International Women's Day (and why fast fashion is a feminist issue)
International Women's Day is today and I am so excited to be celebrating the intelligent, strong, and beautiful women who surround me.
Though we have come a long way, today we are still fighting. Why?
- the gender wage gap STILL exists: on average, women get paid 75-80.5 cents for every dollar a man makes. The gap is even wider for women of color.
- 62 million girls around the world are denied an education
- 1 in 3 women have experiences physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. This means that women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, motor accidents, war and malaria.
- Each minute 28 girls are forced into marriage
- 71% of trafficking are women and girls
- 60% of all undernourished people are girls
- Women are still fighting for the right to have a choice with what they want to do with their bodies
The list could go on and on.
So how does fast fashion play a role in feminism? According to campaign Labour Behind The Label, approximately 80% of garment workers are women aged 18-35. Many are working for 14-16 hours a day, often without a break. The factories they work in have little to no health and safety in place and the workers risk fire and building collapse on a daily basis.They have no workers rights, no trade unions looking out for them, no maternity leave and no job security. This isn't a coincidence. In the countries where these women are employed, cultural stereotypes allow for employers to take advantage of women. We shouldn't just be focusing on gender equality in the West, but equality at the global scale. When we fail to make purchases ethically, we are feeding into this detrimental cycle.
Fashion is a form of self-expression. Our clothes tell a lot about us and our story. What type of story would we be telling about ourselves by supporting and wearing clothes from brands who exploit women on a daily basis?
I hope everyone spends this International Women's Day by encouraging others to join the movement. #womensdayeveryday
"Here's to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them." ♡