NEW YORK, International women’s rights organization Equality Now is hosting its annual Make Equality Reality Gala on October 12, 2021 at 8:30PM ET/5:30PM PT. Supporters around the world can join some of their favorite artists and activists for an evening celebrating International Day of the Girl Child and the people who inspire and support Equality Now in its actions to protect and promote the rights of women and girls globally.
Today, Equality Now’s work is more essential than ever. Every day, women and girls across the world face violence and discrimination. 1 in 3 women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, regardless of age, background or country, and every country has laws that treat women and girls as second-class citizens.
This year’s gala will honor Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women (2013-2021), and feature the fourth annual Changemaker Award presented by Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE to Zimbabwean girls’ rights activist Shantel Marekera.
The evening will also feature a special performance by Marjan Naderi, 2020 D.C. Youth Poet Laureate, to highlight the struggle and activism of Afghan women and girls.
An incredible lineup of artists will join the honorees, including Tig Notaro, Melissa McCarthy, Jane Fonda, Debbie Allen, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Atwood, Jodie Turner-Smith, Paul Reiser, and more.
“Now, more than ever, our vision is set toward the future and toward the people who have the potential to change it: girls. But, every day, girls’ potential is threatened by gender-based violence, harmful practices, discrimination, and laws that treat them as second-class citizens” said Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now.
“This year’s gala is a special opportunity for Equality Now and our supporters across the globe to come together to celebrate the tremendous potential of every girl to change the world and to work toward a future where every girl can fulfill that potential, because a better world for girls is a better world for all of us.”
The evening’s Host Committee includes Margaret Atwood, Jane Fonda, Chandra Jessee, Karen Lehner, Janva Patel, Paula Ravets and Jennifer Allan Soros.
While the gala is open to the public, RSVPS are required – and donations are strongly encouraged to help Equality Now continue its work to secure equal rights for women and girls worldwide. For more information and to secure a place at the gala, please visit: https://www.equalitynow.org/gala_2021_cal
ABOUT EQUALITY NOW
Since 1992, Equality Now has worked to protect and promote the rights of women and girls around the world by combining grassroots activism with international, regional, and national legal advocacy. We campaign to achieve legal and systemic change that benefits all women and girls, and work to ensure that governments enact and enforce laws and policies that uphold their rights. Our campaigns are centered on four program areas: Legal Equality, End Sexual Violence, End Harmful Practices, and End Sex Trafficking, with a cross-cutting focus on the unique needs of adolescent girls.
Our advocacy has resulted in the repeal of over 50 sex discriminatory laws, including recently in Syria, Switzerland, Lebanon, and Jordan. We have been instrumental in the enactment of laws against all forms of violence against women, like rape, sex trafficking, and harmful practices such as child marriage, “honor” crimes and female genital mutilation.
We have had significant victories in strategic litigation, including winning a landmark case against the Government of Sierra Leone, which resulted in the lifting of a discriminatory ban that prohibited pregnant girls from attending school. Working alongside local partner, we have now filed a case against the Government of Tanzania, seeking to overturn a similar discriminatory policy of expelling pregnant girls from school and banning adolescent mothers from returning to school after giving birth.
Equality Now’s focus on legal rights is strategic and long lasting. In response to the current pushback on women’s rights occurring in many countries and the setbacks experienced by women and girls in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we stand strong in our mission.
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