We Are Westridge

A community blog featuring Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor, the Westridge Leadership Team, our esteemed faculty members and occasional special guests


Holiday Gifts that Empower Girls


As parents and educators, we are constantly looking to increase opportunities for girls to become innovators, leaders, and compassionate global citizens. As you’re thinking about what to give a girl you love this holiday season, consider a gift that celebrates her interests, expands her realm of possibilities, and/or empowers her to give back to her community:

Code Like a Mighty Girl. Check out this list of 25 toys and books to inspire girls with an interest in coding and engineering from A Mighty Girl (www.amightygirl.com). From “Intro to Programming” sets and DIY robot kits to books about female leaders in technology, this gift guide has something for STEM-obsessed girls of all ages. (Don’t forget to check out the other Mighty Girl gift guides while you’re at it!)

Give “Girl Power” a Turbo Boost. This list of engaging, educational ways to help girls of all ages recognize their power comes from Women You Should Know (www.womenyoushouldknow.net) - a digital media platform dedicated to telling stories of everyday women who are making change in their communities. Find 13 ideas for gifts that empower here.

Feminist Book Lovers Unite! Know a bookworm? Check out the 2017 Amelia Bloomer List of recommended feminist literature for early readers through age 18. (The Amelia Bloomer List is a project of the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Roundtable of the American Library Association.)

Lifestyle Brands that Empower Women and Girls. At Westridge, we support girls in gaining the values and skills to advocate for themselves and others. This holiday season, consider giving gifts that empower women and girls; here are a few organizations that employ women, work to break cycles of poverty, and invest in communities in need.

  • MADE by DWC. A social enterprise located right here in Los Angeles, MADE by DWC sells handmade products (soaps, candles, notebooks, and more) created by women overcoming homelessness at the Downtown Women’s Center, the only organization in Skid Row exclusively dedicated to addressing the needs of women. Shop here.
  • Raven + Lily. A lifestyle brand offering fair trade fashion, accessories, and home furnishings with its core underlying mission to empower women globally. Raven + Lily employs more than 1,500 women in 10 countries around the world, providing them with fair trade wages and access to safe jobs, sustainable income, healthcare, and other tools they need to thrive. Shop here.
  • ABLE. Focused on ending generational poverty by working with women who have often overcome extraordinary circumstances. The women employed by ABLE in Ethiopia, Mexico, Peru, and at their headquarters in Nashville, TN produce hand-made jewelry, denim, footwear, and leather goods. Shop here.
  • Sseko Designs. Based in Uganda, Sseko Designs began by selling handmade leather sandals as a way to generate income for high-potential young women in East Africa to continue on to university. Today, they sell leather bags, footwear, and apparel to provide scholarship opportunities and employment for young women in Uganda who are working to pursue their dreams and overcome poverty. Shop here.
  • Penh Lenh. Accessories and apparel handcrafted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia by female artisans working to build new lives for themselves and their families. 100% of product sales are reinvested in the social mission of Penh Lenh (a Khmer word meaning “whole”) to provide education, vocational training, and advanced career opportunities for female survivors of sex trafficking and violence. Shop here.
  • Girls to the Moon Gift Guide. Check out the 2nd annual “Girls to the Moon” holiday gift guide – a list of 27 gifts for all genders and ages, all of which benefit women or girls. View the gift guide here.

Have more ideas for our community on empowering gifts for girls?  Please share them in the comments!

Posted by Samantha Chaffin in upper school, middle school, lower school on Tuesday December, 5, 2017 at 10:22AM


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An independent, forward-thinking
day school for girls, grades 4–12

324 Madeline Drive
Pasadena, California 91105
Phone: 626-799-1153
Fax: 626-799-9236
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