Ruby Rose has joined Oprah, Elton John and Sheryl Sandberg plus other prominent figures urging world leaders to put girls and women living in extreme poverty at the centre of their gender equality efforts, saying they have been left out of the conversation.
The Orange Is The New Black star tweeted the open letter, which has more than 80 signatories on Wednesday morning and comes as the majority of the world celebrates International Women’s Day.
“Nowhere on Earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere,” the letter read.
“While the debate around this truth rages everywhere, girls and women living in extreme poverty -- those often hit hardest by the injustice of gender inequality -- have been left out of the conversation.”
“This must change. The fight for gender equity is global.”
The letter comes as a new index reveals Niger is the toughest country in which to be a girl.
It calls for world leaders to deliver better access to education for girls, funding to help fight HIV, as girls account for 74 percent of all new HIV infections in Africa and better policies to support female economic empowerment.
“Some 62 million girls are denied the right to education. Half a billion women can't read. 155 countries still have laws that discriminate against women,” the letter read.
Dear world leaders,
Nowhere on Earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere.
While the debate around this truth rages everywhere, girls and women living in extreme poverty — those often hit hardest by the injustice of gender inequality — have been left out of the conversation.
This must change. The fight for gender equity is global.
Some 62 million girls are denied the right to education. Half a billion women can't read. 155 countries still have laws that discriminate against women.
Last year, you signed up to end extreme poverty, and because poverty is sexist, you promised to tackle the gender inequality that keeps people poor.
This year, there are a series of historic opportunities to test your commitment and to make meaningful progress by delivering:
- Funding in 2016 at the Nutrition for Growth and Global Fund Summits to help girls and women fight HIV and malnutrition, because it is an outrage that girls account for 74 per cent of all new HIV infections among adolescents in Africa and 40 per cent of women on the continent suffer from anaemia which results in 20 per cent of maternal deaths.
- Policies which support female economic empowerment: access to electricity, connectivity, education and justice, so girls and women have the right to own property, start a business and decide when and whether to marry.
- Better data on the girls and women we can't see, don't know exist and therefore can't yet deliver for.
International Women's Day must be about advancing girls and women everywhere.