they associate with freely in school, with the goal to normalize different beliefs and educate school aged children at young ages so they would be able to bring a sense of understanding and welcome with them for the rest of their lives.


Say WAT: Singapore

March 5th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: Class Living is a women-led business that hopes to empower women to focus on their own self development in the areas of leadership, mindset, relationships, and character building. This year on March 5th, they are hosting TEC Singapore: Celebrating and Commemorating Women's International Day, with storytelling, panels, and networking opportunities.


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

Lillian Ong is the founder of Class Living & Women of Courage Asia. A mother of two, she was trapped in a vicious cycle of depressive episodes, self doubt, and suicide attempts before becoming an entrepreneur of a company that empowers women to live a courageous life of significance.


Say WAT: Johannesburg, South Africa March 6th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: In partnership with International Women’s Day, Entrepreneur Connect Africa is hosting a networking platform for all entrepreneurs to share on their businesses knowledge, their current activities, strife and successes with the aim to empower their peers and spread knowledge in the community.


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

Dr. Shakira Choonara is a woman at the forefront of public health in South Africa. As an activist, and researcher, Dr. Choonara has previously worked for South Africa’s Aids Trust, where she was in charge of innovative youth activism programs that focus on sexual and reproductive health throughout Africa.


Say WAT: Nordstaden, Sweden

March 7th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: Girls in tech are the focus of Sweden’s event this year, with a day being hosted at the Nordic Wellness Exclusive on March 7th. Get to know the board of the organization, network, win prizes, and attend workout classes for free!


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

Margot Wallström is one of Sweden’s most powerful politicians, and is well known internationally. Serving as Foreign Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister, Wallström has been politically involved since the age of 25, when she was first elected to Parliament. She also serves the UN, as the first special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.


Say WAT: Zurich, Switzerland

March 6th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: March 6th in Zurich, Impact Stories will be hosted, giving voice to business, academia, personal, and political equal opportunities and gender diversity. This conference will host talks that will energize and inspire you!


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

Based in Zurich, Yvonne is the creator and founder of online magazine FunkyForty, whose main demographic focus is on women over 40. Through this platform, she shares fashion inspiration, travel, and recipes.


Say WAT: Antalya, Turkey

March 12th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: March 12th will be the day to tune into the Sebahat Ozaltin Ladies Golf Trophy, in memory of Nuri Özaltın. With over 100 women from a dozen countries competing, this tournament will definitely be worth checking out.


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

After leaving her corporate job, Billur Saatçi decided to put all of her effort into her passion project, her fashion-blog, off ne giysem. Since then, Saatçi’s Instagram feed has highlighted the incredible fashion looks she creates along with the day to day life of a professional blogger, traveler, and mother.


Say WAT: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

March 5th - 8th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: Art Connects Women 2020 will be happening for the fourth year now in Dubai on March 5th through the 8th. Lead by artist, activist, and founder of ZeeArts, Zaahirah Muthy, the showcase will be curated to highlight an extensive international list of women. This yearly pursuit of cultural exchange will be hosted to bring women together to laud the passion, strength, and creativity they bring to their pieces, and to their lives.


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

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi is the UAE’s Minister for Tolerance, and one of the UAE’s most prominent names. In 2015, she was named Forbes most Powerful Woman in the Middle East, and in 2017 was named the Most Powerful Arab Woman in Government. She is a passionate advocate for women’s rights, and is pushing for her country to the forefront of that fight.


Say WAT: L’viv, Ukraine

March 14th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: Organized by the WTM Lviv community, Ukraine’s International Women's Day event will host technical and inspirational speeches from women all around the country. Featuring networking opportunities, presentations, and more, make sure to check this event out on March 14th.


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

Natalia Siedletska is an investigative journalist who launched and hosts a TV show about political corruption and abuse. After making her start in TV when she was 21, she eventually won the Vatslav Havel Fellowship and launched SCHEMES.


Say WAT: London, United Kingdom

March 6th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: From March 6th-8th, London is #MakingSpace. The Women in Focus Festival will be hosted by Poplar Union, and in collaboration with many local artists and facilitators to educate and inspire women to bring change into their own communities, from the boardroom to the classroom.


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

Kay Davis is a multi-disciplinary artist, based in South East London. Through her artwork enrapturing paint, illustration, textiles and more, she creates stories that interlink and celebrate themes of nostalgia, childhood, black youth, and girlhood.


Say WAT: Lusaka, Zambia

March 14th, 2020


Say WAT WAT: I Am Equal’s conference and luncheon this year will work to position the role of Women in this new decade. With the goal of mobilizing an integrated approach to empowerment, themes of sustainable development, women empowerment, and the past present and future will be covered in Lusaka on March 14th.


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

Founder of Mwabonwa Designs, Miyoba Buumba has cited her passion coming from proud African design. Mwabonwa Designs specializes in decorative homeware, pillows, beaded jewelry, accessories, and kids wear, all in African prints and African influenced fashion.


Written by Casey Lauer


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