The child”s right to family life

The following post was written in partnership with my incredible friends at To The Market — one of my favorite online destinations for year-round gift-giving. This holiday season,  it is increasingly important to me that the majority of the money I spend goes to help empower women and girls. As I reflect on the child’s right to family life true cost of what we all normally buy, it feels imperative to spotlight products that give back. TO THE MARKET to create economic empowerment by connecting artisan groups employing vulnerable communities with US-based consumers.

When I think about some of the challenges her producers have overcome – and see the beautiful products they create – it’s a reflection of the world I want to see. I rarely share products and I am blogging not so much these days, but each of the below empowers women and girls and would make meaningful AND BEAUTIFUL holiday gifts. Here are 11 gifts I LOVE that empower women and girls. Made by female  human trafficking survivors in Kolkata, India. Handcrafted from layers of overdyed vintage cotton saris and held together by a kantha stitch. Made by vulnerable women in India. Made by refugee and low-income women in the West Bank.

Handcarved and painted wood made by women in Haiti. Handcarved in Guatemala by local craftspersons. Ethically sourced horn shaped by artisans in Haiti. Sustainably handcrafted by women in Bali, Indonesia. Each bag takes weeks to weave by the Colombian-based Wayuu tribe. May we all continue to invest in change and put our money where it matters most. Let’s go to the market, shall we?

My daughter is wearing her “the future is female” t-shirt. It’s stained but she doesn’t care. She wears it every week and when people ask her what it says she tells them that WE NEED MORE GIRLS TO LEAD. Shouldn’t you be wearing a shirt that says the FUTURE IS MALE?

T SHOULD SAY THE FUTURE IS EQUAL,” he explains. This isn’t the first time someone has said this. To anyone who dares to take a strong stance against the imbalance of patriarchy. Do you remember being on a teeter when you were little? Do you remember being on a teeter totter with someone a lot heavier than you? Do you remember how hard you had to push your body down in order to move the damn thing?

How there was no other way to get the teeter totter to move except to bear down with all of your might? Equality doesn’t happen with polite gestures. One cannot fight for equality in a lopsided world without PUSHING DOWN on the teeter totter. One cannot talk about fairness when status quo is unfair. The only way to CREATE a more EQUAL future is to strive for a more female one. And the only way to strive for a more female one is to DEMAND IT.

He doesn’t want to hear me, which is fine. I used to care what “he” thought of me and I don’t anymore. The man — this stranger — who I have crossed paths with a thousand times only knows how to be on top. How to weigh the heaviest on his side of the teeter totter. The ocean would never feel threatened by the stream. But the man’s levels are low and he feels exposed.