International Women's Day: Inspire Inclusion
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On International Women's Day and every day, the Swarovski Foundation is committed to inspiring inclusion by advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls globally.

Gender inequality impacts half of the world’s population. It's the result of decades of discriminatory policies and remains one of the most prevalent forms of discrimination around the world. In 2023, the United Nations estimated that gender equality is still 300 years away and across all regions of the world women are paid less than men with the gender pay gap estimated at around 20% globally (United Nations).

Through our mission to promote sustainable livelihoods through education to reduce inequality, we strive to make a meaningful impact in the lives of marginalised groups, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable society. We want to take a moment to celebrate the achievements of women and girls worldwide as we shine a spotlight on some inspiring stories from our partners.

Room to Read– Roshni's Empowerment Journey

Room to Read - Roshni and her mother, Chhattisgarh India

With more than 122 million girls currently not in school, it is critical that we continue to support the rising generation of young women with the opportunity to develop life skills, complete their education and pursue the paths they choose for themselves (UNESCO).

During Covid-19, Roshni, a student from Chhattisgarh, India, discovered that a 15-year-old girl in her village was set to have an early marriage. Roshni, driven by the values instilled through Room to Read’s Girls Education Programme, questioned the acceptance of child marriage and if the parents were aware of the legal implications associated.

With the support of her father, Roshni organised a meeting with the Sarpanch, the elected representative of their village, to intervene in the impending marriage. Roshni leveraged the resources provided through the programme and connected with Room to Read who helped her to reach out to Childline, atoll-free helpline, and involved the police in the situation.

The police swiftly responded, visiting the girl's home to inform the parents about the legal repercussions of child marriage. The intervention led to the cancellation of the wedding, allowing the girl the chance to pursue her education. This success highlights the impact of the Girls Education programme supported by the Swarovski Foundation, empowering individuals like Roshni with the skills and resources to safeguard the futures of community members.

Fundação Amazônia Sustentável – Eliana's Leadership

Fundação Amazônia Sustentável – Eliana teaching the Waterschool curriculum, Amazon Brazil

Lack of access to clean water is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, women and girls are disproportionately affected by poor water, sanitation and hygiene services and facilities (UN Water). Many girls are unable to attend school during their period and miss out on education (UN Women).

In 2016, 15-year-old Eliana discovered the Waterschool Brazil programme and quickly became one of the most committed individuals in the community. Engaging actively, she participated in various initiatives led by our partner Fundação Amazônia Sustentável, such as cleaning efforts and awareness campaigns.

Completing her high school education, Eliana transitioned into a teaching role at the Nossa Senhora do Perpétuo Socorro Municipal School in her community, Tuiué. Over two years, she played a pivotal role in teaching students through the Waterschool’s curriculum activities. Even after finishing her teaching period, Eliana remained actively involved in both her community and the Waterschool programme.

In 2023, Eliana will have a leadership role in the Community Waste Group, which focuses on procuring materials that would otherwise harm the soil and river waters. Her commitment to the Waterschool programme remains unwavering, as she continues to be an essential community member andsoon a trained teacher contributing to its long-term success.

Turquoise Mountain - Crafting Brighter Futures

Turquoise Mountain Students supported by the Swarovski Foundation

Young women in Jordan have the third lowest participation in the workforce globally (below 15%). Female Syrian refugees struggle to access dignified livelihoods and have an employment rate of only 6%. More widely, the Syrian community continues to face challenges in Jordan with more than 78% of Syrian refugees living below the Jordanian poverty line.

Turquoise Mountain work with both Syrian refugees and Jordanians who are facing economic challenges, such as unemployment, being the sole breadwinner in their families, or facing specific impediments to work, such as disabilities. Last year, the Swarovski Foundation supported Turquoise Mountain to provide long-term sustainable income opportunities for thirty-nine young women through quality education in the craft sector.

Five Syrian and Jordanian women with existing jewellery making skills were paired with an international designer and supported by Turquoise Mountain’s in-house jewellery design team and a master artisan, to conceptualise, design,and produce their own collections.

The five apprentices developed the necessary skills and knowledge to enter the workforce and pursue sustainable income-generating activities. As a result, 60% reported earning more income than before the training or getting a full-time job in the creative sector.

Shaping a Brighter Future

Our collaboration with global organisations reflect our dedication to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion across all focus areas. Through strategic investment in education, the Swarovski Foundation celebrates the achievements of women and girls, amplifying their voices to inspire others. However, our advocacy efforts extend beyond celebrating successes; we actively work towards breaking down systemic barriers, creating a more inclusive and equitable future for women and girls globally.

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