This 8 March, remember that there are many women for whom equal rights is not their reality.
International Women’s Day gives us the chance to celebrate the many things that women have achieved on the road to equality.
But it’s important we don’t forget the many millions of women around the world for whom equal rights is not a reality. This is the message at the heart of Annie Lennox’s charitable organisation The Circle’s new campaign with Apple called Global Feminism.
The singer, along with celebrities including Ed Sheeran, Gwendoline Christie, Richard E Grant and Mary J Blige, has created a short film highlighting the injustices facing many around the world. In particular, Lennox wants everyone to know that one in three women and girls will be impacted by physical or sexual violence in their lifetime and that 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same jobs as men.
Lennox also wants to highlight some of the other issues impacting the lives of women around the world, including illiteracy, maternal health and a lack of female representatives in parliament.
For Lennox, it is imperative that feminism is intersectional and global. “We cannot ignore the fact that feminism must have a global reach,” Lennox said in a statement. “At a time when there seems to be so much polarity and division in the world, the term ‘global feminism’ offers an opportunity for people from every walk of life, colour of skin, gender or sexual orientation to understand and identify with the bigger global picture.”
She continued: “We need to stand shoulder to shoulder in support of human rights, justice and equality for women and girls everywhere in the world, especially in countries where they are not even near the lowest run of the ladder.”
Lennox expanded on the theme in her acceptance speech for Icon of the Year at Stylist’s 2019 Remarkable Women Awards. “That’s why I’m endorsing the term ‘global feminist’, because that is where the future lies,” she said. “It is an umbrella term, inclusive of everyone, all women: indigenous women, African American women, Latino women, Caucasian women… Everyone from every walk of life, every colour race and creed, can all stand shoulder to shoulder with this term.”
Lennox’s short film is accompanied by a curated playlist of tracks from iconic female artists – P!nk’s Just Like A Pill, Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know and, of course, RESPECT by Aretha Franklin – you can listen to here.
So cue up the playlist, watch the short film, and get motivated to make a difference. Because turning the world into a better place for all women is the responsibility of everyone.
Images: Apple, Getty
Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer, podcaster and recent Australian transplant in London. You can find her on the internet talking about pop culture, food and travel.