Empower a woman. Change the world.
With International Women’s Day coming up, it’s important for all of us to take a moment to reflect on the economic and social achievement we have achieved as women and continue to come together to advocate for gender equality. While there have been more significant wins locally in first-world countries, there are still a lot of work to be done in developing countries around the world. Education is the most effective way for girls to turn the tide on poverty and escape from teenage pregnancies, child marriage, and domestic abuse. Research even shows that girls’ education can be a catalyst for social development and economic growth in many countries around the world, if they are given the opportunity to learn and go to school. However, globally there are still 130 million girls who don’t have access to education due to a variety reasons, such as: cost, distance, and gender norms.
How can we help send more girls to school when education should be their right?
Although we might not all have the means to make a monthly contribution or take time off to volunteer abroad, there are thousands of artisans and companies over the world that have created gifts that support girls’ education. With that being said, what’s a better way to contribute than doing a little online shopping for a cause?
As a consumer and supporter of humanitarian causes, similar to most, I purchase a product based on three simple factors:
- Where will the proceeds be going to?
- What is the quality of the product?
- Do I have a purpose for it and am I aesthetically drawn to it?
From colour and style to quality and purpose, I truly do believe there needs to be intent behind every purchase. If you are shopping around this month and are looking to support a cause this International Women’s Day, browse this short list of diverse companies that designed tasteful gifts that support girls’ education and contribute to advocating for girls and women around the world.
1 – EMPOWERED Sweatshirt ($85.00) | Indego Africa
Indego Africa is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering artisan women in Africa through employment opportunities and education. Hand-embroidered by women in Rwanda, this stylish EMPOWERED sweatshirt is about confidence, independence, education and equal opportunities with 100% of the proceeds go towards education programs for women in Rwanda and Ghana.
2 – Kuni Utensil Set ($18.00) | Society B
Society B’s goal is to make a difference in people’s lives by combining causes and commerce. Society B believes that businesses have the power to do more good for society than just paying their shareholders. Every good in the charitable marketplace gives back to make a difference in someone’s life.
3 – Tres Cotton Scarf ($50.00) | Bloom & Give
Bloom & Give donates half their profits or 10% of their sales to programs that send girls to school. Their goal is to use age-old techniques to create contemporary designs that can be enjoyed in everyday life. Bloom & Give works with small co-ops that share their relentless pursuit of excellence and quality, and their belief in fair wages.
4 – Lurdani Medium Earrings ($20.00) | Kurandza
Kurandza is a non-profit social enterprise that invests in the future of women in Mozambique. Through education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development programs, women learn to become leaders in their villages, sharing their skills and knowledge with the rest of their community, and creating an opportunity for thousands of people.
5 – “By Girls, For Girls” ($48.00) | Bird + Stone
Bird + Stone was founded on the principle that jewelry can do good and in fact, improve the world. We empower each consumer to be a “micro-philanthropist” – making meaningful change through the simple act of purchasing jewelry. Their mission is to inspire, educate, and most importantly help shape the dreams of deserving women who are aspiring to be independent, financially stable, and educated.
6 – Sheba Handbag ($200.00) | Sseko Designs
Sseko Designs uses fashion to create opportunity for women globally. They provide employment and scholarship opportunities to women in Uganda who are working to pursue their dreams and overcome poverty.
7 – Handmade Sunglass Case ($42.00) | Sudara
Each year, millions of women and children are trafficked into sexual exploitation in India. Sudara is working to change this by providing hope and opportunity through living-wage jobs, skills training, and education. All products from Sudara goods are made from hope, and made for comfort.
8 – Do Small Things Banner ($32.00) | Global Girlfriend
Remember to “do small things with great love” when you decorate your space with this inspiring banner made by women in the Philippines at A Beautiful Refuge. Global Girlfriend was founded in 2003 to help women worldwide gain economic security while providing you unique products and a simple way to help women in need.
9 – Sampler Soap Pack ($17.00) | b.a.r.e. Soap
b.a.r.e. soaps is an all-natural, hand-crafted, and socially conscious company with a two-fold vision that centers on sanitation education. Beyond donating bars, they invest in communities to help them become economically self-sustainable.
What are some of your favorite socially conscious & ethical companies to buy from? I would love to hear from you!