Inspiration & Empowerment - Empowered Women, Empower Women
17 March 2020 - Posted by The Sisterhood of Sustainability
International Women’s Day on March 8th is a beautiful time to celebrate and we want to share with you why it has become our favourite time of the year. Nearly 2,000 women have become involved in our inspiring and empowering project and we are honoured to be able to share the unique and beautiful stories of so many of these women… Have you got an inspiring and unique story of your own to tell? We'd love for you to become involved...
Celebrating International Women's Day 2020
On March 8th, we celebrated International Women’s Day and also launched ‘The Empowered Journal” which shares the stories of women from all walks of life. Our inaugural International Women’s Day project launched in 2019 with a mission of spreading love, support and appreciation to not only the women around us but also to women on the other side of the world.
The project started off with a simple idea of filling our sustainably and ethically crafted gift cards with beautiful and handwritten messages and then passing them onto women who inspire and empower us. After receiving an overwhelming response, we realised that each and every one of the women who were becoming involved had a unique and inspiring story of their own to share and so we wanted to create a way of sharing these stories and celebrating International Women’s Day collectively.
Our women inspired gift cards are created with 100% recycled cardboard and have been designed with green and purple to represent International Women’s Day and justice, dignity and hope which are key elements of this global celebration. These gift cards are designed to be filled with heartfelt messages and then passed onto friends, family members and even strangers. During our initial project, we shared the stories of over 100 women on our website and why International Women’s Day is important to them. We received so much positive feedback and read so many beautiful and heart-warming stories that we were inspired to create a beautiful and positive way of sharing these stories with the rest of the world. This year 1575 of our gift cards were filled with words of love and appreciation and then sent to all corners of the earth and we were also able to launch our very first edition of ‘The Empowered Journal’ which features nearly 200 women who reside in 10 different countries. It is our privilege to be able to share this unique and wonderful stories and we’d like to personally thank all the women who have become involved in our International Women’s Day project by purchasing our not-for-profit gift cards and by submitting their stories for publication.
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER - SOPHIA
International Women’s Day has quickly become my favourite time of the year because I love being able to celebrate with so many different and incredible women from around the world and I feel honoured that I get to read each and every story that is submitted whilst connecting with each participating woman on a personal level. The stories that are submitted make me laugh and cry and I’m inspired and empowered by each one in a different way and beautiful way. This project was a dream in the making for so many years and I was thrilled to finally bring it to life in March 2019. It wouldn’t be possible without the women who put their trust in me, opened up their hearts and poured out their stories onto paper. Thank you to all those women who were brave enough to share their journeys and to all those beautiful souls who have shared their gift cards with the women around the world who need them the most.
THE EMPOWERED JOURNAL
Our inspiring women empowerment project for International Women's Day is spreading to all corners of the earth... As a day that should be rejoiced and celebrated wholeheartedly each year, International Womens Day on March 8th is the perfect chance to support, uplift and empower women of all ages. With so many beautiful and inspiring women around us, it is the perfect chance to stop and tell one another how much we appreciate them. Women are chasing their dreams, building their businesses and spreading love and inspiration every single day. Let's take a moment to admire that!
The theme for the 2020 International Women's Day is #EachforEqual - An equal world is an enabled world. Celebrate womens achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. The first International Women's Day occurred in 1911, supported by over one million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.
Over the years I’ve had my own personal struggles with mental health, self-esteem, and finding my place and purpose in the world. The first time I really felt “lost” was about five years ago when I was diagnosed with Alopecia an autoimmune disease that attacks your hair follicles resulting in hair loss, which for me was all my eyelashes in one eye and large bald spots on my head (would have been wonderful if it was my legs or armpits!). When my eyelashes first started falling out, I didn’t think too much of it as I was about to fulfil a lifetime dream of mine by going to Africa to volunteer and travel.
3 months and 9 countries later I returned home with one completely bald eye and multiple bald spots on my head with the biggest the size of my palm plus a receeding hair line. My self-esteem and confidence took a huge hit! My boyfriend, Paul still called me beautiful and my family and friends were very supportive but to me they just “didn’t get it”. I kept this assumption up even when I went on very strong medication for nearly two years that caused depression. When the doctor would ask if I was experiencing this side effect I would lie and say no as I felt I had no other option to get my hair back, I had to put up with it to be able to get the old me back. I felt I had to suffer in silence, I didn’t want to put everyone else down just because I was struggling.
