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International Women's Day at Walnut Melbourne



International Women's Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action - celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

As a female-run business, we have partnered with the wonderful One Girl charity to donate $5 from every sale on International Women’s Day (Sunday 8th March). One Girl harnesses the power of education to drive change for girls and their communities.

Imagine a world where all girls have access to quality education. A world where all girls — no matter where they are born or how much money they have — enjoy the same rights and opportunities as boys. A world where every girl has the chance to be the best she can be. We believe we can create this world using the power of education. Because educating girls is the number one way to fight climate change, to reduce poverty, and to create a fair and sustainable planet! When you educate a girl, everything changes.

We recently sat down with Bronwyn McCahon (former Editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and Dolly magazines and co-founder of PLAY etc) and Sophie Cooper (Founder of Walnut Melbourne) to discuss what International Women’s Day means to them and the importance of empowering young women.

Sophie Cooper, Founder of Walnut Melbourne 
(right, pictured with daughter Chloe)

As a female boss, how do you empower other women in the work-place?

"Walnut Melbourne was founded and built to create beautiful shoes for girls & women all over the world. We are proud to say that we are a predominantly women-led and run business to this day. We have strong women in design, sales, marketing, accounts, admin and beyond! Women are also our number one customers, so we’re always working with and empowering women through what we do!"

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

"Being the mother of a twin boy & girl, I’ve always focused on making sure that they have equal opportunities in the world and life. International women’s day is important to empower women but to also teach young boys and men to respect women and equal rights. It’s just as important to raise men who respect and empower women as it is to raise girls to be strong and independent."

Walnut Melbourne is partnering with One Girl to donate $5 from every online sale this IWD, what does One Girl mean to you?

"The greatest gift that you can give your children is an education. We spent a lot of time researching charities that we thought aligned with our goals and mission. One Girl really resonated with us as they drive the power of education for young girls no matter where they are born or how much money they have. Our alliance with One Girl is very important to us as a team."

Bronwyn McCahon, Co-Founder of PLAY etc.
(left, pictured with business partner & co-founder of PLAY etc. Kristiina Rose-Innes)

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

"I love that women have a global day to celebrate our wins and drive conversations about work that needs to be done. It’s staggering that it's 2020 and STILL only around 6% of current world leaders are women. The fact that women are STILL paid approximately 15% less than their male equivalents is mind blowing. And the statistic that 1 in 3 women globally have experienced physical or sexual abuse at the hands of a partner is heart breaking.  So what does IWD mean to mean to me?  It’s a day to have important conversations, to move the dial on these issues and so many more so that my daughters, and all our daughters grow up in a world where they not only feel equal, but ARE equal."  

In what ways do you think we can empower young girls?

"By role modelling an equal, kind, unbiased relationship with our partners at home. By encouraging them to find their voices, chase their goals and supporting them in whatever path they choose to walk."

Who’s an important woman in your own life, and why?

"Obviously my mum is a big one. Growing up, I never got the sense that being a woman was in any way a disadvantage or made me not equal to my brothers or other boys/men around me. In fact, I always felt slightly more superior because I was a girl. Looking back now, I think the reason I felt, and continue to feel that way to this day is because of the example my mum (and dad) set in creating a home life that was balanced, equal and respectful." 

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