Stronger united than divided. Every year, the 8th March marks the day during which feminists join forces to raise their voices and participate in the continuous fight for gender equality. Though this international day of protest was marked by several marches taking place across the world, several celebrities also took to online platforms to proclaim their support and celebrate the day. We've gathered together some of the Instagram highlights that show how these actresses and actors used their followers to speak up about the pressing need for gender equality.
Some actresses took the opportunity to shed a light on how spreading the feminist word across the globe can benefit women from all levels of privilege. Priyanka Chopra Jonas ('Isn't It Romantic') shared the story of a young Ethiopian woman named Hasina she met through a UNICEF campaign, praising her for her "grit and purpose" and speaking out against forced marriage and child brides, stating: "Hasina is one of the many girls who dream of a future where every girl can be a girl - not a bride, not a victim of violence of discrimination. Nothing but a powerful, unstoppable girl ready to take on the world". Laura Dern ('Marriage Story') shared a moving video in which herself and several other actresses and female celebrities, amongst whom were Cate Blanchett ('Carol') and Tiffany Haddish ('Like a Boss'), stated that we should "celebrate empathy" and constantly ask ourselves "who is not in the room?"
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Unstoppable. Fierce. Determined. Hasina is all this and more. I met her during my visit to Ethiopia with @unicef. She blew me away with her grit and purpose, standing up for right to continue going to school and to decide her own future. When her brother-in-law's friend asked her parents for her hand in marriage, Hasina knew she wasn't ready for that yet. "How am I going to live marrying a person I don't even know? Will I ever go back to school again?" She asked herself all these questions and one day, when the man was visiting her house, she escaped and went to one of the community-based prevention centres she had heard about at school. The community, along with the authorities, stepped in and stopped the marriage. Hasina is one of the many girls who dream of a future where every girl can be a girl - not a bride, not a victim of violence or discrimination. Nothing but a powerful, unstoppable girl ready to take on the world. It's your turn... I'd love to hear your stories of girls you admire and why. Just post in the comments below or using the hashtags below. On #InternationalWomensDay... AND every day, let's lift every girl up! #W4W #GenerationEquality #EndChildMarriage
Others went for a more personalised response to celebrating womanhood and femininity, with Nicole Kidman ('Big Little Lies') sharing an adorable snap of her with her family and captioning it: "We can always use more opportunities to celebrate the deeply special women in our lives. Thinking of my beautiful mumma and sister today". Kate Upton ('The Other Woman') posted a beautiful photo of herself with her daughter, Genevieve, with the caption: "Here's to the strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them". Following on in the theme of mothers and daughters is actress Teresa Palmer ('A Discovery of Witches') who expressed her pride at being parent to a "little woman" and part of a movement that aims "to ensure that women globally are treated with the same respect, dignity and equality afforded to men".
Other actresses took it upon themselves to use the #InternationalWomensDay to join forces with movements, charities and hashtags dedicated to empowering women. Kerry Washington ('Scandal') shared how she personally embraces ambition in collaboration with the Tory Burch Foundation, a charity dedicated to the empowering of female entrepreneurs, with a short video posted to her Instagram account. For her part, Jennifer Lopez ('Hustlers') shared a video to her Instagram page detailing what she envisions as making up a #girlboss, amongst which were qualities such as #determination and #confidence.
Meanwhile, duchess and actress Meghan Markle was seen in a Instagram post from the official account @sussexroyal which celebrated the political victories of women over the past century. Markle visited Dagenham, England, a site famous for the 1968 protest made by the female sewing machinists at the Ford Motor Company after they were denied equal pay. "This is the best example of no matter how small you might feel, how low you may feel on the ladder or the totem pole, no matter what colour you are, no matter what gender you are, you have a voice", says Markle.
Men Can Be Feminists, Too!
Feminist is not a dirty word and several actors and male celebrities have stepped out as proud wearers of that label in posts in honour of International Women's Day.
Dwayne Johnson ('Moana') shared a sweet picture of himself with his young daughter, captioned: "Blessed, strong and the world will hear from you one day". 'Riverdale' actor Mark Consuelos also took to the platform to honour the women in his life, sharing a picture of his wife and daughter.
Actor Chris Hemsworth ('Avengers: Endgame') took to Instagram to celebrate the achievement of women in sports, sharing a photo of the aftermath of what is now being hailed as one of the greatest MMA fight in the history of women playing the sport between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Zhang Weili. "Absolutely incredible show of talent and heart", praises the actor, tagging both athletes before concluding his post with a fitting not to #internationalwomensday.