Almost half (47%) of women across the world have experienced financial stress due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new research shows.
A global study from Avon reveals that 92% of women feel increased pressure over the pandemic, while 57% of women have increased feelings of doubt in themselves and 41% have lost confidence.
The survey of 8,000 women worldwide found that increased pressure was caused because they could not see their loved ones in person (49%), job security (29%) and home-schooling (24%).
Alongside these pressures, 52% admit they have felt less connected, resulting in feelings of anxiety (44%), isolation (42%) lack of motivation (34%) and self-doubt (20%).
Avon's study revealed that the majority of women (68%) find strength in hearing relatable stories every day from other women and 72% find comfort in being able to share their own experiences.
Nearly a third say these connections help them overcome challenges (32%) and for 36% it decreases feelings of anxiety or reduces self-doubt.
While 57% of women said they turned to online platforms to feel connected with their peers, over a quarter (28%) of women admit they feel judged when sharing their own struggles on social media sites. Meanwhile, 27% don’t believe anyone would be interested to hear their story and 40% don’t like to talk about themselves.
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Avon said that amid fears that COVID-19 has set the fight for gender equality back decades and the results of its own research showing 41% of women losing confidence, the company — which specialises in direct sales of beauty, household and personal care items — is launching an initiative on International Women's Day.
It will launch "a global story and image gallery connecting women globally, celebrating stories of strength, grit and determination, from extraordinary triumphs to everyday wins," the company said.
The My Story Matters campaign is in collaboration with model Ellie Goldstein and professional dancer Oti Mabuse.
"A year on from the start of the pandemic it’s devastating to see that this crisis has had a negative impact globally on the confidence of women. Lockdown has been tough, I really miss my family in South Africa and sometimes it’s hard to keep motivated, but during this time when we cannot connect physically with our loved ones, sharing our stories with other women has never been more important - whether that’s our small every day triumphs or relaying our struggles," Mabuse said.
It’s crucial in helping us feel like we are not alone, letting us know that it’s OK to struggle and giving us the strength to overcome other challenges that may be thrown our way."
The Avon Foundation will donate $1 for every story shared on the platform to charities that support women to help create a better world for women.
Ellie Goldstein, said: "I’m a very sociable person, so since the pandemic I’ve found it really hard not seeing my friends, but my tip to help me relieve stress is to dance; it makes me feel really happy. Everyone has their own story to tell in life and Avon’s gallery offers a safe place for women to post their inspiration stories and read about others' experiences too.
"I am proud of the barriers I have broken down throughout my career and in sharing my story, I believe I can give other women hopes of achieving what they want in life. Never give up following your dreams."
The My Story Matters Gallery, which celebrates "stories of strength, grit and determination, from extraordinary triumphs to everyday wins", has launched ahead of International Women’s Day.
So far, 20,371 stories have been donated since its launch.
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