Women across the globe are “dress-ing up” for justice this December as part of a campaign to embrace femininity and fight the injustices that plague women in impoverished communities across the globe. The Dressember campaign was started by Blythe Hill in 2009 and last year raised $165,000 for International Justice Mission, a global organization that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world by partnering with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. This year, Hill set a loftier goal of $500,000 and, in the first half of December alone, the movement has raised more than $230,000 with 2,500+ women from more than 25 countries around the world joining together to fight for justice.
“It's amazing what can happen when a group of people link arms with a common purpose. This also proves that through a small choice, a small sacrifice, we can make a big impact. Everyone has the power to be an advocate every day. The Dressember Foundation team is so excited to see how the rest of the month goes, and we think we have a great shot at exceeding our $500K goal,” said Hill.
Though embracing femininity and the dignity of all women is at the core of Dressember, the movement doesn’t necessarily preclude men. Born out of a desire to see men participate in and support Dressember, Philip Reilly, IJM Canada’s British Columbia Director of Development and Mobilization, started #Kiltsforjustice. This year on December 10th, a date already holding significance as International Human Rights Day, men joined in solidarity with Dressember supporters by wearing a kilt to demonstrate their commitment to justice.
Reilly said, “I really admire the Dressember campaign and its ability to creatively engage women in the work of IJM and stand alongside all those who are trapped in slavery. Being a Scot, I'm always looking for an opportunity to wear my kilt. I can't wear dresses for a month, but I can wear my kilt for the day to raise awareness that all is not as it should be in this world and we must do all that we can to bring freedom and justice.”
The Dressember movement and support for IJM’s work around the world has also extended into the sports arena. Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris, quarterback Kirk Cousins and tackle Tyler Polumbus, along with their wives, attended this year’s IJM Benefit in Washington, DC. Cousins’ wife, Julie, has been an enthusiastic participant in Dressember, as well.
To learn more about Dressember, their commitment to fighting for the dignity of all women, and to how you can get involved, go to: www.dressember.org.
International Justice Mission is the world’s largest international anti-slavery organization, working to end modern-day slavery, human trafficking and other forms of violence against the poor by rescuing and restoring victims, restraining perpetrators, and transforming broken public justice systems. Learn more at www.ijm.org.