How sharing positive stories can empower every woman

Avon

Posted at Mar 24 2021 05:03 PM | Updated as of Mar 24 2021 05:45 PM

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New research from beauty company Avon reveals that 41% of women have lost confidence as a result of community restrictions, but hearing everyday, relatable stories and sharing experiences with others help these same women find strength. 

Commissioned as part of Avon's Watch Me Now movement, the global research surveyed 8,000 women from countries such as the Philippines, the UK, Poland, Italy, and South Africa. The study follows a UNESCO finding that women only make up 24% of the persons heard, read about, or seen in newspaper, television, and radio news—with only 13% of stories focusing specifically on women.

''The health crisis has made a profound impact on women across the globe,'' said Avon CEO Angela Cretu. ''Avon's study found that 92% of women have felt increased pressure during the pandemic due to various factors such as being unable to see loved ones in person (49%), financial stresses (47%), job security (29%), and homeschooling (24%).''

Alongside these pressures, half of the women (52%) admit they have felt less connected, resulting in feelings of anxiety (44%), isolation (42%), lack of motivation (34%), and self-doubt (20%). 

Despite over half (57%) turning to online platforms to feel connected with their peers, over a quarter (28%) of women admit they feel judged when sharing their own struggles on social media sites, 27% do not believe anyone would be interested to hear their story, and 40% don't like to talk about themselves.

Still, nearly a third say these connections help them overcome challenges (32%) and for over a third (36%), it decreases feelings of anxiety or reduces self-doubt.

To address these issues and increase women's share of voice, Avon is launching one of the world's biggest global galleries of stories about women's strength and perseverance. Here, visitors are called to share all stories of achievement. Whether it is an extraordinary triumph or an everyday win, each story chips away at the barriers holding women back, inspiring others to do things they did not think were possible. 

Anyone can also browse the site to get inspiration from women leaders and empowered women and girls from around the globe. 

''Avon's mission for this gallery is to create a space where women can speak up, share their stories, and celebrate their achievements,'' said Avon Philippines General Manager Razvan Diratian. ''It will collate authentic stories from around the world, showing that women are strong, courageous, and powerful—and should never be underestimated.''

To celebrate every story shared, the Avon Foundation will also donate $1 to charities that support women to help create a better world for women, which is a better world for all. 

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The gallery features a host of stories reflecting the different experiences of women across the world. These stories range from juggling motherhood and career, to surviving adversities like breast cancer and overcoming the trauma of domestic violence. 

One of the empowered women leading the local campaign is actress Gabbi Garcia who shared her story as a Morena trying to make it in a world where lighter skin color was preferred. 

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Another is Bea Benedicto who opened up about remaining hopeful despite being diagnosed with PCOS and alopecia, inspiring people with her ''work in progress'' story.

Pilot Chezka Carandang talked about breaking gender stereotypes and holding her head high in a traditionally male-dominated industry, as entrepreneur Penniel Versoza discussed what it is like paving her own path to success after inheriting her mom's Avon business. 

Mom and fitness enthusiast Angel Jones also revealed her struggles and triumphs as a single mom at 17 and starting a career in her 40s – determined to show people that anyone can find success regardless of your past, your gender, or your age. 

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The online archive is the latest in Avon's long history of supporting causes for women. The company started 135 years ago by fighting for women's right to work. It has since expanded its advocacy to tackle issues such as breast cancer, domestic violence, women's education, and now, gender equality and representation in media. 

The focus on stories mirrors Avon's ongoing #WatchMeNow campaign, which celebrates the underdog experience of victory over adversary. 
 

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Let your voice be heard and donate your story by visiting www.watchmenow.avon.com.

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You may also visit Avon Philippines' website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel.

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