The first International Women's Day occurred in 1911, went truly global in 1975, and today is a force for change with millions of men and women everywhere standing up to be counted. The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is - Think equal, build smart, innovate for change - focusing on innovative ways to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women.
AWWA are ALL about innovating for change, female empowerment, and we are completely committed to advancing gender equality.
How is global gender equality looking? We'll give it a solid 'Must try harder'.
For genuine gender equality, experts say we need innovative approaches that disrupt the norm and remove structural barriers. It's crucial that industry leaders, game-changer start-ups, social entrepreneurs, gender equality activists, and women innovators (hello, AWWA!) work to smash the barriers to gender equality, grow investment in gender-responsive social systems, and build services and infrastructure that meet the needs of women and girls.
We believe that by making period underwear widely available in New Zealand, we are disrupting the ways women manage their flow, as well as how we feel about periods.
If we can remove the stigma of menstruation and re-frame periods as empowering, feminine and powerful, we can change an aspect of how society views women for the better.
By making periods more convenient, comfortable and less costly, we can remove some very structural barriers to gender equality.
Access to education is key to equality, but girls are missing school
We know that globally, keeping girls in school is key to poverty eradication, and right here in New Zealand we have girls missing school because they can't afford adequate period products, even in primary school.
We're seriously not ok with that.
Periods are a financial factor in women's lives
And it's not just teens struggling - with 15% of Kiwi families living in poverty, many women find it hard to work during their period as they can't afford the tampons and pads that many of us take for granted, which cuts their earnings further.
And even for all the women who can pay for their period products, menstruation is a financial load - they fork out $16,000 over their lifetime... that men don't.
Whether women are coping financially or not, the simple fact of having periods impacts our financial equality.
One of the key aspects of our design for I am Eva period undies was creating a way to reduce the financial strain of monthly periods, for women in all walks of life. Because period underwear is reusable, our I am Eva knickers make periods less expensive, and we donate 5% of all the undies we make to charities working to battle period poverty in New Zealand.
What has International Women's Day got to do with you?
We're all in this together. Each time someone stands up for women's equality we all become a little stronger, braver, and wiser.
Make a move for International Women's Day
Join an event! Find International Women's Day events across New Zealand here.
Go to a concert with Milk & Honey events across NZ and see some amazing women singers.
Most of all, be your own amazing self - we wish you a happy and proud International Women's Day!
Kylie & Michele