“You cannot exploit women in one country to empower them in another.” Hayat Rachi
International Women’s Day began on March 8th, 1908 after garment workers in New York City took to the streets to protest their wages. Women are important to every industry from hospitals to education to fashion. 1 in 6 people work in fashion and 80% of garment workers are women 18-35, with a majority earning less than a minimum wage, like Bangledeshi women earning 25 cents an hour.
As we reflect on the gender issues we face in our everyday lives, and the empowerment women have achieved in the past century, we should consider the state of feminism in the global fashion supply chain.
What can we do to support these women in the industry? We can start by not buying from companies that don’t pay a fair wage, it is a fair assumption the cheaper the clothing the higher chance they exploited women. Support brands for and by women. If you want to take a step further join @fash_rev and ask your favourite brands what they are doing to empower women.
If you like the idea of supporting women in this capacity, be prepared to pay $45 for a T-shirt. Otherwise, please stop fan fairing International Women’s Day - you cannot preach these milestones without putting your money where your mouth is.
Photo of woman doing laundry from @maurofermariello