As I mentioned in this blog post, I’m participating in Dressember again this year. I’ve worn a dress for the past 8 days and I’ve also been posting information in both English and Romanian on my social media accounts. Here are the facts and photos I’ve shared this week.
Did you know?
What is Dressember? A lot of women are passionate about ending human trafficking, but feel powerless to do anything. Dressember creates a path for the busy woman to have a significant impact on ending a dark injustice. By wearing the Dressember uniform- a dress every day in December- she uses her voice to advocate for the freedom of all people.
How can a dress change the world?
Human trafficking is the #1 growing industry in the world, and the 2nd largest international criminal industry.
What is human trafficking? Human trafficking is modern day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others.
How widespread is human trafficking? 40.3 million people are living in modern slavery today.
Moldova is currently #37 on the Global Slavery Index.
December 1st is just 2 days away, which means I’m getting ready for Dressember. What is Dressember? Every day during the month of December I’ll be wearing a dress, along with women across the globe, to raise awareness about human trafficking and modern slavery. The movement began a few years ago when a group of women realized they could use fashion (and dresses) to give a voice to a cause they are passionate about. It is now a worldwide movement that occurs each December. While wearing the “uniform” of a dress each day, women can re-appropriate dresses as a symbol of freedom and power. It’s bigger than a dress. The dress is simply the symbol and uniform of the campaign, but the real power comes from raising awareness (and funds) about human trafficking and modern slavery.
Why am I participating? This is my second year participating (see some of my social media posts from last year’s challenge in this blog post). Over 40.3 million people worldwide are living in modern slavery, including an estimated 10,400 Moldovan men, women, and children. Since arriving in Moldova a year and a half ago, I’ve learned that Moldova is currently ranked #37 on the Global Slavery Index. I work in a school and teach students that are at risk of being trafficked.
Want to join me? Human trafficking exists in practically every community and in every country. It’s a global problem that needs our attention. If you’re interested in joining me, here are ways you can participate:
- Join the challenge. Commit to wearing a dress (or tie/bowtie!) every day during the month of December and additionally raise awareness and share information about human trafficking. Read more here.
- Participate in solidarity days. If 31 days seems like a bit too much, show solidarity by wearing a dress or dressing up (such as wearing a tie) each Friday.
- Donate money to the cause. You can donate to my team (with other volunteers) here.
I hope you’ll join me! I’ll be posting on social media each day, and posting a recap of each week here on my blog.
This year, alongside other Peace Corps Volunteers and other men and women around the world, I am participating in Dressember. Dressember is a month-long challenge to wear a dress (or tie/bow-tie for men) every single day during the month of December while raising awareness about human trafficking. The idea is that we can use what we wear to start a conversation about the global issue of human trafficking.
To be honest, I didn’t know much about human trafficking before coming to Moldova and starting my Peace Corps journey. Here’s what I’ve learned about human trafficking, and in particular, human trafficking in relation to Moldova:
Moldova has a population of approximately 3.5 million; 10,400 are currently estimated to be in modern slavery.
In the U.S., approximately 60,000 people are estimated to be enslaved globally → This comes to 0.02% of the population.
Moldova is currently ranking #37 on the Global Slavery Index for countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery (down from #6 in 2013).
Moldova is primarily an origin country for victims of human trafficking.
- Around the world today, there are an estimated 45.8 million men, women and children trapped in modern slavery.
As you may have noticed, Moldova has made improvements in terms of the ranking of countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery. This is largely thanks to an increase in education about trafficking and how to prevent it.
In addition to wearing a dress every day and starting conversations around the topic of human trafficking, I am posting information on social media in both Romanian and English. And I’ve also started a fundraising page where people (hi friends and family back home!) can donate to Dressember. Donations to the Dressember 2016 campaign will support the work of International Justice Mission and A21, two human rights organizations that are bringing rescue and freedom to victims of slavery, sex trafficking and other forms of violent oppression. My team, the Moldova ATIP team has a goal of $10,000 to raise and I hope you’ll consider helping out! You can donate by clicking here.
And if anyone would like to participate in Dressember but doesn’t want to wear a dress every day, we will be having solidarity days each Friday, and I encourage you to wear a dress or tie/bowtie on those days, while also spreading information about human trafficking.