Who Runs the World? Girls.
Celebrating International Women’s Day
Beyoncé said it best—girls are a force to be reckoned with. At Noonday Collection, we love hearing about women who are being empowered by the opportunity to earn their own living for the first time and are pulling themselves out of poverty. These stories touch our hearts and constantly inspire us. Oftentimes, however, these women and their stories seem far away. They live on different continents, in different cultures, and the struggles they face can seem far removed from our own.
But what we have come to realize through interactions with women around the globe is that we are all running the same race, striving to be the best we can be and in desperate need of other women to keep us going when it gets tough. Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate the ways women are coming together to build one another up, from jewelry workshops in Ethiopia to trunk shows in Ohio.
For the women who create our Ethiopian jewelry near Mount Entoto, the road to community and family has been marked by struggle. Many of our artisans were abandoned and shunned by their families after being diagnosed as HIV+, and came to the artisan workshop seeking a new life. In Ethiopia, people who are diagnosed with the HIV are shamed because of it, despite the fact that the virus is highly treatable and highly preventable.
Now, these women receive healthcare training that allows them to be physically healthy, but just as important, they have found healing for their souls. They come together daily to talk, create, and simply enjoy life together. One artisan, Asnakech, told us, “I have found a new family on Entoto.” Their togetherness has given them hope for the future and a confidence they never knew they had. Time after time, women who would not look you in the eye are being transformed into women who know that they have something to offer the world.
For the 450 (and growing!) unstoppable women who have joined us as Noonday Ambassadors, the community they have found in one another is a testament to what can happen when women fix their eyes on the same horizon. They come from all over the country and from all different backgrounds—they are homemakers, nurses, and computer programmers. Their lives may look different, but they all have one thing in common: a passion for seeing justice done for the poor. And that one thing is enough to unite them into a team of women willing to break out of their comfort zones, be vulnerable enough to ask for help, and celebrate each others’ successes.
As women, it’s so important for us to see ourselves as parts of a whole, rather than islands untouched by the lives of others. Women have experienced incredible gains in the arenas of human rights and economic opportunity since the first International Women’s Day was commemorated over 100 years ago, which is a great cause for celebration. We still have a long way to go, however, and the work won’t be done until all women live in freedom and safety. But when we join together, speaking the same language of justice, we can be so much louder than we can on our own. We can speak for our sisters around the world who deserve to have their voices heard, and we can make sure that the women in our own lives know that they are truly seen and known.
Meet Jenna Tanner
Jenna is Noonday’s Content Curator and loves to write about fair trade, social justice and Artisans around the world. She also enjoys marathoning her favorite TV shows with her husband, playing intense games of Ticket to Ride, and searching for the best tacos in Austin (let her know if you find them!).