The brand strengthens its commitment alongside Women for Women International with the new ‘Stronger Women, Stronger Nations’ project supporting Afghan women.
Longarone (Italy), 23 March 2023 – Yalea – the De Rigo Group eyewear house brand that promotes female empowerment all over the world – renews its commitment alongside Women for Women International, the humanitarian organization that, since 1993, has been committed to supporting women in 14 conflict-affected countries around the world, so that they are able to rebuild their lives.
And it does so by embracing a project, which is both one of the most necessary yet one of the most difficult to achieve in today’s world: supporting Afghan women, who have been stripped of all their most basic rights.
Following the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021 and the subsequent humanitarian and economic crisis*, Afghan women have been especially at risk. Their freedom of movement is increasingly restricted, and they are in urgent need of economic opportunities, to help them gain access to their basic rights: food, healthcare, and education.
De Rigo – with its brand Yalea – has chosen to partner with Women for Women International in 2023 to support the enrolment of 125 women in their Stronger Women, Stronger Nations program in Afghanistan.
This partnership will enable some of the most marginalized women from the province of Parwan, in the east of Afghanistan, to participate in a 12-month social and economic empowerment training program focused on topics such as business skills, financial literacy, vocational training, household decision making, health and wellness, stress management and psychological first aid, support networks and rights awareness.
The program also provides a safe space for women to connect and support each other in dealing with the isolation that continues to increase for women in Afghanistan. Women who graduate from this training program typically see powerful tangible results from their participation in this program, including increases in their savings or income, greater say in household decisions, improved self-efficacy, ability to speak out against violence, and increased food security. Women for Women International has been working in Afghanistan for twenty years and has navigated the complicated and challenging current context in Afghanistan in such a way that allows them to continue to provide women with the vital skills, knowledge, resources, and support they need to improve their own lives.
Following on from the project supporting Nigerian women, YALEA – the brand that promotes women by supporting their freedom of choice, encouraging their talent, and rewarding their inner and outer beauty
with eyewear styles that enhance the personality and uniqueness of every individual – is once again concretely standing in solidarity with Afghan women.
Barbara De Rigo, Chief Marketing Officer at De Rigo, commented: “As a woman and entrepreneur, I feel especially proud to once again be teaming up with Women for Women International, offering – in this instance – a tangible contribution to improve the living conditions of Afghan women. I greatly desired the development of YALEA, a brand that – in an authentic and sincere way – was an inspiration and support to all women and which, in addition to offering them eyewear styles that enhance the personality and uniqueness of every individual, was also concretely involved in supporting projects that champion the growth, affirmation, and independence of women the world over”.
Sara Bowcutt, Managing Director at Women for Women International – UK, commented: “I am so pleased to continue our partnership with Yalea – an all-female brand celebrating women’s freedoms and talent. Women in our programmes learn about their health, rights, and a marketable job skill – such as tailoring, bread-making or poultry-keeping – as well as gaining business training to turn their skill into a stable income so they can support themselves and their families. By supporting our Stronger Women, Stronger Nations programme in Afghanistan, Yalea is helping some of the world’s most marginalised women survivors of war build a better future for themselves and their children, creating a ripple effect of change that helps to make the world more equal, peaceful and prosperous.”
*Note: Following the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021 and the subsequent humanitarian and economic crisis, Afghan women have been especially at risk. The humanitarian situation has steadily worsened, and millions are affected by acute food shortages – massively intensified by the war in Ukraine UN, 2022. More than half of the Afghan population suffers from acute hunger WFP, 2022, particularly women and children. Violence, poverty, and insecurity are on the rise and currently 97% of Afghans are at risk of living below the poverty line of $2.15/day UNDP, 2021.
Yalea, the De Rigo Group house brand, is an all-female brand of sunglasses and prescription frames designed and produced with women in mind. With its timeless elegance and femininity, the brand seeks to inspire all women by promoting a new freedom of expression and independence from fashions. Yalea combines aesthetic and ethical values with glasses that frame the face without hiding it. The brand’s styles set out to celebrate special women. They are a tribute to women of different backgrounds, cultures, ages and eras who are not necessarily famous but who, in different countries and fields, have stood out owing to their life choices, commitment and achievements.
About De Rigo
De Rigo is a world leader in the design, production and distribution of premium-quality prescription eyewear frames and sunglasses. The Group is one of the leading players in the eyewear industry thanks to retail chains General Optica (Spain), Mais Optica (Portugal), Opmar Optik (Turkey) and affiliate Boots Opticians (UK). Thanks to the extensive wholesale network managed by De Rigo Vision S.p.A., the Group’s products are distributed in approximately 80 countries, mainly in Europe, Asia and the Americas, through 18 companies and over 100 independent distributors. The Group now serves all of the world’s most important markets with its brands, Lozza, Police, Sting and Yalea, and licences Aramis, Barrow, Blumarine, Chopard, Diff Eyewear, Escada, Fila, Furla, Gap, John Varvatos, Jones New York, Just Cavalli, Lucky Brand, Mulberry, Nina Ricci, Philipp Plein, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Roberto Cavalli, Tous, TUMI, Twinset, Victor Hugo, Zadig&Voltaire. For more information, visit www.derigo.com
About Women for Women International
Women for Women International invests where inequality is greatest by helping women who are forgotten — the women survivors of war and conflict. In Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Sudan, women learn skills to rebuild their families and communities through Women for Women International’s Stronger Women, Stronger Nations Programme. They form support networks, are equipped with the skills to earn an income and save, and gain knowledge and resources about health and their rights. Since 1993, our global community has invested in the power of over 530,000 women across 14 conflict-affected countries, to create a ripple effect that makes the world more equal, peaceful, and prosperous. To learn more about the power of women, for women, visit womenforwomen.org.uk or follow @WomenforWomenUK on social media. UK Charity Registration Number: 1115109
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