Universally, women have long been considered subservient, domestic, and inferior to our male counterparts. In both Western and Eastern cultures, women have historically been seen as less valuable, less capable, and less successful. And not just by men, but by women themselves. We, all women, very much live in a patriarchy where men hold the power and women are generally excluded from it. It isn't for a lack of capable and brilliant women. It certainly isn't a system founded on any sort of empirical evidence. This is simply the system that exists, and has existed for many, many years.
If there is any question in your mind that this belief system is deeply embedded in our world society, all you need do is look at the numbers. Approximately 155 countries around the world have at least one law (up to 29) that directly limit a woman's economic opportunities. In Russia, for example, women are banned from 456 jobs. There are 100 sovereign states around the world that put restrictions on the types of jobs women are allowed to do and 18 that allow husbands to dictate whether their wives can work at all. In 19 countries, women are legally obliged to obey their husbands.
And it's proven - that in these countries, where a woman's ability to make her own economic decisions is restricted, girls are less likely to attend or finish school, they are less likely to run or manage a business, and in the unlikely event that they become employed, it is highly likely that they will be paid less than their male counterparts.
In some regions of the world, women aren't allowed to create or access a formal bank account.
The patriarchy is alive and well, sisters.
This is why entrepreneurship is so important. Female entrepreneurship, the setting up and running of a for-profit business by a woman, goes wildly against the patriarchal beliefs embedded in both Western and Eastern societies.
While female CEO's are at an all-time high in the US (4.2% of Fortune 500 companies are run by women...this is our all-time high), this isn't the case for many other countries around the world.
We are moving, albeit very slowly, towards a more equal world society. But we, as females, are not just up against a deeply embedded, patriarchal paradigm. We are up against ourselves. The most damaging lies are the ones we tell and believe about ourselves - that we are incapable, inferior, and unworthy.
In a study run by the Dove Self-Esteem fund, they found that over 70% of girls believe they are not good enough or don't measure up in some way. 7 out of 10 girls believe they aren't good enough. 7 out of 10 girls believe they don't measure up - in their looks, in their performance, in their relationships.
This staggering statistic is only more evidence of a world society that sees women as less than, and of a world of women who believe it.
Today, we explore the true impact that female entrepreneurship can have on girls, on women, and on the world as we know it. Female entrepreneurship shifts the less-than paradigm by:
- Allowing more women financial stability and financial ownership
- Giving more women a sustainable path out of poverty
- Transforming traditional family gender roles
- Putting more women in a position of leadership and decision-making
- Creating harassment-free work environments for women
- Promoting self-sufficiency among women
- Paving the way for other girls and women to start their own businesses
- Shattering glass ceilings for girls and women all over the world
As you may know, Wabi-Sabi Botanicals invests 10% of gross profits into micro-loans for women each month. All of the women we invest in are entrepreneurs, many of them in places where female entrepreneurship is rare, if not taboo. The ingredients we use in our formulas are produced entirely or partly by working women, and the women who produce those ingredients are paid fair, living wages for their work.
Our mission, ultimately, by investing in these women and their businesses and by emphasizing ingredients produced by women, is to empower every woman to rise in self-love. That is the end goal - a world in which every girl and woman recognizes and embraces her own divinity, her worth, her beauty, her power.
Self-sufficiency is a vital part of that journey.
We, as a society, and as a human race, can't move forward when more than half of us are held back. Female entrepreneurship goes beyond business or capitalism - it is a path out of poverty, a catalyst for self-love, and a beacon that lights the way for future generations of girls and women.
Wabi-Sabi Botanicals is proud to be a woman-owned business. We are proud to support and empower working women through the sourcing of our ingredients, through our product offerings, and through our profit investments. We are proud to provide female entrepreneurs with the resources and funds they need to start and grow their businesses.
We are proud to be a part of the solution, of the moving forward of humanity towards a world where 10 out of 10 girls know they are enough, where 10 out of 10 girls know they measure up.
To support our social impact mission and directly impact women's lives, shop our current collection here.