The world is constantly changing, hopefully for the better. One area where it’s changing quickest, but where so much work remains to be done, is in women’s rights. The last twelve months have been a tumultuous year for women, a century after women in the UK won the right to vote through the Representation of the People Act.
In the US, the #metoo movement coalesced to stand up against the routine sexual harassment and abuse endemic in Hollywood and elsewhere, taking Harvey Weinstein as its biggest, and possibly ugliest, scalp. Meanwhile, women mobilised to march against their own President, Donald Trump, and the rampant misogyny he embodies.
All around the world, women are gaining the confidence to fight for their rights and to improve their life opportunities. This is why Gap are running their groundbreaking P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) programme, aimed at giving women the skills and training they need to find their voice, build their confidence, and secure a better future for themselves and their families. By shopping with Gap, your purchases will help us reach one million women by 2020.
So far, over 96,000 women have participated in the scheme, which runs courses including 60 hours of training & education, and is offered in 16 countries. Of course, it’s easier for women in some countries than in others. To take one example from India, for instance,
Sujatha graduated from the P.A.C.E. programme there in 2012. In the village she’s from, women aren’t encouraged to enter education. However, on completing the P.A.C.E. curriculum, she was promoted to the post of supervisor, which inspired her sisters to follow their own dreams. P.A.C.E. teaches thousands of women like Sujatha the life skills they need to succeed, which in turn inspires other women, and makes them role models in their communities.