March 8 is International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate the contributions of women and girls everywhere; to recognize women who inspire us all; and to renew discussion about the importance of gender equality in Canada and around the world.

International Women’s Day 2023 Theme: #EmbraceEquity

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For International Women's Day and beyond, let's all fully #EmbraceEquity. Equity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society's DNA. And it's critical to understand the difference between equity and equality. The IWD 2023 campaign theme drives worldwide understanding why Equal opportunities aren't enough!

So, give equity a huge embrace. We can all truly embrace equity. It's not just something we say. It's not just something we write about. It's something we need to think about, know, value and embrace. It's what we believe in, unconditionally. Equity means creating an inclusive world.

And we can all play a part. Each one of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence.

We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Collective activism is what drives change. From grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, we can all embrace equity. Forging gender equity isn't limited to women solely fighting the good fight. Allies are incredibly important for the social, economic, cultural, and political advancement of women.

Everyone everywhere can play a part. All IWD activity is valid. That's what makes IWD so inclusive. Collectively, we can all forge positive change.


Being included, and a sense of belonging, feel right. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion. We embrace equity to forge harmony and unity, and to help drive success for all. Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there. Through the process of equity, we can reach equality.

Embracing equity is the right thing to do. Don't just say it. Think it. Be it. Do it. Value it. Truly embrace it. Embrace equity in all its forms.

How will you embrace equity? Share the passion and excitement that comes from valuing and supporting difference. Reflect on how we can all be part of the solution, not the problem.

Encourage and rally your friends, family, colleagues, and community to embrace equity. Together we can work collectively to impact positive change. Together we can all help forge an equal world. Let's all embrace equity today, and always.

Strike the #EmbraceEquity pose. Are you in? Will you embrace equity? Show the world your huge embrace. Strike the IWD #EmbraceEquity pose to show solidarity.

Individuals and organizations are invited to share their #EmbraceEquity image, video, resources, presentation, or articles on social media using #IWD2023 #EmbraceEquity to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.


Women & Gender Equality Canada 2023 Theme: Every Woman Counts

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The Government of Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023 is Every Woman Counts.

It’s a reminder that all women, from all ages and walks of life, have a place in every aspect of Canadian society, including in the economic, social, and democratic spheres.

Let’s celebrate the successful women around us, reminding today’s youth and girls that their dream is within reach.


Suggested Activities: Celebrating International Women’s Day

(Much of the content is compiled from the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario)


The following is a list of suggestions to help you celebrate International Women’s Day and the week of March 8th. To help ensure success of any organized event or activity with your students, choose something that suits both your audience and your purpose. Almost every idea can be adapted to suit a classroom setting.

□       Discuss with students the history of International Women’s Day and the purpose for celebrating such a special day.

□       Ask that an announcement be made in the school, along with a brief history of the reason for the day.

□       Write a special diary entry celebrating your won achievements as a woman and what contributions you have made to education.

□       Consider your own economic security. Do you know the facts about your family economics?

□       Read the Alberta Teachers’ Association article, Examining Women in Educational Leadership in the Teaching Profession found on the Canadian Teachers Federation website ( perspectives/women-in-educational-leadership-in-the-teaching-profession/).

□       Explore statistical information about women in the workforce with your older students.

□       Have students make posters to display on International Women’s Day.

□       Share the information you learn about it with someone you think does not understand the need for an “International Women’s Day.”

□       Organize a fundraiser and send the proceeds to support a cause related to the Status of Women. For example, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, which is a Canadian volunteer solidarity group committed to raising awareness to the plight of women in Afghanistan (

□       Spread the word about International Women’s Day by sending an email or e-card greeting to friends, family, and colleagues that includes a link to the Women and Gender Equality Canada website (

□       Place a special message on your fax cover sheet, your voicemail, your website, your email signature, on your computer screen saver, or on your employees’ pay envelopes.

□       Use the social media shareables produced by Women and Gender Equality Canada (https://women- theme.html).

□        Use the great resources and social media shareables produced by

□       Produce and display your own International Women’s Day poster.

□       Show an appropriate video for your audience on issues of concern to women and hold a discussion afterwards. You may even want to have a special guest participate and lead the discussion.

□       Network and exchange information with local community groups that work to promote women’s equality and rights.

□       Hold a discussion on a topic of concern to the women in your workplace or community. Topics could include: Women and the Internet, Women and the Media, Women in Non-traditional Roles, Wage Gap between Women and Men, Stereotyping and Socio-sexual Roles, Women’s Struggles and Challenges, Balancing Work and Family Responsibilities, Career Choices, Education and Training for Women, Women and Sports, Human Rights of Women, Women and Armed Conflict, Women and the Peace Process, Women and Globalization, Violence against Women, Women and Poverty, Women’s Health Issues, Sharing Power and Decision-Making, Feminism, Gender Relations, Women and Science, Women and the Environment, Women and Research, Women and Volunteer Work.

□       Set up an information fair with displays featuring local resources for women.

□       Hold a “brown-bag” lunch and invite women from several generations to share their personal experiences and efforts to achieve women’s equality.

□       Interview women who have made a positive difference for women in your community or globally. Write an article about them for a local paper or newsletter.

□       Present a show, concert, or a play related to women’s struggles for equality and donate the proceeds to a women’s organization.

□       Organize a photo or art exhibit in your local library, the cafeteria at work or school, etc. featuring works created by women. Invite women’s organizations and the general public to attend the activity.

□       Organize a fundraising event for a women’s organization or shelter.

□       Ask the students to work on a project about women’s challenges or gender equality. They could write a composition, a poem, a book report, a speech, or do a research paper.

□       Lead a discussion on what students can do in their home, at school or in the community to bring women closer to equality.

□       Launch a photography, video, drawing, poetry, or essay contest in your school. Perhaps a local store could offer a prize.

□       Watch the documentary, The Secret Marathon:

□       Learn more about implicit bias and take the implicit bias test


  • Subscribe to DEFY Magazine – a digital magazine for unapologetic women (
  • Visit the gender section on the Micropedia, a resource to learn more about microaggressions and their impact (


Helpful Resources: Celebrating International Women’s Day

  • Women and Gender Equality Canada produces materials for IWD activities. (https://women-gender-


  • BCTF has Status of Women lesson plans. (



  • Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women:


  • The Secret Marathon documentary and website:



  • The Micropedia, a resource to learn more about microaggressions and their impact (


  • The implicit bias test