Supporters pose for a strengthie with their Poverty is Sexist tattoos at United Against Poverty in Munich. Photo: ONE
Since we launched our Poverty is Sexist campaign in March this year, an astounding 1 MILLION people have signed our petition.
Whaaat? Yep you read that right. This is a record-breaking campaign for ONE, especially because more than 750,000 supporters signed up across Africa, using their mobile phones.
We’re calling on world leaders to make 2015 the year they deliver real action that leads to real change for girls and women in the poorest countries. It’s a broad ask, but that’s because there are so many opportunities and so many influential leaders who could make this happen.
One of those big opportunities was the G7 Summit in Germany, where leaders from seven of the world’s richest countries met to talk about global issues and what they could do together. So of course we were there (with 250 very noisy Youth Ambassadors) to hand over our petition and make sure those leaders heard us. Our petition was still gathering speed at this point, at just over 600,000 signers.
German Minister Gerd Müller was so impressed with our campaign he even posed for a strengthie to show he stands #WithStrongGirls everywhere.
And Vice President of the German Parliament, Claudia Roth, stopped at our campaigns stall to not only get a bang-on-trend Poverty is Sexist tattoo, but pose for a photo with our Youth Ambassadors too.
So did your message get through to the people who have the power to change the futures of millions of girls and women? Oh yes.
For the first time ever, G7 leaders agreed on an initiative supporting women and girls in their own countries but also in the global south. It will increase vocational training for women by a third, and comes with a trackable target which is just as important as the pledge itself.
The G7 said, “We will support our partners in developing countries and within our own countries to overcome discrimination, sexual harassment, violence against women and girls and other cultural, social, economic and legal barriers to women’s economic participation.”
It’s a very welcome and long overdue step, but there’s so much more to do – but the good news is there are plenty more opportunities to do that this year. Global leaders meet in Ethiopia in July to agree how much money goes into the pot marked ‘fighting poverty’ for the next 15 years, then Chancellor Merkel hosts a ‘Dialogue with Women’ forum in Berlin in September.
But before that, the focus is on Africa as leaders there meet for the African Union Summit in Johannesburg this week. Our Africa team will be on the ground making just as much noise, handing in our petition and getting everyone up and dancing to our Strong Girl music video.
We can’t put into words how blown away we’ve been by your support for this campaign. As well as signing the petition, thousands of you have been posting strengthies to show you stand #WithStrongGirls – here’s just a few of the most recent. We’re planning to do exciting things with all these photos so add yours now!
Our Poverty is Sexist campaign will continue to push leaders for bigger and bolder actions in the next few weeks and months. We’ll need your help, so hope you’ll stay with us on this one!