Scores of high-profile women celebrated International Women’s Day on Sunday by sharing empowering and galvanizing messages spotlighting female achievement and the work that needs to be done to create a gender-equal world.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual, drawing on the notion of “collective individualism” as a reminder that each person’s actions, conversations and behaviors to challenge stereotypes and discrimination can contribute to real change when society commits as a whole.
Celebrities and notable figures including Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Emma Watson, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Lady Gaga, and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton were among those to mark the occasion.
Here are some of the ways they chose to celebrate women, and the issues they chose to highlight this International Women’s Day.
The former first lady called for people to “work together to empower the next generation of women” this International Women’s Day, the goal behind the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance program which seeks to invest in adolescent girls’ education. Her upcoming YouTube special will feature YouTube creators Liza Koshy, Prajakta Koli and Thembe Mahlaba as they visit Vietnam, Namibia and India to speak with young women battling adversity to pursue education.
The talk show host celebrated some of the inspiring women who have appeared on “The Ellen Show” such as teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), actors Laura Dern, Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman and pro tennis player Naomi Osaka. “I see you all. You look fantastic,” Degeneres tweeted.
The House speaker reminded readers that the ongoing fight for women’s equality around the world was important “today, and every day.”
“Every woman, everywhere, deserves the opportunity to reach her full potential, with respect and recognition in the workforce, security and dignity in society and a voice and a vote in government,” she wrote in a linked statement.
The teen climate activist recognized that like the battle for climate justice, the fight for gender equity will continue. She added, “And remember; what we women want today - and every day - is equality, not congratulations or celebrations.”
Sen. Kamala Harris
The California Democrat invoked her mother’s words about trailblazing women, calling for recognition of the sacrifices made by women throughout history to continually move forward in the fight for equality and representation.
As one of her final official duties as a royal, the Duchess of Sussex visited Dagenham, England, where a group of female factory workers went on strike in 1968, eventually prompting the passing of the Equal Pay Act.
Meghan visited with Geraldine Dear, one of the strikers, and met with students at a local school to meet the town’s next generation of women.
Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift
The two pop sensations highlighted the achievements of women in the music industry, both creating playlists of music by female artists and bands to listen to on this International Women’s Day.
The former secretary of state reminded the world that “women’s rights are human rights—and no administration, political party, court, legislature, or biased attitudes can change that.”
The actor and UN Women Goodwill ambassador highlights an important cause each year to mark March 8, and this year was no different. She honored all those who have spoken up about rape and violence against women, and shared a book recommendation: “Sex & World Peace” by Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli and Chad F. Emmett.
The Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner shared the goals and ambitions of several young women, highlighting the importance of girls’ education.
The singer spotlighted two women she admires, Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai, praising both women’s advocacy for girls’ education.