Visiting the Women of the World (WOW) 2020 festival that was held this weekend (6-8 March 2020) at London’s Southbank Centre.

It marks its 10th anniversary this year. It offers a fantastic platform for speakers, activists, performers and artists to explore the state of gender equality across the globe and to tackle the subjects that matter most to women and girls across the world today.

I have to confess I headed straight to the Women Of the World Marketplace.

Who doesn’t like a little browsing shopping? 🙂 I actually did not buy anything -though tempting as it was-, instead I got involved in some fascinating, inspiring and truly mind-opening conversations with some of the stall holders. They were clearly passionate about the causes they were supporting. The two that I’d like to share with you include the Fairtrade Foundation and 50:50 Parliament.

Fairtrade Foundation

As many of you probably know, the Fairtrade Foundation is all about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. 23% of them are women.

This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight campaign is called ‘She Deserves It‘ and is about the importance of women taking leading roles in business and society.

Fairtrade Fortnight - She Deserves It - illustration of a group of women

Did you know that there are 6,000+ ‘Fairtrade’ products? I was therefore disappointed when the stickers that were handed to the public only covered the banana/coffee/tea/chocolate categories.

What about gold then? As a small jewellery business, sustainability and responsible sourcing are integral to the ethos of what I do. I voiced my disappointment, so maybe we’ll see gold added to the series of stickers sometime soon ?… Fairtrade and Sustainability in the jewellery industry are hot topics. I shall dedicate them a separate post.

50:50 Parliament

The 50:50 Parliament initiative also got me hooked. As a French person, you could say that politics is in my veins! So when I saw some of the questions that were laid out on the table, I had to stop and read all of them. They were good questions, challenging questions that deserved thinking about before you could actually answer. What a clever introduction! It certainly got visitors to stop and discuss.

50:50 Parliament initiative at the WOW 2020 festival - some of the questions that were to be discussed with the visitors

As a woman and as an entrepreneur, I am particularly sensitive to the subject of equal opportunities. Running your own business is only possible when you have the right support around you. I know that I am one of the lucky ones. My aim is to empower women with my jewellery so that they can in turn fulfill their potential.

Jewellery has always been highly symbolic. It is a powerful way to express your identity and aspirations. Choose the right pieces and you will feel on top of the world. It is so much more than a frivolous accessory, it actually tells your story.

While discussing with the lady from the 50:50 Parliament initiative I zoomed in on 2 pieces of jewellery that were awkwardly lying about on the table. They were glittery silver perspex flashes of lightning earrings and pendant with the words ‘Equal Power’ in contrasting black written across. I thought ‘m… quite cool, like them’ and assumed someone from the team had designed them. I left it at that, until the following day when my husband and I went to the Misshapes: the making of Tatty Devine exhibition at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Greenwich… There they were too !! … more in a following post…

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