Avon Justine
Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director of Avon Justine South Africa.

New research from beauty company Avon reveals that women find strength from hearing every day, relatable stories and sharing experiences with others. Nearly a third say these connections help them overcome challenges (32%) and for over a third (36%) it decreases feelings of anxiety or reduces self-doubt.

With fears that the coronavirus pandemic has set the fight for gender equality back decades[1], and the new research highlighting that 41% of women have lost confidence as a result of lockdown restrictions, Avon is launching a campaign to celebrate the achievements and stories of women and men around the world.

Commissioned as part of the My Story Matters campaign, the new research surveyed 8,000 women globally from countries including UK, Poland, Italy, South Africa and the Philippines.

It found that most women (92%), have felt increased pressure during the pandemic due to being unable to see loved ones in person (49%), financial stresses (47%), job security (29%) and home schooling (24%).

Alongside these pressures, half of women (52%) admit they have felt less connected, resulting in feelings of anxiety (44%), isolation (42%), lack of motivation (34%), and self-doubt (20%).

Despite over half (57%) turning to online platforms to feel connected with their peers, over a quarter (28%) of women admit they feel judged when sharing their own struggles on social media sites, 27% don’t believe anyone would be interested to hear their story and 40% don’t like to talk about themselves.

To address these concerns and bring people together in these difficult times, Avon is launching a global gallery for women and men to share their different stories and experiences and connect with others around the world. The My Story Matters Gallery will launch ahead of International Women’s Day, and celebrates stories of strength, grit and determination, from extraordinary triumphs to everyday wins.

The gallery already features a host of stories reflecting the different experiences of women and girls across the world. Stories range from juggling motherhood and a career, to survivors of adversity, including breast cancer and domestic violence. 

Mafahle Mareletse, Avon Justine Managing Director for Africa, Turkey & the Middle East, concurred: “Everyone has a story to tell. Through this campaign, we are giving women a platform to share their lived experiences, celebrate the triumph of the human spirit, inspire others to greater heights, help them to heal and to draw strength and fortitude.

 As a company for women, Avon has always been at the forefront of endeavours that are aimed at empowering women and supporting the causes that resonate with them. We wish to appeal to women from all walks of life to share their stories of triumph over adversity, no matter how small. My Story Matters is another example where Avon uses the power of beauty and its brand to amplify the voice of women and advance women empowerment.”

Angela Cretu, Avon CEO, said: “In a world where our voices aren’t equal, in our everyday life we gather strength from people like us; those that have shared experiences. It helps gives us strength when we hear of another woman struggling with the same things we are.

 “Avon’s mission is to help women overcome the barriers and challenges they face, becoming the most they can be, so this International Women’s Day we’re reclaiming our connections, we’re finding new and judgement free ways to share stories, listen to others and find inspiration in experience. Avon’s My Story Matters Gallery will give women a place to speak up, share their stories and celebrate their achievements. It will collate authentic stories from around the world, showing that women are strong, courageous, and powerful and that we should never be underestimated. The more stories we can gather and the more positive role models we can show, the more impact we will have. 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.”

To share your story on the My Story Matters Gallery, visit www.watchmenow.avon.com.

[1] https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2020/04/policy-brief-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-women

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