Everyone can help end slavery and the plight of women who have escaped this crime.
Last night I asked my six-year-old niece two questions.
Firstly, the age-old tried and tested, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This was met with the swift response of “an artist”. (The Christmas present request I’d just received for a new set of Sharpies probably should’ve put me on notice of her artistic ambitions). The second was, “what do you think you will need to do to be an artist?” This was met with the very adorable yet specific: “I will need to sketch a lot so I can draw snakes that entwine”.
Now, while I have little doubt that in twenty years my niece may in fact be a master artist of entwining snakes, experience would suggest that next week there is every chance that she might wish to be a master of something else. Perhaps a master swimmer, author, teacher, banker… the list goes on. But regardless of the answer, it got me thinking. There really isn’t much she couldn’t do if she put her creative and organised little mind to it. She has the ultimate freedom to choose to be whatever she wants to be.
This got me thinking that sadly, not all women and girls have the same freedom to choose. Systemic inequalities all contribute to women’s disempowerment, enables their exploitation and denies them any sense of self-determination.
The numbers we have shared in previous blogs, are of course, hard to process at the best of times. How can one six-year-old’s dreams be realised and another’s be denied in such dehumanising ways? But as the big scary universe throws these seemingly insurmountable challenges at us, we know, and we have to remember, that two things remain true: women and girls are resilient, and, there is always strength in numbers.
Instead of focusing on the numbers that frighten us, let’s focus on what empowers us. Over the past 50 years, an increase in education attainment accounted for around 50% of economic growth in OECD countries. Empowering women to participate in the global economy and the world of work through education, upskilling and re-skilling is critical for women’s and girl’s health and wellbeing, as well as income generating opportunities and formal participation in labour market. In the lead up to Human Rights Day coming up on 10 December 2022, these numbers are the ones we want to focus on, to help every little artist become whatever they want to be.
How Can You Help?
Raising awareness helps people understand that there is more slavery in the world today than at anytime in history. Most are women and girls.
You can also help organisations that fight slavery and help victims.
The Freedom Hub (TFH) is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that exists to end modern slavery. We work to help survivors recover and rehabilitate and partner with like-minded organisations in the fight to end global slavery.
TFH’s Survivor School provides the only national, long-term, trauma-informed rehabilitation programs for survivors of modern slavery in Australia. By providing mental health support, social, educational and employment training, we help survivors to live and work independently in their community with dignity and respect.
How can your partner with TFH to help end slavery for women?
There are PLENTY of ways you can join us to help end modern slavery for women and girls:
- Visit: Our social enterprise café in Waterloo funds our Survivor School. Drop by for a coffee, a bite to eat, and check out our beautiful events space that is now back in (COVID-safe) action!
- Book an Event: We can provide you with a beautiful warehouse wedding space in the hear of the city, or host that much-needed face-to-face corporate meeting or strategy day. Enquire Here.
- Shop: TFH’s online store and cafe in Waterloo, Sydney has ethically sourced products from tea, to candles, to coffee and wine. Each product has been carefully selected and checked for risk of modern slavery in their supply chain. Click here to shop ethically with us this Christmas.
- Give: Of course, if you are in a position to, you can always provide financial support by making a tax-deductible donation to fund our programs and services
- Volunteer: you can join our volunteer team from your local suburb anywhere in Australia. Complete an expression of interest form here.
- Engage: your workplace by having us come and speak about Modern Slavery, train your teams on modern slavery and conscious consumerism or engage our consulting services to help tailor your response to modern slavery in business. Find out more HERE.
If you’re an employee, think about whether your employer facilitates workplace giving. If you’re an employer, ask us how it works!
Written by: Jane Andrews
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If you would like to support a survivor, donate here. (tax-deductible)