The region's biggest brand initiatives for International Women’s Day

International Women's Day is upon us and many brands and companies around the region have stepped up to the occasion to bring to awareness the larger issues facing women today.

First off, McDonald’s is flippin’ its "M" and turning it into a "W" for International Women’s Day.

Share economy giant Airbnb is celebrating the global community of women hosts who have found greater financial, professional, and social empowerment through hosting on Airbnb’s platform.

Airbnb announced that in 2017 women hosts in Hong Kong earned a combined HKD235 million (USD30 million), while the number of women hosts grew by 20% to over 2,400.

In Hong Kong, over 51% of Airbnb hosts today are women. Meanwhile, women make up 70% of the host community in New Zealand, 63% in South Africa, and 62% in Great Britain. And at a local level, the female host community in Xian, China grew 168% from last year, and women hosts in Havana nearly doubled in the last year.

The startup said it has worked with organisations that support female entrepreneurs around the globe. In India, Airbnb is working with the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India, one of the country’s largest female trade unions, to promote women’s rural livelihood opportunities. Airbnb has also partnered with Open Africa to empower women from rural areas across the Western Cape through homesharing.

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Alibaba has launched campaigns to celebrate International Women's Day. The e-commerce giant in China markets the day dubbed as "The Queen’s Day" (女王節), inviting women to buy themselves gifts to praise their successes.

Over three million female users bought more than five lipsticks in the past year ended by early March 2018, according to statistics from Tmall. During the same time, over 350,000 female users bought more than 12 handbags.

Alibaba is also working with beauty brands including those from Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, and LVMH to upgrade over 10,000 physical stores in 200 cities to a smart store format. Customers can pay, earn points and use their discount coupons with one single scan of their Taobao membership ID in these stores. Other features include but not limited to virtual shopping bag, fashion AI mirror and augmented reality trial of beauty products.

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Of course, Alibaba and Airbnb aren't the only brands celebrating International Women's Day.

Skincare brand Olay brings models Lin Chiling, He Shui, actress Gao Yuan Yuan and more than 100 KOLs together to share personal stories that represent what it means to have no fear of age, to defy age taboos and judgment facing women in China today.

The campaign comes to life through intimate films, as Lin Chiling, He Shui and Gao Yuan Yuan share personal untold stories about their stories of proudest achievements, and how this number defines them rather than their age and the tensions that come with it.

Read more: Mattel unveils Barbie dolls modelled after famous women

On social, 100 female KOLs from different backgrounds also share their own fearless stories. A special Women’s Day publication from the collaboration between Olay and Bazaar will also feature 20 women, documenting what number they believe defines them and goes into the detail of their ups and downs.

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