From 8 -12 December, MGCI’s Girl Effect club is hosting Dressember. During this week, students are encouraged to wear a dress every day. Beginning as simply a fun idea in 2009, Dressember has become a chance to advocate the dignity of women.
MGCI Girl Effect is run by co-presidents Eva Liu and Arora Chen. According to Eva, the club “is dedicated to empowering girls both in developed and developing countries.” They thought that Dressember was “a great chance to raise awareness about human trafficking”.
Blythe Hill, the founder of Dressember, was inspired to start the fun challenge after seeing her friend wear dresses for a week.
The challenge was simple: wear a dress for every day of December. As with most viral challenges, Dressember became popular through social media, particularly on Instagram. With the hashtag #dressember2012, the challenge grew in popularity.
In 2013, the term took on a whole new meaning. With the help of International Justice Mission (IJM), Dressember became more than just a fun challenge to dress up. The challenge took on the goal of raising awareness for a serious issue in our world today: human trafficking.
Human trafficking is the illegal movement of people, with approximately 80% of trafficking dealing with sexual exploitation. 70% of human trafficking victims in the US are women. Even today, human trafficking is a serious problem and a breach of human rights.
Many students at Garneau participated in Dressember. Although the exact number is unknown, Arora discussed the success of the event this year. “We are seeing more participants this year than the past year, which means Dressember was something people remembered.” She also encouraged students to participate in any way they could. “It’s very simple to contribute; you can wear an orange ribbon or choose to wear a dress. Regardless of your gender, you can support Dressember, and work with us in advocating for an important issue.”
As the Dressember saying goes, “It’s bigger than a dress.”