If you check our posts for the month of March, you’ll notice that I’ve been mentioning “International Women’s Month” a lot and here we are again, writing about how we can help women. Before we begin our main topic, I’d like to answer a random person who was asking “Why are women celebrated? Who said guys and girls are not equal?”, well here’s the answer: International Women’s Day is celebrated every year because it reminds everyone of the hardships that women had to face as early as the 1900s. March 8 became a turning point in the movement for women’s rights. Just think of how patriarchal societies did not give women enough opportunities to study, to work, and do other things that men can fully enjoy. Our gender were looked down upon as mere baby-makers and housekeepers- people who are controlled by the “man of the house”. Where’s the fun in that? And while other progressive countries are already opening up more and more opportunities for men and women to be treated equally, there are still some who are stuck in traditional ways.
This notion that women are frail and weak, and that they should be easily controlled by men have played a part in harassment. Violence that was present hundreds of years ago continues to affect millions of women around the world. In fact, let’s not go far and just look at these numbers in the Philippines: 1 out of 4 married Filipinas have experienced abuse from their partners; 3 in 5 Filipinas have been sexually harassed in their lifetime; while online harassment has victimized mostly women aged 15 to 35.
With the international community celebrating Women’s Month, Avon Philippines – a company that has long supported women’s causes (and I can attest to that, based on the Avon dealers I’ve met in the past), renews its Promise to Help End Violence Against Women and Girls, as part of the company’s recently launched global plan Stand4Her. It aims to improve the lives of 100 million women by advancing their earning potential, freedom of expression, and ability to live a safe and healthy life.
For 130 years, Avon has stood for women – providing innovative, quality beauty products which are primarily sold to women, through women. They’re one of the brands that immediately come to my mind when we talk about giving opportunities to women and I’m glad that they’re still continuing this legacy until today.
As part of the promise, they launched a limited edition Free as a Butterfly jewelry set (P299 only) to help fund partner NGOs* that empower abused victims and survivors through support, guidance, and inspiration with proceeds of the collection sales. P50 from each sale will be used for the programs of each partner organization that positively impacts the lives of hundreds of Filipino women.
You can help starting this month by contacting an Avon representative or getting your own set online at www.avonshop.ph.
Ruffa Gutierrez and her daughters Lorin and Venice Gutierrez are serving as celebrity ambassadors for the campaign, helping shine a light on the different forms of abuse, and encouraging everyone to join the crusade against violence through their own stories. In a series of online videos by Avon Philippines, Ruffa and her daughters share their personal experiences and insights on catcalling, online harassment, and abusive relationships – encouraging women to stand up for each other and to never tolerate such behavior.
Keep the promise to end violence against women and girls – and speak up to support the cause! The fight for women doesn’t end here. Learn more about how we can help end violence against women and girls, and join us as we make a stand for women today.
If you’re experiencing abuse or suspect someone who is, contact any of Avon Philippines’ partner NGOs: Luna Legal Resource Center for Women and Children in Davao at (082) 306-5761, Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (GWAVE) in Dumaguete at (035) 422-8405 or 0915-2593029, Women’s Care Center, Inc (WCCI) in Manila at (02) 514-4104 or 0999-577963,and Ing Makababaying Aksyon (IMA) in Pampanga at (045) 323-4750.