If you know anything about Mala and Mantra (and if you're reading this, you probably do), then you'll know that empowering women is at the core of what we do. It's right there in our brand tagline, after all: "Consciously created style empowering women through wellness." And as a woman-owned brand with an all-female team, a fair trade cooperative of women artisans in the Philippines, and a majority-female customer base, we take this mission incredibly seriously. That's why we help provide our artisans with fair wages, a safe working environment, and a sustainable way to support themselves + their families. (Learn more about our talented artisans here.) It's also why we design mindful mala jewelry that empowers women to take control of their wellness, spirituality and peace of mind. 

So it's no surprise that we're excited to celebrate International Women's Day today (March 8). This powerful day is a celebration of the social, economic, cultural + political achievements of women all around the world. But it's also a time to reflect on the many ways in which we—both Mala and Mantra as a brand and you, our supporters—can continue to #pushforprogress in terms of gender equality.

Here are just a few ways you can do so, according to the organizers of International Women's Day themselves:

1. Maintain a gender parity mindset.
Any chance you're given, question a lack of or inequality of women's participation and inclusion in events or opportunities, both on a personal and professional level. While you're at it, be the person who nominates other women for roles and opportunities, and always, always support women on their endeavors.

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2. Challenge stereotypes + bias.
Whenever you hear someone (even another woman) make an assumption about women or challenge the limits of what they can do, speak up and question it. An open dialogue is critical for any kind of progress, but make sure to use inclusive language as much as possible.

3. Make women more visible.
The key to showing everyone the amazing things women can do is to give them the chance to do those things. Offer openings + opportunities to women first when possible, and never assume a woman doesn't want to take on a role until she's turned it down. Nominate + support women for leadership positions, and throw your support behind women when they're in these roles.

4. Celebrate women's achievements.
Value the opinions + ideas of the women around you, and make sure to acknowledge + credit them with their success at every opportunity. You can also identify a female role model you admire, and share their story + successes with your friends, family + colleagues.

How will you #pressforprogress this International Women's Day? Let us know in the comments section! 

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