International Women’s Day 2021
This year more than ever, I've been trying to see all the signs of pink-flavoured offers in shops to celebrate what we, women, are expected to love: make-up, vacuum cleaners and irons, healthy, diet-friendly food, or any other girly things that society has turned into layers of mental load in our tired brains. I have to say however that I have not found anything that would make me sigh too hard.
This is great isn't it?
But whether it's an algorithm thing or not, I would not know, the number of fashion-related offers I received increased by a lot. By this I mean clothing brands selling a feminist-themed piece, most of the time a tshirt with a female-friendly message: "the future is female", "WMN PWR", "You go girl" or a logo only, with a part of the sales' profit given back to a relevant association.
Needless to say this has touched straight into my sensible weaknesses: why not make a political statement using fashion, and thus supporting a great cause simultaneously? For a short but yet intense time, I questioned myself whether I woud be ready to spend 140 USD on an Isabel Marant tshirt from Net-A-Porter (the online fashion retailer launched its 2020 campaign with other big fashion designers). HUNDRED AND FOURTY DOLLARS on a tshirt that would come with a feel-good, guilt-free feeling with the impression to do the right thing and supporting a good cause.
I ended up not buying it, despite the temptation. But this level of temptation made me question what I wanted to do, or saying different what I could do that would make more sense on this day. I have to say, I have never felt that interested in the women cause than now, after some years in Switzerland and working as a sustainability manager for a global industial company. I can list more and more priviledges in my life working where I work and living where I live, but somehow the frustrations have grown in parallel. One of them is not knowing what to do to raise the bar, with the time and resources I (do not) have.
So this year I decided not to buy a tshirt, which would of course go against my current shopping diet.
Instead I decided to donate money to the Institut Curie to support research against cancer, and join the Course des Jonquilles 2021 - the Daffodil race 2021 organized digitally by the Institute. From the 9th to the 21st of March via the Course Jonquille phone app, participants are invited to run or walk as many kilometers as possible. A sign-up fee of 15 euros per person applies (incl. 10 euros donation to the Institute), and for each kilometer, the event's main partner Allianz will donate 1 euro.
And because he's a lot more active than I am, I signed my husband up, too. With an average of 5-6 km walking per day (the advantages of living in a city where school routines can be done by foot), combined with his sports activities, we should manage to raise a nice, little sum.
Of course I invite you all to join the virtual race. But any other commitment and actions to support each other as women is key. It does not have to involve money; it just has to be meaningful and genuine: in a patriarchal society we need to be here with and for each other.
- UN Women, International Women’s Day 2021 page, under the theme "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”