On May 13th, ONE.org, the international advocacy organization, co-founded by Bono, that works to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, launched its latest campaign, Poverty Is Sexist, which aims to empower girls and women in the poorest countries, so that they can lift their own communities out of poverty. Fueling the charge is a girl power packed anthem, social media blitz, and petition.
Consider this, “Across every key gender indicator, life is significantly harder for girls and women in the least developed countries compared to those living in other countries,” as stated on the ONE.org site. “While men in poor countries are also disadvantaged, the gender gap between males and females is even larger in the poorest countries.”
For the girl denied an education or forced into marriage. For the mother who risks death when she gives life. For the farmer prevented from owning the land she works on.
In confronting these (and countless other) very real, very serious issues and barriers, ONE designed its new multi-platform campaign, which is based on the organization’s report, Poverty is Sexist: Why Girls and Women Must be at the Heart of the Fight to End Extreme Poverty, to address the fact that girls and women are prevented from reaching their full potential socially, economically and legally – especially in the developing world. It’s a battle cry for global citizens to demand a more equal world for girls and women everywhere, and a wakeup call for world leaders to act now to help.
To create Strong Girl, the campaign’s powerful anthem, ONE.org joined forces with a group of extraordinary young women, 9 of Africa’s most talented vocalists: Waje (Nigeria), Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Arielle T (Gabon), Gabriela (Mozambique), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Selmor Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), and Blessing Nwafor (South Africa). The music video stars Omotola Jalade Ekeinde from Nigeria. They sing, “Wherever you are, show the world that you’re a strong girl… you’re a strong girl…”
The supporting campaign elements include the Poverty Is Sexist petition, which is already 75% of the way towards its signature goal, along with the social media hashtag – #WithStrongGirls – that’s meant to be posted with a #Strengthie, ONE.org’s amped up version of a selfie. Both allow anyone to join this global surge of solidarity that’s quickly spreading around the world.
Here’s how a #Strengthie is done… just flex and rock your fiercest version of the iconic “We Can Do It!” pose, take a photo, and then post it on social media using #WithStrongGirls. And, at the campaign’s urging, “include a link to ONE.org so your friends can have extra impact by signing the #PovertyIsSexist petition.”
We’re not surprised that Malala Yousafzai, the bravest of the brave girls and champion of girls’ education, was one of the very first to lend her support to the Poverty Is Sexist campaign by showing her #Strengthie…
Malala is standing #withstronggirls & @ONEcampaign by posting her #strengthie for girls' education. Will you join us? pic.twitter.com/8apGtDDqPh
— Malala Fund (@MalalaFund) May 13, 2015
And here’s how others all over the world are doing the same…
#strengthie Strong women bend but do not break. I’m standing #withstronggirls along with the @onecampaign and @onegirlswomen. #ONEHeifer #Malawi A photo posted by Heather B. (@heatherbarmore) on
#strengthie #withstronggirls#PovertyIsSexist A photo posted by Nancy Brooks (@nancyelizabeth64) on
@MalalaFund Our after school tennis girls are proud advocates for #SBYD #girlseducation #strengthie pic.twitter.com/QEcpqYqtC3
— A's & Aces (@AsAndAces) May 15, 2015
I don’t even need to caption this awesomeness.. #hotinhere Repost @mrrutherford9 with @repostapp. ??? Show us your #Strengthie @onecampaign the boys & I believe in the power of women & girls #everywhere #WithStrongGirls ONE.org 💪🏽😄?? A photo posted by obstacleracergirl (@obstacleracergirl) on
Great new campaign and video with young African artists for One.org #WithStrongGirls http://ow.ly/N0c3Q A photo posted by Angelique Kidjo (@angeliquekidjo) on