On December 20, 1993 the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Following this declaration the General Assembly designated November 15th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The United Nations has always sought to bring light to gender equality and the violence perpetuated against women through the Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). The Commission met for the fifty-seventh session in March 2013 and stated that though progress has been made since the founding of the organization in 1946 the Commission: “recognizes that women’s poverty and lack of empowerment, as well as their marginalization resulting from their exclusion from social and economic policies and from the benefits of education and sustainable development, can place them at increased risk of violence, and that violence against women impedes the social and economic development of communities and States.”
Alaffia has been working to alleviate poverty and empower women for the past ten years. We are encouraged in our mission when we read statements like these made by the UNCSW. We believe that working towards empowering women can also protect women from violence. We also whole heartily agree that marginalizing women in society damages social and economic development not just for women, but for the entire nation. By providing a fair wage, a safe work environment, and community projects to empower women in West Africa we know we are playing an active role in ending the cycle of violence against women. We will continue working towards a future free of not just violence against women, but any act that keeps women from being fully engaged both socially and economically.
To bring awareness to this grave issue, and to honor those who have suffered, Alaffia has donated hair and beauty products to Olympia’s Safe Place. Safe Place is an advocacy agency that offers a confidential shelter to those who have been a victim of domestic abuse. Over the next several days, Alaffia will observe the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence that leads up to Human Rights Day with stories highlighting how empowerment and fair trade are combating gender violence.