From Malala to the #meetoo movement, many incredible women have put gender equality under the spotlight in the past few years but facts and statistics are still heart-breaking! People are still trying to overturn Roe v. Wade case, FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) affects more than 200 million women worldwide, child marriages ruin 11% of women’s lives worldwide, more than 130 million girls have no access to education, WEF finds that gender parity will not be attained for another 99.5 years, and we can go on and on… So it’s more important than ever that we support each other, raise awareness and stand up against any form of gender inequality.
We founded / id / with a genuine passion to empower women and turned this into our mission. We aspire to empower as many women as we can reach - those who wear our pieces, those who make them and those who simply need support.
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage & determination. So we've announced a competition and invite everyone to share inspirational stories about women empowerment for a chance of winning #TOGETHERBAND Goal 5 bracelets.
WHAT IS SDG 5 AND WHY WE SUPPORT IT
The Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) are the United Nations’ (UN’s) blueprint for shared prosperity in a sustainable world — a world where all people can live productive, vibrant and peaceful lives on a healthy planet. The UN’s #Envision2030, with 17 SDGs aim to transform the world and “leaving no one behind” by 2030 (If this sounds like a Sci-Fi mission to you, then we need to move fast!). The 17 goals are interconnected and address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.
These guidelines underpin our sustainability strategy and SDG 5 is one of the three goals we prioritise to help us focus our efforts & resources. SDG 5 is all about achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. To achieve this, the UN calls for the following actions:
- End discrimination against all women and girls
- End all forms of violence against and exploitation of women and girls
- End all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and FGM
- Value unpaid care and domestic work and promote shared responsibility within the household
- Women’s full participation and equal opportunities in leadership & decision-making
- Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Equal rights to economic resources, property ownership and financial services
- Promote the empowerment of women
- Adopt and strengthen policies and legislation for gender equality and women empowerment
THE POWER OF WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN
It works miracles when women come together to support women and here are some inspirational stories.
Confronting child marriage in India
In rural India women are using social pressure to stop child marriage. Thanks to an organisation called Women Peer Groups, more than 2,800 rural women and girls across five states have pledged that they won’t let their daughters marry underage, and to boycott weddings that involve child brides. One such activist is 20-year-old Malti Tudu from the village of Simalbari in Bitar. In her caste and tribe, 74.1% of girls marry before the age of 18. But that’s something she wants to stop. She petitioned the parents of a 16-year-old girl whose marriage was being arranged. When the parents resisted her request, she asked everyone she knew in the village not to attend the wedding. The social pressure worked – and the girl was allowed to continue her studies.
Period. End of Sentence
When a group of feminist high school students in North Hollywood found out about the taboo surrounding menstruation and how the attitudes around it impacted women's ability to get an education and seek work in developing countries, they decided to do something about it. So, the student members of Girls Learn International, along with their teacher raised funds to send a manual pad-making machine and a year's worth of supplies to women in Hapur, a tiny rural village outside of Delhi, India. The pad machine would not only provide pads for the women to use, but also create a micro-economy for the women running the machine. The students also tapped director Rayka Zehtabchi to make a documentary to raise awareness about the cause. The end product - Period. End of Sentence., which is streaming on Netflix, follows women in Hapur as they learn to make pads and educate other men and women in their community about menstruation. And it won an Academy Award!
In 2012, the UN General Assembly designated February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, with the aim to amplify and direct the efforts on the elimination of this practice. The filmmaker Sara Elgamal portrayed this deeply difficult and personal subject with much beauty and care in her stunning film A Piece of Me. The film, shot in deserts of Ethiopia's Afar region in collaboration with the United Nations, focuses on the stories of three women who refuse to be defined by their shared past traumas of FGM and how they protect their children & children in their communities, sparking further conversations around the issue.
Women remaking Rwanda
The most gender-equal country to date, according to the World Economic Forum 2020 report, is Iceland followed by Norway, Sweden and Finland. Although dominated by Nordic countries, the top ten also features a Latin American country - Nicaragua, two Sub-Saharan African Countries - Rwanda and Namibia and East Asia - Philippines. The top ten is completed by New Zealand and Ireland.
In Rwanda, after the genocide in 1994, lawyer Alice Urusaro Karekezi fought to ensure sexual violence was punished as a war crime. She and many others left well-paying jobs abroad to return to their homeland – ‘We came here to build’ says Karekezi. In addition to shaping laws and policies, their impact has been inspirational. They created the Rwanda Women’s Network that provides safe spaces for women to spend time together and acquire vocational skills. Today, 49 women represent Rwanda in parliament (61 per cent) - the highest in the world.
#TOGETHER BAND GIVEAWAY
#TOGETHERBAND is a brand creating unique bracelets representing the spirit of each of the Sustainable Development Goals. Crafted from recycled ocean plastic, for every #TOGETHERBAND sold, 1KG of plastic is removed from marine environments. The bottletop style clasp is made from reclaimed metal from decommissioned seized illegal firearms in Central America, helping to end armed violence and rebuild conflict-torn societies.
100% of proceeds from each #TOGETHERBAND are used to spread the word about the Global Goals and fund life-changing projects to build a better future for us all.
We want to celebrate the International Women’s Day by giving away a free #TOGETHERBAND pack (which contains two bracelets - one to keep and one to share) containing the Goal 5 style in red.
To be in with a chance of winning, simply head over to our Instagram, give us a follow, in the comments tag a friend that you'd like to share your second bracelet with and share a link of an inspirational story about women empowerment. The winner will be announced on Sunday, 8th March - good luck!