OPINION

Opinion: On this 'Women's Day,' 3 brands that empower us and enable social good

MBYO, RWANDA - APRIL 06:  A young woman stands in an opening of a hedgerow of a genocide "reconciliation village" April 6, 2014 in Mybo, Rwanda. Organized by the Prison Fellowship Rwanda in 2004, this village of 285 is where those who served time in prison for genocide now live side-by-side with people who survived the killer's 1994 rampage. One of five communities like this in Rwanda, Mbyo residents share agriculture and handicraft cooperatives and say that working together has helped with reconciliation, easing their apprehension and fostering new friendships. Rwanda is preparing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the country's 1994 genocide, when more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutus were slaughtered over a 100 day period.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

MBYO, RWANDA - APRIL 06: A young woman stands in an opening of a hedgerow of a genocide "reconciliation village" April 6, 2014 in Mybo, Rwanda. Organized by the Prison Fellowship Rwanda in 2004, this village of 285 is where those who served time in prison for genocide now live side-by-side with people who survived the killer's 1994 rampage. One of five communities like this in Rwanda, Mbyo residents share agriculture and handicraft cooperatives and say that working together has helped with reconciliation, easing their apprehension and fostering new friendships. Rwanda is preparing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the country's 1994 genocide, when more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutus were slaughtered over a 100 day period. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)  (2014 Getty Images)

As we celebrate our love, appreciation and respect for women during this International Women’s Day, it is inspiring to see companies committed to making an impact in the lives of women while also instigating social change.

Now more than ever, companies are tapping into the social consciousness of today’s shoppers, primarily the largest and most diverse generation, millennials. More than eight in 10 millennials (81 percent) expect companies to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship, according to Horizon Media’s Finger on the Pulse study.

This new business norm has motivated some women to launch ventures that combine social impact with their passion for advancing women issues such as equality, education and career opportunities. Here are three companies founded by women committed to changing the lives of women:

1. Cora is redefining the way women experience their period, offering a line of feminine accessories and 100 percent organic cotton tampons by subscription. The purchase of one month’s supply turns into the donation of a month’s supply of feminine products to girls in developing countries. Approximately 100 million girls miss school because they lack the products they need during their period, and Cora is seeking to fill that gap around the world. During the week of International Women’s Day, Cora will be doubling its donation to girls for every new subscription. 

2. Co-founded by Latina power duo Catalina Girald and Golden Globe winning actress Gina Rodriguez, the company Naja is bringing hope and opportunity through lingerie. They have created a brand that seeks to empower women instead of objectifying them, while also providing fashion-focused, environmentally friendly lingerie to women. Naja’s garment factory primarily employs single mothers or female heads of households where they are paid above market wages with healthcare benefits. 

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3. Same Sky was born with a mission to help women who survived the brutal genocide in Rwanda, which left over a quarter of a million victims of rape, and 70 percent of them contracted HIV/ AIDS. The company offers beautiful bracelets and accessories made by many of these women in Rwanda. They earn 15 to 20 times the average wage in Sub Saharan Africa, while Same Sky reinvests 100 percent of its net proceeds to train and employ more artisans in need. 

So next time you are wondering how to make an impact, consider products and companies that not only are good for your looks and body but also do good for other women. Happy International Women’s Day!

Lili Gil Valletta is an award-winning entrepreneur, multicultural marketing strategist, Fox News independent contributor and co-founder of XL Alliance. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and member of the Harvard Kennedy School Women's Leadership Board.

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