International Women's Day: The Designers Making A Difference

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / Mar 7 2016 / 18:50 PM

Meet the regional designers who have created bracelets to help raise awareness of and funds for the plight of women in the Middle East and around the world

International Women's Day: The Designers Making A Difference
Katia Belmadani
Elisa Sednaoui for One Million Sisters

Today, March 8, is International Women's Day (IWD) 2016, and this year's theme is #PledgeForParity. Today, women around the world will come together in an effort to raise awareness about the disparity between males and females in all aspects of life. Furthermore, women's issues will be at the forefront of political and social discussion in a bid to make the world aware of the issues that face its women on a daily basis.

Lebanese sisters Laetitia and Katia Belmadani founded One Million Sisters, a global and social impact campaign to further the empowerment of women socially and economically, in 2015. To celebrate IWD, the sisters have partnered with Turkish accessories brand Manu Atelier to create a bespoke bracelet to be sold exclusively on from today. All proceeds from the sale of the bracelet will go towards the organisation's NGO partners - Pro Mujer, Every Mother Counts and Care International - working to making a difference for women around the world. Several high profile ambassadors are also on board for the launch, including Caroline de Maigret, Christy Turlington Burns and former Bazaar cover girl Elisa Sednaoui. 


Bracelet, Dhs285, One Million Sisters at


"Some do not know how to make ends meet and others are very often in harm's way, but we all know the power of sisterhood, which transcends all barriers of geography, culture, religion or economic prosperity," Laetitia tells Bazaar. "This bracelet is a symbol of gratitude towards a ‘sister,’ who may be your best friend, your mother or your very own sister. When she wears the bracelet, the nude colour on the outside is a reminder, a symbol of her essence. The gold or silver colour on the inside, a symbol of her shine.”

Dubai-based designer Shamsa Al Abbar has also created a bracelet, in partnership with Symphony and the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, entitled "The Token of Hope". Available in-store now, all profits from the bracelets go towards the rehabilitation of abused women and children, helping them to reintegrate into society healthily and happily. 


The Token of Hope Bracelet, Dhs1,800, Shamsa Al Abbar at Symphony

There's never been a better time to treat yourself, or a woman you love and appreciate. This IWD, sisters are doing it for themselves, and it's no wonder - we were born to run this world. - Maddison Glendinning