Empowering our girls: Why it’s more important now than ever

Little changes amount to huge gains for women around the world.

Empowering our girls: Why it’s more important now than ever

As a world traveller, Rosena Sammi has seen first-hand the perils of young womanhood: Across the globe, girls are minimized. As those girls move from childhood to adulthood, there are often few opportunities.


As a mother of two, lawyer-turned-jewelry designer Rosena feels strongly about creating change. That’s why she created “Who’s Sari Now,” a charitable collection within her larger jewelry line. The jewelry in the collection is made from upcycled Sari fabric—gainfully employing women's collectives of rescued sex workers from the red light districts in India while also helping educate their children through the non-profit Apne Aap.

But why? Why is it so important to empower and enhance the lives of young women across the globe?

1. Education

About 66 million girls globally are not in school. Educating these girls will change the world and that’s not hyperbole! Research shows educated girls stand up for their rights, marry and have children later and are more likely to educate their own children.

Here’s a great statistic: If India enrolled 1 percent more girls in secondary school, their GDP would rise by $5.5 billion. I’m excited to support the global education movement Girl Rising. If you want to inspire a young girl, buy her the Girl Rising book, which just came out last month.

2. Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is defined as a modern form of slavery. Eighty percent of human trafficking victims are girls. I work with many through my Who’s Sari Now? Collection. We know it happens around the world, but it is also happening in the US—right under our noses. We need to do more to raise awareness of the exploitation of these vulnerable girls and prosecute the people who exploit them.

To learn more check out the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, they are doing tremendous work to change the equation by focusing on education, prevention and passing legislation.

3. Creating Female Leaders

We need more women in leadership positions. Whether it’s the stunning lack of women CEOs in corporate America or the depressing lack of women holding power in politics, things need to change. I can’t stand to see another image of old white men passing legislation concerning women’s bodies!

I love the organization She Should Run. Let’s inspire the next generation and finally get a woman in the white house!

4. Body Positivity

Working in the fashion industry can be frustrating when I see the lack of diversity and the way women are sexualized and often unrealistically represented. I don’t underestimate the toxicity of photoshop!

As the mother of two young girls, I want to make sure they have a positive body image and love the way they look. One inspiring documentary I enjoy is Miss You Can Do It. If you haven’t seen it, you have to—and have the tissues ready!

5. STEM Education

I’m all about encouraging my girls in the areas of science and math and getting them out of the kitchen (figuratively and literally sometimes)! Girls should be encouraged to be smart and see themselves represented that way.

This has been challenging as the stereotypes in children’s toys and books can be overwhelming. I was so happy to find Goldiblox, which my girls love. And I love seeing girls well represented in books, check out the Kat McGee series published by my friend Saira Rao’s publishing company In This Together Media, their mission is to encourage diversity in media and that’s a mission I can get behind!

How do you make your mornings run smoothly?

Rosena Sammi: By making sure my kids go to bed on time the night before. It makes all the difference in the drama quotient the next morning.

The life hack or tip that changed my life...

Rosena Sammi: Online shopping for absolutely everything. I very rarely find myself in a brick and mortar store. Fresh Direct, Amazon, Net a Porter: These sites have changed my life.

What superpower have you discovered as a mom?

Rosena Sammi: Patience. My girls love to talk (just like their parents!) and are constantly asking questions—some worthwhile, others complete nonsense. I didn’t know it was humanly possible to listen and engage with that much noise and craziness.

This quote inspires me...


Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.
Rumi

To me, Motherly means...

Rosena Sammi: The overwhelming feeling of love that you never could have imagined before you had children. (And finally understanding how much your own mother did for you.)

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