Gender equality should be on everyone's priority list--regardless of your gender, beliefs, or upbringing. Equality for everyone should be the norm in this day and age. Here's a quick side story for you, because we all start somewhere. In my first year of University I decided to sign up for a Women's Studies course. Completely unaware of what I was getting myself into (especially because it was a two-semester class!) I spent the larger portion of eight months wasting the valuable insights I was being taught and hardly showing up for class. It's embarrassing to admit that only eight years ago I didn't realize how important it was to pay attention and more importantly, care about gender equality. I was so naive to the whole thing that I brushed everything off and thought nothing of what I was being told. Was that ever an eye-opening experience a few years later when I realized how important it is to care, how important it is to fight for your rights, and how crucially important it is for women to have a voice and use it. 

When Pearls4Girls reached out to me and asked if they could send me a beautiful piece of jewellery to style, of course I said yes. Pearls4Girls is a Help Lesotho initiative that raises funds and awareness for gender equity and girls' leadership programs. The fundraising from this initiative has helped hundreds of young women in Lesotho have the opportunity to participate in leadership camps, gender equity conferences, and receive the things we likely take for granted on a daily basis, like re-usable sanitary kits. 

I took advantage of learning about gender equity and the access to the wealth of resources and knowledge that the Women's and Gender Studies department at Carleton provided. I didn't see the importance in learning about equality and rights, and now I'm the girl that will get into a heated discussion about it. I've come a long way in eight years, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I was once so naive, but we all have to grow into the people we are and want to be, and what we want to believe in. I couldn't be happier to be sharing the Pearls4Girls initiative with you. If you're interested in getting involved with a great cause, there are a few ways you can. Check out the Pearls4Girls website and the beautiful pieces--everything from earrings to bracelets and even a bridal collection and purchase a piece for yourself, your BFF or your mom. You can even host a Pearl Party or Pearls at Workplaces and have a shopping party! With the holidays coming up this is a great chance to help everyone get their shopping done and have a few happy people on Christmas morning! The very best part is that the pieces are all very affordable.

I've always worn pearls. I can't even tell you how many pairs of pearl earrings I've owned over the course of my life. I wear them around the clock until they disintegrate in the shower and I'm left hovering over the drain plotting ways to get my earring back, so this was a no-brainer for me! I knew I could find a way to style a pearl bracelet. I'm particularly fond of the blush pearls laid in between the classic white. This bracelet will certainly compliment my vast collection of rose-gold watches! 



We all have a voice and if you have the platform and audacity to use it, do it. There are so many ways to get involved these days. I'd encourage you to find what you're passionate about and pursue the cause--get involved however you can and help inform the public about the many great causes that are out there these days. We can be part of the change we want to see in the world! 

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Maira Gall