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Temple & Webster and Women’s Community Shelters on International Women’s Day 2023

March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD), a global event that celebrates the achievements of women and a day that calls for collective action to drive gender parity for a world that’s diverse, inclusive and equitable. This year, the theme is #EmbraceEquity, which aims to highlight the difference between equality and equity, and to drive worldwide understanding of why equal opportunities just aren’t enough. 

Our partnership with Women’s Community Shelters

Since 2018, Temple & Webster has partnered with Women’s Community Shelters (WCS) - an organisation that provides community-based emergency accommodation and support to women and children at risk of homelessness and domestic and family violence. WCS embraces both equality and equity, and takes a gender-responsive approach to every aspect of the work that they do. 

Each year, WCS supports more than 800 women and children in crisis and provides over 40,000 safe bed nights (crisis and transitional) to the women and children in their care. In the past five years, Temple & Webster has helped to establish six shelters across NSW, including the donation of all furniture and homewares, along with styling advice, delivery of products, and volunteer services for the installations.
“I can’t think of a more significant example of inequality than a woman and child not being safe in their own home. This partnership provides a response to that by creating beautiful spaces that offer safety and a place for healing. It’s such an important and special partnership because it has really lifted the standards around what is acceptable in the spaces that are provided for women and children who are leaving domestic and family violence.”
Simone Parsons, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Community Shelters
Simone Parsons (centre) with T&W co-founder Adam McWhinney. Also pictured, left to right: Bayley Baldwin, Account Manager, T&W; Lucy Sutherland, Head of Trade+Commercial, T&W; Nathalie Peacock, Head of Partnerships and Communications, WCS; Mandy Wood, Design & Projects Manager, T&W; Billie Fowler, People and Culture Manager, T&W.

A completed bedroom in one of the WCS shelters that we helped to set up. 

For International Women’s Day 2023, we were fortunate to have Simone Parsons, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of WCS visit our Sydney office to talk to our team about the impact of our partnership
“When a woman and child have made the difficult decision to leave their home because they need safety, and they land in an environment that’s beautiful, peaceful, calm and curated, it sets the tone for what happens next in their journey towards healing. It sends the very important message that she is worthy, and that she deserves beauty. It’s tremendously powerful.” 
Simone Parsons, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Community Shelters

WCS works every day to address the structural and cultural barriers that prevent women from accessing equal opportunities, safe and secure housing, accessible education and resources. 

A completed common area in one of the WCS shelters that we helped to set up. 

They do this by:
  • Working with local communities to establish new shelters and address gender bias for women and children.
  • Empowering young people through their Walk the Talk early intervention and education program.
  • Advocating for the needs of women and children and working with the Government to introduce policies and promote gender equality.
  • Working with local housing providers to increase transitional and meanwhile-use properties and provide additional pathways out of homelessness.
  • Challenging gender-based violence and working collaboratively to make progress towards a more equal and just future.
  • Working from the grass roots up to create an additional 40,000 safe bed nights and doubling their capacity to support more women and children at risk of homelessness and domestic and family violence.

Support WCS this International Women’s Day and make a life-changing donation
“We talk about providing environments that are therapeutically-safe, trauma-informed and psychologically-safe, and I can tell you that this atmosphere is created by the work of Temple & Webster. Coming into an environment that’s beautiful helps to build the resources a woman needs as she takes her next step towards independence.”
Simone Parsons, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Community Shelters

Simone Parsons on International Women's Day 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you personally?

International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on where we are in our journey towards gender equality. It’s an opportunity to think about where we’ve been, where we are, where we’re going, and where we want to go. It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the women, our allies and the changemakers who have gone before us, and to celebrate our courage, determination and focus to work towards the things that will make our society gender equal.

What's the most valuable advice you’d share with a woman? 

Find something that inspires you and that fills your heart and mind. Aspire to live a life that does that too. Don’t expect less than, but do accept help and do bring allies with you along the journey... and get some rest.

What's the best way to support WCS?

You can donate or get involved in our local community shelter boards or some of our projects that are aimed at helping older women with housing security.

What’s the difference between equality and equity? 

While 'equality' and ‘equity’ are often used interchangeably, they actually mean very different things. 

Equality refers to treating everyone the same, regardless of their individual differences or circumstances. It means giving each individual or group of people access to the same resources and opportunities for a level playing field. 

Equity, on the other hand, recognises that each person has different needs and experiences, and therefore allocates the right resources and opportunities that are needed to reach an equal outcome. 
“Equality is giving everyone a shoe. Equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits.”
Dr Naheed Dosani

Selma Nada Rajah 08 March, 2023

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