March 8th, 2021
Today is International Women’s Day; a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.
New global research from Avon reveals 92% of women are feeling increased pressure, over half of women have increased feelings of doubt in themselves and 41% have lost confidence. The research comes when there are already major concerns that COVID-19 has set the fight for gender equality back decades.
The findings suggest that a key part of female resilience is hearing relatable stories from other women. With this in mind, this Avon has launched a global story and image gallery connecting women around the world, celebrating stories of strength, grit and determination, from extraordinary triumphs to everyday wins – it already has thousands of stories uploaded from around the world. Ellie Goldstein and Oti Mabuse are among the first to share their experiences on the platform, with the likes of Mel B and Lisa Armstrong also following suit.
To celebrate every story shared on the platform, the Avon Foundation will donate $1 to charities that support women to help create a better world for women.
Avon’s research reveals that women find strength from hearing every day, relatable stories and sharing experiences with others. Nearly a third say these connections help them overcome challenges (32%) and for over a third (36%) it decreases feelings of anxiety or reduces self-doubt.
With fears that the coronavirus pandemic has set the fight for gender equality back decades, and the new research highlighting that 41% of women have lost confidence as a result of lockdown restrictions, Avon is launching a campaign to celebrate the achievements of women around the world.
Commissioned as part of the My Story Matters campaign, the new research surveyed 8,000 women globally from countries including UK, Poland, Italy, South Africa and the Philippines. It found that 92% of women have felt increased pressure during the pandemic due to being unable to see loved ones in person, financial stresses, job security and home schooling. Alongside these pressures, half of women admit they have felt less connected, resulting in feelings of anxiety, isolation lack of motivation and self-doubt.
Despite over half turning to online platforms to feel connected with their peers, over a quarter of women admit they feel judged when sharing their own struggles on social media sites, 27% don’t believe anyone would be interested to hear their story and 40% don’t like to talk about themselves.
To address these concerns, Avon has partnered with model, Ellie Goldstein and professional dancer, Oti Mabuse, to launch a global gallery for women to share their different stories and connect with other women around the world. The My Story Matters Gallery has launched and celebrates stories of strength, grit and determination, from extraordinary triumphs to everyday wins, with Ellie and Oti among the first to share their experiences on the platform.
The gallery already features a host of stories reflecting the different experiences of women and girls across the world. Stories range from juggling motherhood and a career, to breast cancer survivors and domestic violence victims.
Model Ellie Goldstein commented: “I’m a very sociable person, so since the pandemic I’ve found it really hard not seeing my friends, but my tip to help me relieve stress is to dance; it makes me feel really happy. Everyone has their own story to tell in life and Avon’s gallery offers a safe place for women to post their inspiration stories and read about others experiences too. I am proud of the barriers I have broken down throughout my career and in sharing my story, I believe I can give other women hopes of achieving what they want in life. Never give up following your dreams.”
Oti Mabuse, professional dancer and TV personality, commented: “A year on from the start of the pandemic it’s devastating to see that this crisis has had a negative impact globally on the confidence of women. Lockdown has been tough, I really miss my family in South Africa and sometimes it’s hard to keep motivated, but during this time when we cannot connect physically with our loved ones, sharing our stories with other women has never been more important – whether that’s our small every day triumphs or relaying our struggles. It’s crucial in helping us feel like we are not alone, letting us know that it’s OK to struggle and giving us the strength to overcome other challenges that may be thrown our way.”
Angela Cretu, Avon CEO, said: “In a world where our voices aren’t equal, in our everyday life we gather strength from people like us; those that have shared experiences. It helps gives us strength when we hear of another woman struggling with the same things we are.
“Avon’s mission is to help women overcome the barriers and challenges they face, becoming the most they can be, so this International Women’s Day we’re reclaiming our connections, we’re finding new and judgement free ways to share stories, listen to others and find inspiration in experience. Avon’s My Story Matter Gallery will give women a place to speak up, share their stories and celebrate their achievements. It will collate authentic stories from around the world, showing that women are strong, courageous, and powerful and that they should never be underestimated. The more stories we can gather and the more positive role models we can commend, the more impact we will have. To celebrate every story shared, the Avon Foundation will also donate $1 to charities that support women to help create a better world for women, which is a better world for all.”
To share your story on the My Story Matters Gallery, visit www.watchmenow.avon.com.