International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on the 8th of March around the world every year and is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.
This is a day to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias, act for equality, and ultimately help to forge a gender equal world.
Each year International women’s day has a new campaign theme. The theme for 2021 is:
#ChooseToChallenge – with the aim to focus on calling out gender bias and inequality.
From challenge comes change, so IWD is calling out for people to raise a hand to show solidarity with the movement and showing that you’re committed to challenging inequality.
At BOE women are at the central focus of our business. From our office in London, to our factory in South India, we make sure that we place women at the very heart of what we do, as well as supporting many female-led businesses.
Our factory in Pondicherry is made up of a 90% female workforce. Contrary popular belief, like many other businesses in the textile industry do, this is not because we pay them lower rates than men, it is because we want to support the community of women in Pondicherry, teaching them valuable skills that allow them to forge a career of their own, without having to rely on the males in their life.
Many of the women in our factory are the main breadwinners of their families, and hold positions of seniority within the factory, something again which is unusual for this industry.
We also have an incredibly low staff turnover rate, with many of these women having worked with us for over 15 years. This is not just a workplace; this is a community. These women have formed tight bonds with each other, having witnessed marriages, births, and deaths together, and remain and supportive community to one another. These women are incredibly badass, driving in through the factory gates on scooters and motorbikes, it’s all very “Hells Angels”.
At BOE we don’t just use this as a story to push sales or try and make our ethics credible. We want to help shift consumerism to a place where the people behind each product are remembered and recognised.
Hundreds of hands go into making a single tote, mask, or makeup bag, most of them in this case being female, and we want to make sure that you as a consumer are aware of just who has helped bring your product to life. These women are all part of the story of each of our products, and our business, and so every day, but especially on IWD, we want to make sure that their efforts, skill, and ability is recognised.
As well as our wonderful team of women, we also make sure that we support female-led businesses. Many of our wonderful clients are female founded and run businesses, catering for fellow females. We believe in girls supporting girls and want to see more women in positions of power as we collectively continue to smash the patriarchy and create a gender equal world for our daughters and granddaughters.
As a business, we choose to challenge in 2021.
To challenge set gender boundaries, to inspire and empower more women, to make our voices heard, to be loud and proud about who we are, and to most importantly never give up fighting until equality is achieved. We have made huge strides but there is more to be done, so we urge all of our clients, customers, friends, family, and followers to spread the word, choose to challenge, and make the world a better place for women from every 4 corners of the globe.
Happy International Women’s Day from all at BOE.