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International women’s day is held on the 8th of March with the aim of celebrating women’s achievement throughout history and across all nations. This day has its origins in 1911 when discussions about equality started to be held in certain countries. Along the years, women’s day attempted to raise awareness to eliminate discrimination against women and to help them become active participants in global development.

Celebrating women on this day is much more than giving them a flower or chocolates. Whilst these are nice gestures, such a day should be a reminder of how treating women is to occur all year round. Needless to say, women should be treated well every single day of the year and not just on women’s day. Of course, the same goes for men but the highlight of this blog is about being a man on women’s day.

The use of language is one of the most important ways in which respect can be shown to women. If a man wants to pass a compliment to a woman they like, there are several ways of doing it. Rather than using sexual language which will likely put her off, a compliment which uses positive and empowering language can be appreciated more. Instead of focusing on women as sexual beings, women’s achievements and successes need to be highlighted. As a man, remarking such achievements is a great way to celebrate women and encouraging them to aim high if that is what they wish to do. Attitude is key, thus, rather than putting women down simply because of their gender, uplifting them is the best way to celebrate who they are.

Showing gratitude and appreciation is another way to make women’s day meaningful to the special women in a man’s life. Take some time to reflect on how your life as a man would be if you did not have the women that you do in your life; whether it is your wife, partner, mother or other significant woman. Let them know how they make your life better and how it would not be the same without them in it. Feeling appreciated will make a woman feel valued for who they are, being seen and acknowledged for all that they do for the men in their lives.

Being an advocate for women and standing up for them is yet another way to celebrate women. If as a man you are hearing fellow men being sexist or being disrespectful towards women, stand up for them. Women should not be made fun of and more men need to realise that doing so will not make them a tougher man.

Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on marilyn@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.