International Women's Day #SheEmpowersHer

March 07, 2020

International Women's Day #SheEmpowersHer

March 8 is International Women’s Day, a global day of recognition of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements—and aspirations—of women. The day is also a call to action to increase equality of opportunity between men and women.

This year’s campaign theme of #SheEmpowersHer is a reminder that we are all in this together and all supporting each other, regardless of nationality or socio-economic status.  We are all sisters together wanting equal opportunity for sisters, mothers, daughters around the world.  We all empower one another to stand up, to be strong, to protect, listen, be compassionate and push for improved gender balance around the world.

Mehera Shaw makes a difference as a role model for women and for all our employees. 

As the female CEO of Mehera Shaw, I feel a weighty responsibility to improve gender equality in our workplace.  As a woman, I feel this responsibility more intensely. I also find it a challenge to do so.  Rajasthan is a poor state and women artisans often are semi or non literate and have minimal skills and few opportunities to express themselves as individuals in their home situations, and therefore outside their home as well.  All of this means it is difficult to help them gain more job skills and broaden their understanding, help them seek more opportunities.  It is a slow process fraught with many challenges. 

In India generally, many women—especially those in rural areas—still live under the strict control of their fathers or husbands. While more women in cities work outside the home, many still turn their earnings over to their husbands. Lack of control of their own money and time spent on unpaid tasks are big factors that keep women from achieving economic power.

Fundamental worker rights - respect, dignity and a safe workplace - are often denied to women artisans, certainly in the garment industry.  This again contributes to lack of empowerment and gender equality. 

We and other fair trade companies uphold fair labour standards, including safe and dignified working conditions.  This is a fundamental starting point. 

We’re also working to empower our female employees not only by giving them safe and dignified working conditions, but also by increasing their ability to make choices and exercise independence. This year, we’ve implemented periodic in-office workshops in life skills, such as money management and ways to improve health even when money is scarce.

Women who feel empowered will transfer this feeling to their daughters and push harder for their daughters to be educated.  Women who contribute income to their households have on average a higher standing in the household and are able to save some of their income for their children’s future.  Women who feel safe and respected in the workplace are able to learn more skills. 

We also stress the value of education for daughters, as wells as sons. In the past, many young Indian women weren’t educated, or only continued through primary school. It is our hope that the next generation of women artisans will b e better educated and not face as much illiteracy.  This alone makes a huge difference.  We support education by paying part of our employees’ annual bonuses at the beginning of the school year, when tuition is due, and by making micro-loans when needed for education. Over the last ten years, we’ve seen that our employees value education for all their children.

The reality is women’s empowerment is a gradual process.  In the context of our work, it is a process of skills building and gain responsibility, opportunities.  It takes a community and it takes the support of all individuals.  Everyone matters. 

Respect, diginity, education, opportunity, support matter. 

It takes all this and more.  The reality is, we all empower each other one step at a time.


The first International Women's Day took place in 1911, and has since grown into a global movement supported by more than a million people around the world. After women in Russia won the right to vote in 1917, March 8 was adopted there as a national holiday and came to be the day celebrated globally as International Women’s Day. The United Nations adopted the concept in 1975.

#IWD2020 #Sheempowersher #tradefairlivefair #businessrevolution #women'sday2020 #socent

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Journal

Fashion Revolution 2023: A Call to Major Brands
Fashion Revolution 2023: A Call to Major Brands

April 28, 2023

A decade after the Rana Plaza disaster that sparked a worldwide fashion revolution, we have made some progress but are still fighting for equitable, accountable and transparent supply chains. . . . . Too often in this movement, we focus on demanding compliance from manufacturers and demanding that brands work only with compliant manufacturers. We don’t rethink the underlying global dichotomy of colonialism that landed us here in the first place, and which still allows brands to be complicit in continuing to feed the imbalance.

Continue Reading

Fashion Revolution Week 2022 - Money - Fashion - Power
Fashion Revolution Week 2022 - Money - Fashion - Power

March 29, 2022

We have a transparent business model based on equitable working conditions, fair payment, teamwork, high quality and transparency and accountability.  Our mission is to be a force for good in the fashion industry.  To do this, we strictly adhere to the WFTO’s ten standards, including: on time payment, fair payment, living wages, safe and clean working conditions, gender equality, no child or forced labor, skills building, respect for the environment.

Continue Reading

Recommendations for New Ethical Fashion Brands
Recommendations for New Ethical Fashion Brands

March 29, 2022

This is an excerpt of an interview with the WFTO discussing our fair trade practices and business model.  I’ll be posting various excerpts from that interview in a series of blog posts leading up to Fashion Revolution Week , 18-24 April.

Continue Reading



Our styles are meant to give room to breath and move.  We use fine tailoring coupled with a relaxed, comfortable fit.

We use a fit guide for each of our styles to provide more information about the fit that was intended.

Slim Fit: a close fit to the body. Regular Fit: a comfortable, relaxed fit with room around the body. Generous Fit: a very loose fit (such as in our oversized blouses) with lots of room around the body for ease of movement.


h4XS/ 36

h4S/ 38


h4L/ 42



h435.5 inches/ 90 cm

h437.5 inches/95 cm

h439.5 inches/ 100 cm

h441.5 inches/ 105 cm

h444.5 inches. 113 cm

h44cm extra from body


h426 inches/ 66 cm

h428 inches/ 71 cm

h430 inches/ 76 cm

h432 inches/ 81 cm

h435 inches/ 89 cm


h4low waist

h428 inches/71 cm

h430 inches/76 cm

h432 inches/ 81 cm

h434 inches/ 86 cm

h437 inches/ 94 cm



h437 inches/ 94 cm

h439 inches/ 99 cm

h441 inches/ 104 cm

h443 inches/ 109 cm

h446 inches/ 1

h44cm extra from body


All garments have been washed several times during the printing/dyeing and manufacturing process.  

CARE for 100% cotton

We recommend cold water machine wash (up to 30 degrees celsius) with a bio detergent and either tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade for all of our 100% cotton garments/homewares (except for quilts).  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.  

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Cold water wash and low heat drying or line drying in the shade will increase the life of the garment, prolong the vibrancy of the colors and reduce energy use. Shrinkage on all cottons is minimal, approximately 3%.

Garments/homewares are dyed or printed using AZO free, low-impact, pigment or reactive dyes unless otherwise noted.  These dyes are color-fast, but care should still be taken to wash with like colors to retain the vibrancy of the colors.

CARE for 100% cotton quilts

For quilts with cotton fill, we recommend spot or light surface cleaning only with a damp cloth and mild detergent.  Eco-friendly dry cleaning is also recommended. 

CARE for herbal/vegetable dye items

Vegetable dyes are not colorfast and are specifically marked in the product description.  We strongly recommend that all vegetable dye products be washed once before use in a cold water wash with minimal detergent.  Wash separately. Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  Iron on reverse side.  Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Please keep in mind that indigo dye does continually fade over time.  This is the nature of true indigo dye and is not a defect, but rather a sign of the 'living' nature of the dye.

CARE for silk and cotton/silk

For our silk and cotton silk garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Dry cleaning using an eco-friendly service is also recommended.

CARE for linen and cotton/linen

For our linen and cotton linen garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.