Poverty is sexist.
There is not a country in the world where women have equal opportunities to men, but in the developing world the disparity is even greater. Last year, the World Economic Forum reported that the equality gap between genders would take 100 years to close at its current rate,
That’s why a host of big-name celebrities, in line with international charity, ONE have penned a letter to world leaders urging them to take action.
140 signatories including Oprah, Michael Sheen, Thandie Newton, Lena Dunham, Natalie Portman and Issa Rae got behind ONE’s global protest, calling on leaders to make commitment to girls’ education and to use their power to deliver “historic changes for women”.
Alluding to recent movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, Nashville star Connie Britton said: “We have seen an astounding level of attention paid to the harmful impacts that sexism and systemic gender inequality have on our society.”
Endorsing the letter, Britton further added, it was her “hope that all of us, especially our leaders, join in the fight for full equality.”
A number of other prominent business people and politicians gave support to the initiative, including former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, former Nigerian minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Mozambican politician Graça Machel.
The letter reads:
“Dear World leaders,
We’re putting you on notice.
For 130 million girls without an education. For one billion women without access to a bank account. For 39,000 girls who became child brides today. For women everywhere paid less than a man for the same work.
There is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunities as men, but the gender gap is wider for women living in poverty.
Poverty is sexist. And we won’t stand by while the poorest women are overlooked.
You have the power to deliver historic changes for women this year. From the G7 to the G20; from the African Union to your annual budgets; we will push you for commitments and hold you to account for them. And, if you deliver, we will be the first to champion your progress.
We won’t stop until there is justice for women and girls everywhere.
Because none of us are equal until all of us are equal.”
You can get behind the campaign, here.