H&M Conscious Foundation, CARE Announce Partnership

In early February, humanitarian organization CARE and the H&M Conscious Foundation announced they had formed a three year partnership to support women’s empowerment in poor nations across the globe.

The H&M Conscious Foundation has donated $9.2 million towards this program with CARE to work for change worldwide. Karl-Johan Persson, H&M’s CEO and a board member of the H&M Conscious Foundation said in regard to the partnership with CARE that, “Together we will invest in actions to empower women in developing countries economically, as we are convinced it is a catalyst for positive change.”

Most of the world’s poor are women and girls; while they are responsible for approximately two-thirds of the world’s total working hours, they only earn 10 percent of the world’s income and 1 percent of the world’s property. In light of these statistics, CARE and the H&M Conscious Foundation have teamed up to change them.

Since its founding in 1945, CARE has become one of the foremost humanitarian organizations dedicated to fighting global poverty and providing emergency assistance. Last year, CARE was able to help over 83 million people in 84 different countries by improving basic health care and education, as well as giving people access to clean water and sanitation, among other acts.

The H&M Conscious Foundation is an independent and non-profit organization that was created in 2007 upon the celebration of H&M’s 60th anniversary.

CARE International’s Secretary General Dr. Robert Glasser said in regard to the partnership with H&M Conscious Foundation that, “Women and girls are the key to fighting poverty. Our six decades of experience has shown us that when you empower a girl or a woman, she transforms not only her own family, but entire communities as well.”

When women are given equal rights and society acknowledges these rights, the benefits can be seen in society as a whole, resulting in economic growth and improvements in both health and the wellbeing of children.

The $9.2 million donation from the Conscious Foundation will be used to give 100,000 women in developing countries access to tools, knowledge, and financial resources previously unavailable to them. In addition, CARE will be responsible for organizing five regional campaigns that will help to raise awareness of why these women can reach their full potential, disproving the myths that perpetuate the idea that they cannot.

Dr. Glasser went on to say that this program of empowerment, “is not just about providing training or financing to women.” He went on to say that, “It is about helping them to change relationships and social structures that stifle their potential and their capacity to transform their societies,” a vision that CARE shares with H&M Conscious Foundation.

H&M Conscious Foundation’s overall goals for the program are to give 100,000 women in poor communities access to whatever they need to economically empower them, start five campaigns with positive and influential role models to raise awareness about the current barriers who women who want to fully be involved in society, and to develop a global report that encourages policy changes that are necessary for more women to overcome the world’s barriers.

– Julie Guacci

Sources: H&M Conscious Foundation, CARE
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