March 8 marks International Women’s Day. There is some discord as to the first celebration of a “Women’s Day,” but 1975 was recognized as International Women’s Year, which then moved to International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8.
From celebrating in over 100 countries to an official holiday in more than 25, International Women’s Day was founded on the demand and recognition of equality for women and their labor, and in 2023 we continue that effort.
The Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region was originally established as a field of interest fund in 1994 through the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. It was created as a permanent funding source specifically to address the growing needs of women and girls in the Fox Valley. Our 106 founding donors contributed at least $1,000 each to create an endowment fund of more than $130,000.
With 29 years of moving their mission forward — to promote the advancement of women and girls in our community — there is still work to be done. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day encourages us to embrace equity.
Every day we can challenge gender stereotypes, promote inclusion of all, and recognize bias when we see it. Women cannot do this alone; we need allies to help move the needle.
The Women’s Fund has various programs and events to help promote the equity of women and girls such as Girl-Powered Giving, where high school-aged girls come together for training, community service and philanthropy education to make a positive difference in their community. They also provide funding to other local programs that support women and girls.
Take today to celebrate the women in your life, whether they are family, friends or coworkers. And reflect on how you can help promote women’s equity.
The Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region is a supporting organization of the Community Foundation and a separate 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Women’s Fund invests in the needs of women and girls through grants, advocacy and education. Since 1994, the Women’s Fund has awarded more than $1.8 million in grants to innovative programs that improve women’s and girls’ physical and mental health, ensure their economic security, promote their safety and enhance their lives.