Celebrating Influential Women in Our Lives

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By Jennifer Halter

March is Women’s History Month, a time to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions by women to culture, history and society. Additionally, International Women’s Day is an annual opportunity to bring awareness to the importance of gender equality. This year’s event will be celebrated on March 8, 2022.

This is a wonderful opportunity to educate our children about women who have made history or are currently making an impact in the world, in our communities and even within our own families. Here are five ways you can celebrate influential women this month.

Support Women-Owned Businesses

While it’s always important to shop local and support our area businesses, this month is the perfect time
to patronize businesses owned by women in our communities. A quick search online or a chat with friends
and family can help identify female-owned businesses.

If you can’t shop with them or utilize their services offered right now, you can always share their information with others or purchase gift cards. You may be able to personally connect the owner with your children for an interview. Help them prepare questions about how she got started in her business, her favorite thing about being a business owner and challenges faces. You may inspire a future entrepreneur in the process.

Read Books About Famous Females in History

Reading is powerful. Pick up a copy of these books to read to your daughters AND sons this month.
Think Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison (babies and toddlers): This is the board book version of Little
Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World, which introduces the youngest children to trailblazing women.

Ordinary People Change the World Series by Brad Meltzer (ages 5-8): These beloved books highlight people
important in our history. Search for female heroes, and you’ll find books dedicated to great figures such as Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Dolly Parton, Oprah Winfrey and Anne Frank.

Who Was? series (ages 8-12): This series includes books dedicated to female figures like Coretta Scott King,
Kamala Harris, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou and many more.

There are many fantastic young adult books with strong female characters. Penguin Publishing curates book lists on a variety of subjects. Visit penguinteen.com/10-books-to-read-for-international-womens-day for superb International Women’s Day reads for your teens.

Watch Movies About Inspirational Women

Make your next movie night about more than just popcorn and bonding time. Choose one of these films
about women who made a difference:
A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story (NR)
Lizzie Velasquez has been bullied her entire life due to her appearance because of an extremely rare
congenital disease. Now a motivational speaker and author, Velasquez has made it her mission to inspire and empower a more positive online environment.

Girl Rising (PG-13)
This inspiring documentary follows nine girls from different countries — Afghanistan, Cambodia, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nepal, Peru and Sierra Leone — on their journeys to acquire an education.

Harriet (PG-13)
Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery and with courage and determination, she helped free hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad. Through her bravery, she transformed herself into one of America’s greatest heroes and helped change the course of history.

Hidden Figures (PG)
Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s book, Hidden Figures is the incredible true story of a team of African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA and played a vital role in some of the greatest achievements during the early years of the United States space program.

A League of Their Own (PG)
This movie was inspired by the documentary of the same name about the short-lived All-American Girls
Professional Baseball League. It follows the story of two sisters and their wins and struggles, as they try to make their mark in a historically male-dominated sport.

Mulan (G for animated version; PG-13 for the live-action film)
Based on an ancient Chinese ballad, Mulan tells the story of a young woman who disguises herself as a young man, so she can take her father’s place in the Imperial army and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process.

Honor Important Women in Our Lives

Some of the most influential women exist in our own lives. From family members to teachers to our neighbors doing awesome things in our communities, we are fortunate to be surrounded by many special women to celebrate this month. Have your child choose someone who inspires them and allow them to honor her with flowers, a card or a video message. It is sure to brighten her day!

Jennifer Halter is the Publisher of Macaroni Kid Woodbridge and Macaroni Kid Gainesville/Manassas,
free online calendars and resources to help you find your family fun all year round.

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