Interview with Refuel: Making the celebration of women an everyday affair
International Women's Day is celebrated every year on the 8th of March. In our special IWD2020 edition, we delve into the meaning behind this special day, and share the story of a lady who works to share the stories of other inspirational women.
An equal world is an enabled world, and that is exactly the message the IWD2020 campaign theme tries to bring across. International Women's Day is a time to call for change, to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, and to reflect on the progress made.
The world's advancement has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decades. The first man landed on the moon 50 years ago, we no longer need a dial-up to use the Internet, and self-driving cars have finally arrived. Yet, no country has achieved gender equality.
Still, one in three women experiences gender-based violence. On average, only 55% of adult women are in the labour market, versus 78% of men. In 2020, the Global Gender Gap score stands at 68.6%, which means that the remaining gap to close is 31.4%. It will take us at least another 99.5 years to close the gap. (Source: Global Gender Gap Report 2020)
Making a Change
Change isn't just about big newsworthy moments, adjustments to the legislature, or international agreements. Change is also in the way we talk, and think. Change is about the small actions that can create a ripple effect and benefit women around the world.
This is exactly what Lihui, founder of Charlye & Co. aims to do. It is an accessory shop born out of love, with the ultimate goal of creating a community of empowered women. From her experience, Lihui noticed that there are a lot of young girls who lack self-confidence and self-love. She wanted to give them a platform to encourage them to showcase themselves and their passions, no matter how ordinary they may seem.
People see someone who is ordinary being featured, and that inspires them. These seemingly ordinary women can play extraordinary roles in their communities and societies. Every woman has something special within them.
Women in Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is often seen as something cool and the "in" thing to do. No doubt, it has its perks, but Lihui has also seen its perils. A close family member of hers quit a stable job to go into building a startup, and she has experienced first hand the stress and effort needed to sustain one's own business. Yet, this hardly deterred the 20 year old from starting her business, to create something of her own and work on empowering young women.
Indeed, her passion and drive inspired the NUS undergraduate to take a leap of faith and switch her field of study to Business, after being originally enrolled in the Faculty of Science. Her dream for Charlye & Co. is to see it become a household brand, whilst inspiring young women to be more confident for their dreams and passion and happiness.
Her message for all the young girls out there?
Be the best you can and follow your dreams. Even though it is difficult, you should try.
Article is seen in https://www.hellorefuel.com/post/charlye-co-feature