Lady Gaga, Beyonce and 31 other signatories, including South African entertainers Yvonne Chaka-Chaka and Charlize Theron, wrote an open letter on Sunday to two powerful public figures: German Chancellor and President of the 2015 G7, Angela Merkel and President of the African Union Commission, Mrs.Dlamini-Zuma.
March 10 th, 2015
United for global equality
Famous business women, entertainers and female political leaders like Susan Shabangu, South African Minister for Women; Helene Gayle, US Care President;AngellahKairuki, Tanzanian Deputyand many others joined their strength on InternationalWomen’s day when they signed a letter which was initiated by the London-based NGO, ONE. The letter implored the two powerfulpublic figures to be more committed to empower women and eradicate poverty. They said in the letter that “….extreme poverty will not change unless we admit women and girls to be treated fairly. Leaders and citizens around the world should really work together to address this situation. Because when we support women and girls and respect their rights, [society as a whole] benefits.”
Poverty is sexist
“Poverty is sexist[:] we won't end it unless we face up to the fact that girls and women get a raw deal and until leaders and citizens around the world work together for real change," the group of internationally famous women said in the letter. “We cannot eradicate poverty unless women and girls are equally and fairly treated”, they furtheremphasised. They also stated that women and girls should be empowered and be put at the heart of international efforts to fight hunger and misery. Poverty includes both genders, everyone suffers — women and men, girls and boys. However, the situation of women in developing countries is poor because many are still malnourished and have very limited access to education due to some legal shortcomings and mistreatment in many nations. Another passage of the letter reads:“We can eradicate poverty by 2030 if we contribute more efforts and commitment but extreme poverty, inequality and instability will spread in the most vulnerable areas and jeopardize the future of all if we fail to implement this goal.”
“Millions of women and girls around the world will applaud at your political courage…” The letter emphasises that male and female farmers should be treated equally andthat women should have the same access to resources as men do to boost productivity. Empowering women entails giving them the tools and means they need to change their status. Later this year, both will be at the head of key meetings when they will set out new sustainable development goals for future generations. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and South Africa's Minister of Health and African Union Commission President,NkosazanaDlamini-Zuma will preside at the worldwide G7 summit for women empowerment this coming June.
SA’s steps for promoting women’s rights
SA Minister for Women, Susan Shabangu, praised the ANC for its efforts to promote women’s rights. She said women have ascended to important positions in both government and as legislatures. Many criticised this statement, saying this is not how it happens in practice. During the National Assembly debate on women’s rights, she said SA women’s next goal is the presidency.
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