EMPOWERING women with

CHARLES & KEITH x UN Women | International Women’s Day 2023


CHARLES & KEITH believes that storytelling is a powerful tool for advocacy as well as promoting equality and positive gender norms. The brand hopes to support the amplification of women’s voices within the Asia-Pacific region through the partnership with non-profit organisation, UN Women. 

To demonstrate its commitment to the cause, CHARLES & KEITH has pledged a USD 100,000 annual donation, including 20% of all proceeds from the special edition purple Alia handbag, to fund Storytelling for Gender Equality. The project aims to build a network of women storytelling advocates around the region and bring their stories closer to a diversity of audiences to inspire positive social norms, policies to tackle violence, and create an in which survivors of violence against women feel free to speak up about their experiences. 

2023 International Women's Day campaign
With every purchase of the special edition Alia handbag,
20% of all proceeds from will go to fund Storytelling for Gender Equality.​
Discover more
2023 International Women's Day campaign
With every purchase of the special edition Alia handbag, 20% of all proceeds from will go to fund Storytelling for Gender Equality.​
Discover more
Personal stories have the power to reveal hidden truths and shared experiences. The stories of survivors guide us, teach us, and shape our actions
– Melissa Alvarado
Regional Manager on Ending Violence against Women, UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.


In 2023, UN Women aims to organize set of workshops and a regional storytelling event to build a network of feminist storytelling advocates in the Asia Pacific region, and bring their stories closer to a diversity of audiences to inspire positive social norms, policies to tackle violence and an enabling environment in which survivors of violence against women feel empowered to speak up about their experiences.

The specific objectives of the Storytelling for Gender Equality Project are:

  1. Build capacity of gender equality champions on public speaking for advocacy and social-emotional capacities for critical speaking, performance tools, storytelling craft as well as other related skills, including listening and narrative skills.
  2. Support the creation of a supportive space in which women’s advocates can listen and be heard.
  3. Plan, design, organize, and implement a regional storytelling event with gender equality storytellers. The storytelling event will bring together a diverse audience to hear the stories of women and survivors of violence. In particular, the event should bring together policymakers, government and donor representatives, and other stakeholders and should be empowering for the storytellers and inspiring for the audience.
  4. Produce podcasts of stories to be published.


Stories uphold momentum on feminist change by understanding women’s struggle through dialogue

Research shows that role models have an amplified benefit for women due to the gender biases, institutional barriers and negative stereotypes women have long had to contend with across a wide swathe of professional domains.

Regardless of how many scientific studies are cited, it’s hard for men to imagine women would be good CEO’s if they don’t see many of them. In a study during a women’s leadership project in India, they found that men that had been exposed to a minimum of two female village leaders were more likely to vote for them. Men and boys face countless choices that can either reduce or increase the prevalence of violence against women and girls in society. The story of a women or a girl rising sheds light on how families, institutions, and allies play an important role to take out the barriers for success.

Survivors tell UN Women about their journeys to healing. As they open up with their stories, they show a path that begins with pain and eventually leads to purpose. Storytellers stated that they are not alone in this and they are more than what they have experienced. The idea of writing down trauma story can be frightening and painful. It is very important to offer a safe space and support in the process.

Globalization, digital innovation, pandemics, conflict, and climate change, among other factors, continue to change the world in which we work and live — posing both challenges as well as opportunities in realising women’s potential for a better tomorrow. Stories can give deeper meaning to numbers and show the unique consequences of global and national emerging crisis and changes but also showcase their valuable contributions to mitigations, response and protection efforts.

Intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of violence against women and includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behaviours by an intimate partner. Intimate partner violence occurs in all settings and among all socioeconomic, religious, and cultural groups. The overwhelming global burden of intimate partner violence is borne by women.

When home is not a safe place: exposing the intersections of domestic gender-based violence during emergences. Stories of  Confinement under stay-at-home orders is ‘a perfect storm’ for violent behaviour behind closed doors as it exacerbates tensions about security, health, and money shows the complex world of women and girls

Throughout history, women have participated in and sometimes initiated rebellions to defend the welfare of their family, community, class, race or ethnic group. Women have advanced social change and their influence on, and response to, existing transformations in society but women are the least recognized for their contribution in history or in post change architectures.



UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

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