Today is International Women’s Day, which celebrates women’s achievements and calls us to action for gender equality.
As we mark the day this year, we’re also approaching the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States, conditions that have (in many ways) highlighted the challenges that women still face. Amid stay-at-home orders, domestic violence has worsened around the world, largely perpetuated against women. Working mothers, saddled with much of the increased child care and housework the pandemic has caused, are reaching a breaking point financially and emotionally. Among other things, the Black Lives Matter protests that surged last summer called attention to the disproportionate violence and discrimination that trans women of color face.
Here, we’ve gathered articles, practices, and videos from Greater Good that offer tips and resources to support women’s well-being, whether you’re taking care of yourself, supporting the women in your life, or advocating for women in your family, workplace, or community.
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Resources for stress and self-care
- How to Transform Stress into Courage and Connection: Stress doesn’t always lead to fight-or-flight, says Kelly McGonigal. It can also activate brain systems that help us connect with other people.
- Why Women Need Fierce Self-Compassion: Compassion isn’t always soft and gentle; sometimes it means being forceful and fierce.
- Can Self-Compassion Help You Love Your Body?: New research shows that being kind to yourself may help poor body image.
- Five Tips for Women Who Have Trouble Sleeping: Women tend to have more sleep problems than men, but there are ways to get a better night’s rest.
- Can Mindfulness Treat Sexual Dysfunction?: Sexual dysfunction among women is more pervasive than many realize. But research is revealing that non-judgmental, moment-to-moment awareness can help.
- How the “Strong Black Woman” Identity Both Helps and Hurts: Being a “superwoman” could help African American women cope with racial discrimination—but it may have some drawbacks.
- Is There a Happiness Gender Gap?: Research suggests women today are unhappier than they’ve been in four decades, reports Jill Suttie. Why is that, and what can we do about it?
Resources for gender equality
- How Women Can Use Their Anger for Good: A book argues that rage could help women to improve their psychological health and move society forward.
- How to Pick a President Without Being Sexist: As Americans interview candidates for president, how can they make sure gender bias doesn’t get in the way of hiring the right one?
- What the Science of Power Can Tell Us About Sexual Harassment: We need to take on the myths that sustain abuses of power, argues Dacher Keltner.
- How to Address Gender Inequality in Health Care: A Q&A with Maya Dusenbery about why women get worse health care than men—and what we can do to change that.
- What the Struggle for Gay Rights Teaches Us About Bridging Differences: In just a few decades, GLBT+ rights moved from the margins to the mainstream. Here’s why.
- Heroes Without Guns: In a testosterone-heavy cultural landscape, how can women envision themselves as heroes—and in doing so, transform the ways all of us respond to threats and violence?
Resources for the workplace
- Which Workplace Policies Help Parents the Most?: New studies reveal how different policies affect parental well-being—and what obstacles we face in bringing them to America.
- Why Gender Stereotypes Are So Hard to Fight at Work: Here’s what we learned from a failed gender equality training, and how workplaces can support women better.
- We’re Biased to Think Men Are Smarter, and That Hurts Women: A new study suggests that people are more likely to refer men for jobs that require high intellect.
- How to Be Fairer to Women in Workplace Leadership: Research suggests that performance evaluations are biased against women leaders.
- Why Are So Many Female Doctors Burning Out?: Research suggests that women physicians are more likely to burn out than men. How can we close that gap?
- Seven Ways to Stand Up Against Sexual Harassment: What should you do if you witness someone being sexually harassed?
Resources for parents
- Social Connections Keep Pregnant Moms Healthy: A study suggests how a sense of community can help at-risk pregnant women.
- Why “Mom Brain” Is Good for Mothers and Babies: According to a new study, pregnant women lose gray matter in their brains—and this process helps them figure out what other people need and feel.
- Working Parents Are Angry. But What Can We Do?: A psychologist examines the maddening stress of balancing work and parenting during a pandemic.
- Six Ways to Help Girls Become Strong Women in a Sexist World: A book reviews some of the pressures girls face in today’s culture and what we can do to help them.
- How to Save Your Marriage from Parenthood: Amie Gordon offers five tips to maintain (or reignite) the spark in your relationship.
Resources for relationships
- How an Unfair Division of Labor Hurts Your Relationship: Inequality in a couple can affect everyone’s happiness.
- When Are You Sacrificing Too Much in Your Relationship?: Close relationships require sacrifice. Here are seven questions to ask yourself before you give up too much.
- Should Women Thank Men for Doing the Dishes?: Anne-Marie Slaughter’s “Having it All” essay in The Atlantic raises important questions about men, women…and gratitude.
- Is Marriage Really Bad for Women’s Happiness?: Paul Dolan claims that women might be happier if they stay single. What does the research say?
- When Does Power Hurt Romance?: Four new studies reveal how having power affects your willingness to walk in your partner’s shoes.
- The Subversive Power of the Kiss: A new wave of studies suggests that the rise of romantic kissing is linked to the changing roles of women.
More insights about gender
- Debunking the Myths about Boys and Emotions: Research has found that boys can connect emotionally with others at a very deep level—we just have to make it safe for them to do so.
- Why We Should Help Boys Embrace All Their Feelings: We encourage a narrower range of emotions in boys than girls—and that can be harmful in the long run.
- How to Talk with Boys About Sexual Harassment and Assault: Donald Trump’s “locker-room talk” points to a problem that is bigger than one election. How can parents and teachers build a culture of consent and healthy communication?
- Women, Power, and Hillary Clinton: Research suggests that Clinton’s election could increase women’s political power—but they’ll face the same pitfalls as their male counterparts.
- How to Mobilize Men Against Sexual Harassment: Many forces undermine efforts to help men to empathize with women and speak out against harassment and assault. Here are some ideas for overcoming them.
- Do Men Have a Gratitude Problem?: Men, in general, are less grateful than women. Here’s why that may be a problem.
- Is the Drive to Be Masculine Hurting Your Mental Health?: A wave of studies suggest that masculine ideals can hurt men’s physical and mental health. But they also hint at a healthier aspiration for men.