Gift Guide to Empower Women

when we empower a woman,

we empower a community.

According to Half the Sky Movement, “putting money in the hands of women can have a positive long-term effect on the whole family…Women comprise 70 percent of the world’s poorest people and own only 1 percent of the titled land. They suffer not only from unequal access to education and training, but also from discrimination by their employers. The majority of women earn on average about three-fourths of the pay that men receive for doing the same work, outside of the agricultural sector, in both developed and developing countries.

But if greater income equality was achieved across gender lines, this could help decrease poverty through the generations. Studies have indicated that when women hold assets or gain income, the money is more likely to be spent on nutrition, medicine and housing, and consequently their children are healthier. For every dollar a woman earns, she invests 80 cents in her family.”

So with that in mind, this year I’ve decided to focus my annual Gift Guide on empowering women. Every one of the shops listed here empowers, educates, affirms, supports, or employs women all around the world. They range from large organizations to small grassroots shops. I picked a favourite from each shop myself but don’t let my pick fool you – there’s a lot of good stuff in each of these shops, even for the men in your life!

Hill Tribers

My friends Jessica Goudeau and Caren George run Hill Tribers along with Burmese refugee women. Hill Tribers was born out of friendship and grew into informal meetings, ESL classes, children’s activities, mentorship, education, support, and a gorgeous shop filled with hand-woven fashion and jewellery. Hill Tribers have helped more than 30 refugee women and families earn a combined total of more than $25,000 of supplemental income.

My pick: Kachin Earrings Tatted Paisleys in Gold $23.93 I have the orange style of these earrings and I cannot wear them without being stopped on the street by people asking where to buy them.

Krochet Kids

Their mission is to empower people to rise above poverty. Through their efforts, over 150 people in Uganda and Peru are working, receiving education, and being mentored toward a brighter future in creating gifts that give back.  The products created abroad have been well received here at home and the collaboration of our staff and beneficiaries around the globe has created a sustainable cycle of employment and empowerment. My friend, Sarah Goodfellow, and her husband, Blake, work with Krochet Kids in Peru.


My pick: The Abbott overnight bag $79.95 Features some great details such as leather straps, and incredible patterns that make this bag an instant classic. I have had my eye on this bag for a year now and it is time.

Noonday Collection

Noonday offers you the opportunity to use your purchasing power to create change in the world {while looking really good along the way}. Your fashion sense can now restore dignity to abandoned women in Ethiopia, empower communities in Ecuador, and create business opportunities for Ugandans. Orphan care and prevention remain a core value. Noonday believes every child belongs in a family and they work to alleviate poverty and economic orphan crisis through entrepreneurship.

My pick: Annie’s Feathered Earrings $32 Hand cut leather in festive feathered shapes lend a breezy feel to your look. Made in India. Also loved the Crescent Moon Earrings.

My pick: Nahuala Rectangle Trays (set of 3) $36 Made in Guatemala. A set of three trays made by a family operated carpentry shop in Guatemala. Add a rustic touch to any room. Their use is as versatile as your imagination!


The fashionABLE mission is to create sustainable business for Africans so they will not become dependent upon charity, but instead earn the dignity of a job. While FashionABLE offers opportunity to everyone, their primary focus is on empowering women.  Through your purchase, you are ABLE to provide opportunity, and a woman is ABLE to have a new choice.

My pick: Eden Scarf $52. Heavier weight  scarf. Super soft scarf with traditional Ethiopian-based pattern throughout. Handmade in Ethiopia. Ridiculously soft 100% cotton

Trades of Hope

Trades of Hope empowers women to create sustainable businesses worldwide. They want women to realize their potential as world changers, business owners, dream creators, and heroes of their own stories. So many women live in poverty, not because they lack abilities, but because they lack opportunity.  Some women have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have AIDS. These women have never had the chances we’ve had, yet they are just like us in so many ways. They love their families and hope and dream of a better life for them.

My picks: Baja Bible Case $24 Comes with a great handle for carrying your Bible, and is nicely lined for all the little bits of papers. This product is made by Guatemalan women who have pasts telling of abusive and poor conditions, now owning their own businesses and working towards an amazing future.

