This International Women’s Day, an impressive roster of 76 influential women banned together to push governments to stand up for women’s rights around the world.
Emma Watson, Keira Knightley, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are a few of the powerful actors, writers, business executives, and activists who signed a letter published in the Guardian on Friday to make their voices heard. Anti-period poverty advocate Amika George and singer Dua Lipa also added their names.
Bestselling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at HCLS Miller Branch.
The call for action, organized by the global organization Womankind Worldwide, which supports women’s rights in Asia and Africa, asks world leaders to protect and champion women everywhere.
Take Action: Demand Leaders Create a World Where She Is Equal
“On International Women's Day 2019, it’s an astonishing fact that in no country in the world do women enjoy the same rights or opportunities as men,” the letter reminds leaders.
✊🏻 Today I stand with @woman_kind@ChimamandaReal@AmikaGeorge@AdwoaAboah_@MissDumezweni@MeeraSyal@NimkoAli & others to call on govts to do more to ensure the rights of women everywhere are respected, protected, valued & realised. #IWD2019#WK30https://t.co/daW3t6DV25pic.twitter.com/q4VkUb2VBf— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) March 8, 2019
“Every day, women and girls face discrimination, poverty, and violence just because they are women,” the statement continues.
Research shows poverty disproportionately affects women, and 1 out of every 3 women worldwide will be physically, sexually, or otherwise abused during her lifetime — with rates reaching 70% in some countries.
Women all over the world are rising up. Today, supported by over 75 well known figures including @Palomafaith, @EmmaWatson, @AnnieLennox, we call on world governments to protect women who stand up for their rights #IWD2019#WK30#WomenPoweringWomenhttps://t.co/SzjRuWlfrK— Womankind Worldwide (@woman_kind) March 8, 2019
The letter echoes UN Women’s commitment to promoting the need for diverse voices to be heard and respected on International Women’s Day 2019.
“Groups that are under-represented and marginalized based on their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status also need to have the opportunity to create and to provide feedback on what is created by others,” UN Women wrote in a statement released Wednesday.
The letter published Friday insists violence against women who speak out against injustice needs to end. Activists from Saudi Arabia to Tunisia continue to fight for gender equality despite the threats against their safety every day. Governments must trust women’s rights organizations and movements, especially those that represent marginalized communities, to lead the fight to strengthen human rights protections for women's rights activists, the letter says.
“Strong and diverse women’s movements have the skills, experience, vision, leadership, and passion to transform our world through local, national, regional, and international solidarity and collaboration, bringing women around the world into the process,” the letter concludes.
Actress Emma Watson, right, and other women arrive at the Elysee Palace for a meeting of gender equality ahead of the upcoming G7, Feb.19, 2019 in Paris.