In a perfect world, 50% of women would not be unprotected by labor laws. In a perfect world, one third of all women globally would not experience violence. In a perfect world, all women would have access to education, healthcare, family planning services, and the money that they earn. But in a perfect world, you’d never have to start a sentence with “in a perfect world.”
No, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world plagued by gender, race, and class inequality. And we are fully aware of the privilege we have in being able to talk about such issues from a comfortable office on the coast of California in the United States. This knowledge often makes it hard to go about daily business, but we do find some comfort in knowing we have the ability to affect change in the fashion and footwear industries by striving to build a sustainable and socially responsible business. We have a ways to go, but in honor of International Women’s Day, we want to share one of the things we are doing to advance gender parity.
In 2016 we partnered with BSR’s HERproject, a collaborative initiative that brings global brands like ours together with suppliers and local NGOs to empower women.
We implemented the HERhealth curriculum at one of our partnering factories to educate women on preventative care and reproductive health. After participating in the program, the women began to share what they learned with their friends, relatives, and colleagues to the betterment of the community overall.
We are now looking to expand our partnership with the HERproject to empower these women with the knowledge and information they need to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of their children, relatives and colleagues.
This year the HERproject turns ten. Over the last decade, this organization has reached over 500,000 women in 420 workplaces across 14 countries. So let’s take a moment to celebrate that success.
Moment is over. Now back to work until we get to that perfect world.