Vibella Jewellery

I was introduced to Vibella through my friend, Jennifer Dukes Lee, who shares my passion for Haiti’s women.  ViBella artists have created beautiful necklaces and Christmas ornaments and purses — all of them beautifully handcrafted as Christmas gifts for your mamas, daughters, aunts, teachers, next-door neighbors … or yourself. 

DISCOUNT CODE: newhouse. <——That is really important!


My pick: Maddy Necklace $$29.95 The Maddy Necklace is an incredibly unique piece asymmetrically designed with a gold upcycled plastic bead, multifaceted black beads, copper accent beads and large leaf pendants on a copper chain. Pair with the Maddy Earrings. Length: 17.5″ Handmade by women in Haiti.

Global Mothers

Global Mothers seeks to strengthen the connection between women in North America with women in the Global South through the shared bond of motherhood. When a mother in North America purchases a product to care for her child, she is in turn caring for another child in the Global South by providing valuable income for that child’s mother.

My pick: Pixie Rattles. $17 These bright crochet pixies brighten any nursery! Choose from an assortment of colours. 100% Cotton, Machine washable and Handmade in Bangladesh.

Imagine Goods

Imagine Goods partners with vulnerable and marginalized people around the world to make products that, in many cases, give them the first fair wages they’ve ever received. Imagine Goods takes a close look at the entire chain of people who are involved in making their products, particularly in Cambodia. Are they earning a living wage (enough to meet their basic needs)? Are they being empowered? Their tag line is “Sustainable Supply Co.” because they believe that when we buy a product, the cost of the item should be able to sustain every person connected to it with a living wage. 

My pick: The Lucy Skirt $34. The Lucy skirt is reversible! A wrap-around skirt with a super-flattering line, it falls just right and can be adjusted to fit you perfectly. This fabric is hand-picked from locals in the open-stall markets of Phnom Penh — one more link on the sustainable (and dignifying) supply chain.

Open Arms Shop

Every year, thousands of refugees flee oppression around the world and face resettlement. To help them avoid the trap of poverty, Open Arms employs them at a living wage and uses repurposed t-shirts to create one of a kind scarfs and skirts for sale.


My pick: The Claudina Long Skirt $42 I adore long skirts – so comfy and a step above my usual yoga pants while I’m running around with the tinies all day. Repurposed jersey knit, lined. Featuring modern-cut construction with a contemporary feel. Pull-on styling with flattering lettuce hemming. Designed with a figure-enhancing wide waistband with built-in elastic. Made in USA.

International Princess Project

The International Princess Project avocates for women enslaved in prostitution in India, restores their broken lives, and empowers them to live free. What started with just six women sewing in a single room has grown to over 150 women and girls employed by one of International Princess™ Project’s three sewing centers in India. With every PUNJAMMIES™ purchase, the dignity and freedom of a woman is reinforced and the future in India gets a little bit brighter. The vision is for thousands more! Together, we can bring light to some of the darkest corners of India.


My pick: Leela Punjammies  $25. I adore pajamas and these are gorgeous. Super-soft, light-weight cotton pajama bottoms with printed border. Made with hope in India. (I adore pajamas).

Raven + Lily

Raven + Lily currently helps employ marginalized women in Ethiopia, India, Cambodia and the United States at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, healthcare, education, and a real chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Every product from Raven + Lily is handmade, fair trade and eco-friendly.

My pick: Teavy Upcycled Black Pocket Cardigan $119


And now: a few books…


Here are a few – of many more I could name! – books that will empower, educate, affirm, or support the women in your life.

Jesus Feminist by yours truly….

A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver

Harvesting Fog by Luci Shaw

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith (I SPEAK FOR MYSELF) edited by Enuma Okoro and Erin Lane

A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together by Jerusalem Greer

Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber

A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master” by Rachel Held Evans

Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer by Jan L. Richardson

What gift would you add to this list? What gifts do you buy with an eye on empowering women?

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