NEW research from beauty company Avon revealed that 41 percent of women have lost confidence as a result of lockdown 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 percent of the persons heard, read about, or seen in newspaper, television and radio news—with only 13 percent of stories focusing specifically on women.
“The pandemic has made a profound impact on women across the globe,” said Avon chief executive officer Angela Cretu. “Avon’s study found that 92 percent of women have felt increased pressure during the pandemic due to various factors such as being unable to see loved ones in person (49 percent), financial stresses (47 percent), job security (29 percent), and home schooling (24 percent).”
Alongside these pressures, half of women (52 percent) admit they have felt less connected, resulting in feelings of anxiety (44 percent), isolation (42 percent), lack of motivation (34 percent) and self-doubt (20 percent).
Further, despite over half (57 percent) turning to online platforms to feel connected with their peers, over a quarter (28 percent) of women admit they feel judged when sharing their own struggles on social media sites, 27 percent don’t believe anyone would be interested to hear their story and 40 percent don’t like to talk about themselves.
Nearly a third say these connections help them overcome challenges (32 percent) and for over a third (36 percent), it decreases feelings of anxiety or reduces self-doubt.
To address these issues and increase women’s share of voice, Avon is launching the world’s biggest global gallery of stories about women’s strength and perseverance.
Here, visitors are called to share all stories of achievement. Whether it’s an extraordinary triumph or an everyday win, each story chips away at the barriers holding women back, inspiring others to do things they didn’t think were possible.
“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.”
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, to overcoming the trauma of domestic violence.
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 and has since expanded its advocacy to tackle issues such as breast cancer, domestic violence, women’s education, and now gender equality in media. The focus on stories mirrors Avon’s ongoing #WatchMeNow campaign, which celebrates the underdog experience of victory over adversary. (PR)