I now know that being silent in my struggles was the worst thing I could do, it caused distance in my relationships, it made me put my career and other dreams on hold, it made me change my perspective and the way I talked to myself. Being silent about my pain caused more pain and sent me further down the depression spiral. I did wallow in self-pity for a long time before I started to try and put my self back together. I started to talk to those closest to me, I started to stop or at least try and stop the negative thoughts in their tracks, I tried meditating, I changed my diet and did lots of other little things which did have a positive impact on my mental well-being but for me what really got me out of my dark days were affirmations. I had an epiphany when I saw the quote “you cannot have a positive life with negative thoughts”. It was when I read this that I realised though I am suffering and feel vulnerable and powerless I still can control my thoughts; I still have some power. Affirmations have made an enormous positive impact on my self-esteem as they have helped me change my perspective and the way I talk to myself. Fast forward five years ahead and, I now have all my hair and positive thoughts back and no longer suffer from depression. I started my journey of self-love with kind words and decided to share what I have learnt by following my passion and creating Kind Cards as I do believe words have the power to change the world.
Feature Story Two - Aimee Cabakoff
I work as an environmental activist and sustainable blogger out of Columbus, Ohio but I didn't start my social media with the intent of sharing sustainability. Years ago I was living in Sydney and fell in love with the ocean and life around it. I started to see how our wasteful habits affected the planet and I knew I wanted to make a change. Sadly, I had to leave Australia un-expectedly at the end of Summer in 2018. When I got home to the US I felt really lost with my purpose in social media. What was my "why" for sharing? After seeing a lack of environmental consciousness in my land-locked state, I decided to change my entire direction and brand. I didn’t care about the numbers anymore I wanted to be a positive influence on those around me and the planet. It wasn't easy to rebrand and lose a lot of the community and work I created, but I was so fulfilled by changing even just one person's habits, it was worth it. Now I'm proud to say I have created a community around conscious living and I work with brands and organizations to share their message. We as women, have so much power and I love seeing those use it to change the world. I don't have one person per se I admire but I just love woman owning their authentic selves and spreading that message with others. Not letting anything limit them and this project would be an amazing example highlighting so much unity between women all over the world.
Feature Story Three - Liz Burton
I love International Women's Day as it acts as a beautiful reminder to stop and think about the women who have paved the way for us to be able to do our hearts work, whatever that may look like. It is also a time to showcase and be grateful for the incredible women who are in our lives now and who are paving the way for our future generations of women to come.
I have so many female inspirations! My number one is my mum, she is my biggest fan and constantly reminds me of how important the work that I do is. I also feel incredibly grateful to be surrounded by so many other women in business who are focused on collaboration rather than competition. Each and every one of them inspires me each day to be my best self and to bring my light into the world.
An empowering fact about myself that I would like to share is that I organise most of my life around my menstrual cycle! From my creative projects, to my self-care, eating, exercise, work and everything in between. I grew up feeling that I had to fit into a linear way of being and be the same every single day. Now that I have learnt how cyclical I am as a woman, I feel so empowered to be able to live this way and embrace the changes I go through each month.
Register for our 2021 International Women's Day project...
After receiving an overwhelming and beautiful response for this year’s International Women’s Day project, we’re opening up registrations for the 2021 project earlier than expected! Simply submit your name and email address and we’ll be in contact towards the end of the year with details on how you can submit your story and become featured in this inspiring and empowering project! Please note that if you have participated in this initiative before or have previously registered for this project, we will send you the invitation to become involved again. We’re looking forward to celebrating International Women’s Day with you in 2021…
Thank you to the all incredible women who contributed to this inspiring and empowering project...
