Strong Girl Remix: Male And Female Artists Tell World Leaders At The UN To Focus On Women’s Empowerment And Justice

  • Phenomenal line up of top African female and male stars on new remix of Strong Girl anthem calling for world leaders to focus on empowering girls and women in eve of new Global Goals
  • New version of song released featuring vocals of: Arielle T, Blessing, Gabriela, Judith Sephuma, Selmor Mtukudzi, Vanessa Mdee, Victoria Kimani, Waje and Yemi Alade, who are joined by D’Banj, Diamond, Banky W and U2’s Bono. Actress Omotola stars in amazing video

On the eve of new Global Goals that will set the development agenda for a generation, the cream of Africa’s musical stars are proud to announce the release of a brand new remix of Strong Girl, the contagious anthem for women’s empowerment that first got the world dancing in May this year.

The mix of 14 male and female stars, in partnership with ONE, recorded the new version to show that women’s empowerment is a song that everyone – men, boys, girls and women – must sing together to amplify Strong Girl’s powerful message that poverty is sexist.

The artists are calling on all governments — who are meeting this weekend at the United Nations General Assembly – to place women and girls at the centre of global and national development commitments in 2015. This year the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to an end, and from tomorrow (Sept 25th) the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development will come into force. These new goals will set the agenda for development for a generation, and could see us be “the great generation to end extreme poverty” as Nelson Mandela once said.

There have already been some signs of progress, with the African Union (AU) Heads of State Declaration committing to address the fact that Poverty is Sexist earlier this year. Now this remix has the 14 stars singing in chorus to ask world leaders to do the same – and pledge to tackle the poverty of sexism which affects the entire planet – as they meet at the UN.

Actress Omotola, who supported the original version, the remix and stars in the music video said: “This remix shows Strong Girl is a song to be played on repeat, because the message of lifting up girls and women cannot be played enough and is relevant across the globe. We know that in 18 nations men can legally stop wives working and in 46 there are no laws protecting women from domestic violence. To change this situation it is important to have men and women stand together to call for an end to the violations of women.”

Remixing Strong Girls with female and male artists not only amplifies the song’s powerful message that when you focus on women you help everyone – it shows that men and women must join forces to  ensure that we have  strong girls and women everywhere.

Strong Girl was originally written and recorded by Arielle T, Blessing, Gabriela, Judith Sephuma, Selmor Mtukudzi, Vanessa Mdee, Victoria Kimani, Waje and Yemi Alade in April, and released on May 13th.

The remix features D’Banj, Diamond, Banky W and was produced by Cobhams Asuquo, and keeps many elements of the original song. Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of ONE, also appears on the track as backing vocals.

D’Banj, who appears on the remix, said: “Being a part of this new version was an honour. It is important for me to use my music to help change the world, especially for those who need our voice the most. This remix is amazing – I want every one of my fans to dance to this tune, and dance for women’s empowerment and call for gender justice too!”.

This effort is part of ONE’s Poverty is Sexist campaign, which calls on world leaders to implement smart policies and targeted investments in the health, education and economic empowerment of women and girls can unleash their human, social, political and economic potential.

Women’s empowerment truly is an issue for the entire world, and is inextricably tied to the fight against extreme poverty. But when you empower girls and women, you give global growth and justice a turbo boost.

At the August press conference in Lagos announcing the remix, Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of ONE, said: “The women who sing it are extraordinary. What’s going on is way bigger than the song or any individual on it. It’s just extremely humbling to know that whilst men are part of the problem, they can be also part of the solution.”

Nigeria is a key country for this to happen in, with strong influence on the continent and some good examples of progress, such as the Lagos Pact to bring more women into politics. However it also has some areas that drastically need improving, such as:

  • A woman in Nigeria is 140 times more likely to die bringing a new life into the world than a woman in Norway.
  • More than 4.96 million girls in Nigeria are out of school.
  • Nigeria has one of the lowest rates of employed women (as a percent of total population) among countries with similar gross national incomes.

The timing couldn’t be more crucial. Tomorrow, September 25th, the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development, will be adopted by world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. These new goals will define the next chapter of global development. If world leaders get it right, and ensure women and girls are put first, it could make us the great generation to end extreme poverty.

Dr Sipho S. Moyo, ONE’s Africa Executive Director, said“African leaders have set an example by standing with women and girls. World leaders must follow their lead and invest in empowering women and girls, and set us on the path to a future with less poverty for women and their communities and far less inequality all around. If they opt for business as usual we shall lose this once in a generation opportunity. As leaders meet at the United Nations, they must ensure they help bring about a more fair, just and equal world.  African leaders must ensure that the SDG’s implementation strategies retain women’s empowerment as a central goal in line with their June AU Summit declaration. Working with organizations like the African Development Bank and others we must make our continent the example that everyone follows with these Global Goals.”

While it’s up to leaders to do the right thing, it is up to every citizen of every country to make sure leaders do what they promise. Pledges for action are only as good as how accountable people who make the pledges really are, and ONE, our members and millions of people will be making sure leaders keep to their word.

So far ONE’s Poverty is Sexist campaign has helped keep the pressure up. Successful African Union and G7 Summits earlier this year have seen leaders make serious commitments to implementing policies to boost women and girls chances for a better life. ONE has received support by high profile women including singer and entrepreneur Beyoncé, COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg, actress Meryl Streep and Angelique Kidjo and other leading women from the worlds of business, arts, politics and activism, who wrote an open letter to world leaders demanding action. We’ve also had hundreds of thousands of actions from members, including tens of thousands of #strengthies – where people pose in the style of ‘Rosie the Riveter’, petitions signings and many more. Now we are making a call and asking you to lend your voice to this crucial campaign.

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