Celebrities urge world leaders to fight for women and girls

NEW YORK -- A number of high-profile entertainers -- including Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige, Charlize Theron and Meryl Streep -- have signed an open letter calling on world leaders to fight for gender equality across the globe.

See Full Article

The letter released Sunday states that some 62 million girls around the world are denied the right to education, 500 million women can't read and 155 countries have laws that discriminate against women.

"Nowhere on earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere," the letter states. "The fight for gender equality is global."

Signers also include Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, Amy Poehler, Colin Farrell, Danai Gurira, Connie Britton, Elton John, Patricia Arquette, Muhammed Ali, Sheryl Sandberg and Sean Parker. The push is organized by the ONE Campaign, co-founded by Irish rocker Bono to end extreme poverty and disease.

"We still living in a time period where the most impoverished and disadvantaged people in the world are, without question, women and girls," said Gurira, the playwright of the Broadway show "Eclipsed," in an interview. "The light and the potential of women and girls in the world today is being blocked."

The letter comes a few days before International Women's Day, which is Tuesday. It calls on leaders to help girls and women fight HIV and malnutrition and support female economic empowerment.

Gurira, who also plays a sword-wielding zombie assassin on AMC's "The Walking Dead," has long been an advocate for women and will travel to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress on Tuesday.

"Enough is enough. We have to close this gap, and we have to make a concerted, focused effort and that requires speaking directly to the global leaders who have the power to make change," Gurira said. "It's an extension of myself to fight for and, as much as I can, give voice to those who are in systems of oppression based on their gender."

An accompanying report called "Poverty Is Sexist 2016" reads: "In too many countries, being born poor and female means a life sentence of inequality, oppression and poverty -- and in too many cases also a death sentence."

Last year, Streep and singers Beyonce and Lady Gaga signed an open letter saying empowering women was the key to fighting the world's inequalities and poverty.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Rob Lowe says he feared death during bigfoot-like encounter

    Entertainment CTV News
    Rob Lowe says he thought he was going to be killed during an encounter with a bigfoot creature while filming his new A&E docuseries. Lowe tells Entertainment Weekly the encounter took place in the Ozark Mountains, which stretch between Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Source
  • 20 years later, new generation of Harry Potter fans

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- K'lyssa Moore wasn't that much older than the elementary school students she now teaches when she first fell in love with Harry Potter soon after the books first started coming out. The 28-year-old reads at least part of the first book to her classes, and isn't at all surprised when they fall under the spell of the boy wizard, just like she did, and are endlessly curious about what happens next, just like she was. Source
  • Q&A: Randy Bachman on his shelved recordings with Buffy Sainte-Marie

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Randy Bachman has performed live with many Canadian legends over the years, but somehow not Buffy Sainte-Marie. The Winnipeg-born rock star and the Oscar-winning indigenous songstress have never collaborated on stage but that changes Monday night at Ottawa's National Arts Centre as part of the Canada Scene festival, which runs until mid-July. Source
  • Song from Prince's father being released on his 101st birthday

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - A new song from Prince's late father, produced at Paisley Park, is being released Thursday to celebrate what would have been his 101st birthday. Prince's half-sister, Sharon Nelson, produced the jazzy "Heart of Mine" by John L. Source
  • Pop superstar Adele hints '25' tour is her last

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON - Pop superstar Adele has hinted that her current tour for Grammy-winning album "25" will be her last. The 29-year-old included a signed, handwritten note in the program for her Wednesday night show at Wembley Stadium in London stating, "I don't know if I'll ever tour again and so I want my last time to be at home. Source
  • Kelly Clarkson plans second children's book

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- After releasing a best-selling children's book, Kelly Clarkson is back for an encore. HarperCollins Publishers announced Wednesday that the Grammy winner's "River Rose and the Magical Christmas" is coming out Oct. Source
  • Adele hints at retiring from touring in concert program

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Singer Adele has hinted she may never tour again once she wraps up her current concert run. The 15-time Grammy Award winner graced the stage at Wembley Stadium in her native London on Wednesday night and performed for a record-breaking 98,000 fans, but the evening was bittersweet for concertgoers who quickly realized this could be one of her final shows. Source
  • Molly Shannon had no idea her dad was gay

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Actress and comedienne Molly Shannon is glad her father had the courage to come out as a gay man before he died after hiding his sexuality for over 50 years. The Hotel Transylvania star spent most of her upbringing oblivious to the fact her dad was a closeted gay man. Source
  • 'I prefer marijuana over alcohol': John Mayer

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Rocker John Mayer has replaced his penchant for alcohol with marijuana. The Daughters hitmaker has only started to enjoy smoking pot in more recent years, after choosing to keep his mind clear and focused during the earlier part of his career, and he insists getting high has really helped him relax. Source
  • Former playmate Kendra Wilkinson phoning in sex from Vegas

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Playboy boss Hugh Hefner’s ex Kendra Wilkinson is keeping her marriage sexy across the miles by phoning in racy moments with her husband. The former playmate, 32, admits her Las Vegas stage production of Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man has been tough on her marriage, because her husband, Hank Baskett, has been stuck in Los Angeles. Source