Mel Cooper - Samantha Doctora - Helen Van - Juliette Capomolla - Rana Rankin - Melanie Frye - Lyndall Guinery-Smith - Karen Rynne - Christina Cerqueira - Kirsty Norton - Tais Soubra - Yvette Mystakas - Sarah West -Tania Hargreaves - Leanne Wolf - Annie Chan - Karaena Vincent - Annaliese McDonnell - Miriam Marmolejo - Delia Douglas - Elena Robertson - Andrea Pearce - Megan Price - Vanessa Garrard - Carolyn Lowe - Christine Mason - Sara Retief Stockman - Karen O’Mara - Elizabeth Houghton - Lucy McGoldrick - Liz Rudenko- Tarryn Reeves - Amanda Cassar - Belinda Retamal - Emma Somerville - Tracy McFie - Dativah Nitsios - Vicky Murphy - Fanny Tulloch - Maddie O’Connor - Gabrielle Rothel - Gwenda Smith - Louise Ledbrook - Janis Valdivia - Alicent Wong - Sally Holmes - Rebecca Wilson - Jennifer Bullers - Cecilia Le - Virus Charitos - Jacqui Manoukian - Michelle Loschiavo - Angie Martin - Joanne Meneghetti - Leone Southon - Naomi Wengier - Ruth Christie - Belinda Allison - Christine Haberl - Prue Blennerhassett - Robyn Miller - Julie Burgers - Renae Berry - Laura van Breukelen - Bronwen Sciortino - Kelly Lorae - Kimberley Ashton - Miranda Murray - Bree Hogan - Jada Perfect - Stacey Holmes - Lana Kanchik - Kylie Robson - Sasha Lowings - Nicole Smith - Gabriela Ming - Denise Perry - Annaliese Kimpton - Jacy Rivers - Cal Payne - Anna Colville-Smith - Naomi Lambert - Adele Spurgin - Leaha Riley - Lisa Bentley - Livleen Singh - Shyamala Vishnumohan - Zoe Alexiades - Phouvalack Sackprasith - Nicola Rivett - Sonia McManus - Delphine Byrne - Emmaline Parry - Ellecia Saffron - Leoni Heaslip - Jodie Preiss - Tessa Hopman - Nicole Smith - Jenny Pownall - Sheree Tivendale - Bek Cunningham - Richa Joshi - Mabble Munyimani - Rebecca Bishop - Rebecca Singh - Ellen Snelling - Belinda Nadwie - Tori Russell - Yana Fisher - Danielle Cheeseman - Meaghan Smith - Jacqueline Wong - Sherylee Teoh - Rebekah Ashton - Chantel Gomes Knight - Kristin Wishart - Kate Curry - Liling Ong - Gabrielle Kennedy - Krista Murtagh - Kathy Ismail - Meena Azzollini - Wendy Bateson - Laura Lewis - Catherine Wilson - Jessica Stergiou - Amy Burton - Hacia Atherton - Mamiko Hoban - Roxy Widdas - Charly Fahlstrom - Cheryl Becker - Deepa Mani - Chantal Gerardy - Marilou Coombe - Leanne Sheargold - Kerri Buurman - Sandy Lowres - Moana Bywater - Ella Ranfft - Stephanie Galvan - Ally Gibellini - Michelle Zuze - Sheridan Vigers - Leona Lees - Olga Imbriano - Rebecca Corbett - Audrey Attridge - Carmel Zein - Rebecca Waters - Hind Elaoufi - Belinda Rigano - Liz Burton - Jess Poulter - Nikita Weir - Nicole Tsz W Leung - Donna Carrier - Lucy Strachan - Megan Stray - Annelise Worn - Michelle Deerheart - Oxana Zhdanova - Jessica Holt - Alison Grün - Jessica Ritchie - Fiona Darroch - Clare Gallimore - Jenni French - Lisa Jansen - Rasmika Maharaj - Cathy Domoney - Jodi Franzini - Christie Arbuckle - Jen Ower - Anna Papaipannou - Kerri Speyers - Marjory Kari - Olestra Pasko - Claire Markwick - Aku King - Lydia Stjepanovic - Zara Hawley - Synta de Kock - Janet Good - Sarah Gibson - Monica Rajasagaram - Aimee Cabakoff - Christina Cassaniti - Irene Becker - Vanessa Indovino - Kylie Hayes - Emma Watts - Kylie Brahne