Monday, March 8th is International Women’s Day, a worldwide celebration of women’s social, cultural, political and economic achievements everywhere. Each year a theme is chosen, and this year it’s ‘Choose To Challenge’, which is encouraging women everywhere to challenge inequality and bias and help forge a gender-equal world.
The aim of International Women’s Day has always been to press for equality for women around the globe. More recently it has also become a day of celebration, respect and love for the women in our lives and their accomplishments. The day is represented by the colour purple as it was used during the Suffragette movement to symbolise dignity and justice.
International Women’s Day has been held for over 100 years, with the first recognised event taking place in New York City on February 28th 1909. March 8th has been used since 1910, when support began to grow out of European countries like Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In many countries, the day is an official holiday and gifts are given from family members to the women in their lives in a similar fashion to mother’s day. The day has been more widely recognised in the UK and United States in more recent times.
International Women’s Day isn’t promoted by any single organisation or country, and truly belongs to those who choose to celebrate and embrace it not only on March 8th but all year round.
THE WOMEN OF GEMPORIA
We’ve always ethically sourced our gemstones and we’ve always been aware of the social responsibility we hold for the communities from where they are mined. We are proud to work closely with the Colourful Life Foundation, an independent charity set up by Gemporia’s founders to oversee health and education initiatives in these communities.
More about the Colourful Life Foundation
One such initiative in 2014 was the setting up of a gemstone cutting school in Jaipur, India, specifically to train local women to cut our gemstones. The women in question were mothers and the Colourful Life Foundation had enabled their children to go to school and get an education, so they found themselves at a bit of a loss with how to spend their days. Many enrolled in the gem cutting school which, on completion of the paid training, turned into a full time job for the ladies.
Read more about the cutting school
We recently caught up with the ladies to see how they were getting on in their new careers, and are proud to present this new video that’s been made specifically as part of our International Women’s Day celebrations.
Gemporia host Amelia Grant visited the cutting school and other Colourful Life Foundation projects in India in 2017, and you can read about her experiences here.
Amelia's Visits the team in India
The Foundation has also supported health education and provided sanitary pads for girls in rural parts of Tanzania, Africa, where a lack of availability of the products and knowledge meant girls were often missing a week of school every month.
Read more here
From the women that help unearth Mother Nature’s treasures, to those helping create our jewellery, the Colourful Life Foundation has been able to bring great happiness to many lives, as well as newfound dignity and purpose. Every time you buy Gemporia jewellery you’re supporting these causes
To all the women around the world who support Gemporia, and all those that the Colourful Life Foundation is able to support and educate, we celebrate and thank you for your contributions not just on March 8th but all year round.
MEANINGFUL GEMSTONES FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
Mother Nature's wonderful gemstones have all gathered positive associations during their long and distinguished histories. We’ve picked out five that suitably sum up strong attitudes and forward thinking.
For a darker green, the extremely rare gemstone Alexandrite offers a colour change phenomena that shows tones of red when seen in candlelight. Is is also associated with joy, empowerment and hope.
Amethyst displays a delightful deep purple hue, which is the colour of International Women's Day. It is associated with creativity, wisdom and comfort.
Such a gentle blue colour lends itself effortlessly to everyday wear and looks sparkly and stunning in yellow gold and silver too. It is associated with strength, courage and fortitude.
Such a sumptuous warm colour deserves to find its way into every jewellery collection. This stone has been associated with prosperity, success, optimism, joy and good fortune.
One of the all time classics, Ruby boasts red tones to die for and has been strongly associated with love, courage and inner strength.