The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards occurred last weekend, and even if you didn’t watch it, it’s safe to say you’ve probably heard about the fashion blackout apparent on the red carpet and during the show.
Skipping the traditional vibrant gowns, hundreds of female celebrities came together and wore black in an effort to show support for the Time’s Up movement, which aims to create viable dialogue and much-needed change in regards to the systemic sexism, gender inequalities, and sexual assaults prevalent in all corners of the world.
A progression of the #MeToo movement, the Time’s Up initiative was created at the start of the year and has since received much praise for its support of women’s rights — but not everyone was on board with the decision to wear black. Although she supported the movement, Barbara Meier donned a sheer floral gown for the evening because she felt it best exemplified a woman’s freedom of expression. Whether you agree with this sentiment or not, the Time’s Up movement has made it quite evident just how much needs to be done to further women’s rights and stop the sexual misconduct epidemic sweeping the globe.
Raising awareness for the movement (by wearing black or sharing relevant hashtags on social media) is definitely a step in the right direction, but if you’re looking for other practical ways to make a difference — here are six simple things you can do to help put an end to sexual misconduct and the oppression of women’s rights.
1. Don’t Support Sweatshops
Unfortunately, many companies in the United States and abroad still use unethical labor practices to produce their items. Sweatshops, which are commonly found in the clothing industry, are workshops or factories that violate human rights and a host of labor laws by having deplorable working conditions, supplying unfair wages, having long and grueling work days, offering little to no benefits, and by even hiring children to make their products!
Since 85 percent of all sweatshop workers are young women, the simple act of not supporting companies that rely on sweatshop labor has far-reaching benefits for women around the world. Say no to brands that use sweatshops and support those with fair labor standards instead!
2. Buy Ethically Sourced Food
Undoubtedly, agricultural workers are one of the most oppressed and marginalized groups in the world. Similar to sweatshop workers, farm workers routinely receive inadequate pay, work in horrid conditions, and are exposed to many occupational hazards. The agricultural sector also employs the highest amount of children, with some being as young as five-years-old! Female farmworkers — a major source of inspiration for the #TimesUp movement — are also commonly exploited and frequently face sexual harassment and abuse in the fields. Take a stance again sexual harassment and the mistreatment of farmworkers by purchasing ethically sourced food. Keep a lookout for Food Justice Certified labels and Fair Trade labels as they are great ways of identifying such products!
3. Sponsor Girls in Developing Countries
Young women in impoverished countries around the world are continually denied basic human rights, such as access to healthcare and clean water. Due to the fact that millions of young girls in developing countries are often forced into early childhood marriages or are sent away to work, they also lack access to a formal education. This means their future employment opportunities will be limited and they’ll be less likely to participate in politics when they’re older.
By sponsoring a young girl in a developing country, you will help make major strides towards gender equality. And along with supplying a young woman with a quality education and the opportunity to pursue her own dreams, you’ll also be reducing poverty and improving economic growth in that nation. Visit Charity Navigator (a third party site that rates charities based on their level of transparency, accountability, and the way they appropriate funds) to find a sponsorship program that works for you!
4. Support Women-Owned Businesses
As Natalie Portman so eloquently put it when presenting Best Director: “And here are the all-male nominees.” Whether it’s on the big screen or in an office setting, sexism in the workplace is still rampant today. Women, especially women of color, experience drastic pay disparities and remain underrepresented in leadership positions due to the fact that they’re far less likely to be promoted than men. Vote with your dollar by supporting women-owned businesses and companies that actively work to fight sexism in the workplace.
5. Get Involved in Politics
Along with being underrepresented in corporate senior positions, women are also underrepresented in politics. Although many countries are gaining more women in government, the world is still lagging in female political representation. Run for office, attend town hall meetings, get involved in grassroots organizations, visit a political education program, and most importantly — VOTE. Your rights depend on it!
6. Know What Resources Are Available
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or abuse in the workplace — know there are many resources out there to help. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund has raised over $16 million for those in need of legal support (more information can be found here) and the National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24 hours a day: 1-800-656-4673.
How are you supporting women?
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Photo: @timesupnow via Instagram, Fair Trade Winds, Greener Choices