How You Can Empower Women Around The World
Posted on March 26 2019
I don’t know about you, but for me March has flown by! I am ready for some spring weather please and thank you! We started the month with many events around our community for International Women’s Day. It’s amazing the way March 8th has grown to support so many philanthropic causes annually and honor the achievements of so many badass women!
But with this day also comes something I feel should be talked about more: which is making events like International Women's Day, a mindset for every day of the year, supporting all women around the world. IWD is a globally recognized day to celebrate the achievements of women, and this years theme centered around equality and justice: "Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change," for everyone.
Of course I love seeing women and men come together to support their local communities, charities, service agencies, nonprofits, organizations supporting and empowering women. It is so important to give back when we can with our time and/or financial contributions. We can all get swept up in life and work, and it's difficult to stay tuned in to what's happening in our own communities and around the world!
At the same time, I want to encourage choosing to embody the values of IWD, every day. There’s a powerful opportunity ready for us to continue building on this momentum, to meet the aspirations of these campaigns, to actually one day have equality for all, end discrimination, homelessness, poverty, and so on. It cannot be done in only a few days a year.
I am not saying you need to quit your day job and work for a nonprofit (I consider doing this all the time!), but I am saying that there is more we can all do in our day to day lives to support not just women, but people being oppressed or discriminated against, around our world.
You cannot empower women in one part of the world and disempower them in another.
Personally, I feel a disconnect if, for example, I donate money to a women's organization, or volunteer at a women's nonprofit, and then decide to purchase fast fashion or cheap holiday decorations that ultimately is disempowering women and men on the other side of the world.
And I fully admit - it’s hard to balance that disconnect with the convenient speed of some of these “fast” fixes. I know the impact I want to make (or limit) in the world, but run at the pace of the lives we lead - it can be frustrating! Several years ago I didn't see or acknowledge this connection, between the cheap bikini I would buy for my next girls trip and the sweatshop on the other side of the world that made the bikini affordable at the expense of people and our planet. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 so I accept that I can’t change the past, but I can help change the future. I’m a firm believer: when we know better, we can do better.
Every dollar you spend is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.
I am far from perfect, but I do try to be as mindful as possible about what and who I surround myself. I try not to sacrifice my values, for the sake of instagram followers, what's cool or what's "in style".
There is a face and story behind everything that you have and when it comes to the fashion industry, 80% of garment workers are female. So for me a big part of Empowering Women, means we are empowering them everywhere, supporting the millions of garment workers around the world who are women and young girls living and working in conditions they don’t deserve.
This is one of the main reasons I started NSS. My interest in ethical fashion started with a passion for sustainability and simpler living, but it quickly as I delved into articles, documentaries, and podcasts, learning about the extent of human and environmental exploitation in the fashion and other consumer industries, and that the large majority of those exploited is women and young girls, I could no longer turn a blind eye.
So, what I hope to share with you is this: you are powerful. You have the power to create change. Change that starts with simply being mindful about where your possessions come from.
Invest in versatile, timeless things, shop second hand, check out renting websites where you can borrow clothes for events, support ethical and sustainable brands, buy less and choose well. We can start to shift away from one-time-wears and hit the brakes before we consume (bonus - this can become a great investment too, consciously spending and growing savings for your bank account!). Make it a fun challenge, an opportunity to exercise your creativity and be intentional with what you have, does it spark joy! (that includes what we choose to wear as our chosen skin, clothing).
We are all in this world living together and we all want to see our world thrive for generations to come! Let's be more mindful and present in our day-to-day lives, to love and care for ourselves so we can make choices with positive impact for ourselves, our planet and all people.
Always feel free to reach out to me at NSS with any questions, comments or curiosities. Let's have more conversations - that’s where progress begins!