Happy International Women’s Day!

I am all for celebrating women each and every day of the year, but having an official holiday to do so obviously makes my feminist heart happy.

International Women’s Day was officially adopted by the United Nations in 1975, but was first celebrated as early as 1909 in New York. (Learn more here.)

International Women’s Day is, of course, meant to be a day of celebration, but it’s also meant to be a day of activism. This year’s theme is #PressForProgress, calling for us all to motivate and unite our friends, colleagues, and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report indicates that gender equality is over 200 years away! So we’ve got work to do.

Here are 4 ways you can #PressForProgress this International Women’s Day.

Learn how you can effect political change. Make plans to attend events like the Alabama Women’s Summit (set for March 17), where you’ll learn how to hold your elected officials accountable for their actions (or inaction) and get more information about what’s going on in the Alabama legislature. If you’re not in Alabama, seek similar summits being held in your state.

Make a donation to or raise money for an organization that empowers women and girls. If you’re in the Birmingham area and looking for a local organization to support, I highly recommend the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham or GirlSpring. Through collaboration, grantmaking, and advocacy, The Women’s Fund connects women to the resources and opportunities they need to achieve financial security, including post-secondary education, quality childcare, and safe housing. GirlSpring seeks to empower girls ages 13-18 through events, mentoring, an online community and more.

Attend a women’s networking event or meetup. Today I’m going to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s International Women’s Day networking event scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. at the Edge of Chaos. But I’m also buying a ticket to this year’s Dream Catchers Conference and this weekend I’m heading to the Natural Hair & Health Expo. Going after your goals and living your best life can be a form of activism as long as you’re dedicated to helping other women do the same along the way.

Lift up the ladies in your life. Let the women in your life know you appreciate them for what they do and who they are. Send them a nice note, give them a shoutout on Instagram, or make plans to take them out for brunch this weekend. Encourage these women to continue to fight the good fight.

How will you celebrate International Women’s Day?