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The United Nations Launches its HeForShe Campaign to End Violence Against Women

UN Women's HeForShe Campaign
Orlando Ayala, Chairman, Emerging Markets, Microsoft.
IMG: Flickr via UN Women

The United Nations’ UN Women branch recently launched the HeForShe Campaign, an initiative to end violence against women on a global level. HeForShe is a movement that focuses on encouraging men to stand up for the rights of women everywhere. Every day, women around the world face economic inequality, violence, sexual assault, and other injustices; HeForShe seeks to unify their male counterparts and encourage men to take accountability for these wrongdoings in hopes of putting an end to gender inequality.

According to UN Women, “It’s 2014 and women around the world are still being abused, objectified, and silenced. Yet, women are half of the world’s potential and every single one has the right to a life free from discrimination. Your voice is powerful – raise it to tell the world why equality for every woman and girl is worth fighting for.” The campaign’s launch video contains excerpts from prominent male actors and public figures, who plainly state the importance of gender equality.

Some of the male allies in the video include Antonio Banderas, Ban Ki-moon, and Matt Damon, who explains, “If you want to solve some of these huge, bigger problems of extreme poverty, you have to engage the women – they’re the ones who will get it done.” Beloved actor Sir Patrick Stewart has called global violence against women the “single greatest human rights violation of our generation,” and has gladly joined the HeForShe Campaign to encourage more men to stand up against gender inequality.

UN Women is an organization “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.” It is “a global champion for women and girls [that] was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.” There are many other humanitarian organizations that have the best interests of women in mind, as well as other prominent humanitarians and philanthropists. Angelina Jolie and her husband Brad Pitt, Beyoncé, and the Clintons are just a handful of the remarkable people paving the way for universal female equality.

Learn more about HeForShe and UN Women by visiting www.heforshe.org.

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Organizations Resources

Sarah Silverman, Lizz Winstead, and More Celebrities Join Together to Support A Woman’s Choice

Sarah Silverman Helps Support "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can Chose."
Sarah Silverman Helps Support Lady Parts Justice.
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Earlier this month, hordes of comedians, actors, musicians, and activists joined together in New York City to raise funds for women in Texas. The event, Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can Choose, was hosted by Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead, who dubbed it “the greatest online pop up telethon in the history of online pop up telethons.” The event reportedly came together very quickly, with the help of passionate women’s rights advocates.

When Texas passed anti-abortion legislature earlier this month, the impact was widespread and devastating. As the law officially went into effect, clinics all across the state were forced to immediately shut down, leaving the few remaining clinics to face an overwhelming influx of new patients. It is proving to be more and more difficult to accommodate the women in need, some of whom had to travel hundreds of miles to find clinic. Now, women’s organizations and reproductive rights groups from all over the nation are addressing the dangerous abortion laws in Texas, and are trying to raise funds for the clinics that are doing their best to help their patients.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can Choose streamed live on Monday, November 18th, and raised $50,000 for reproductive services in Texas. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America explains that the funds will “help pro-choice organizers and activists provide counseling, funding, and even transportation to women seeking abortion care.” NARAL Pro-Choice America and the New York Abortion Access Fund were both partners with the star-studded Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can Choose event, which was essentially a grassroots approach to drawing attention to a major, controversial issue.

Some of the celebrities that came out in support of a woman’s right to abortion access at the event include Amy Schumer, Kathy Najimy, Natasha Lyonne, Yael Stone, Alysia Reiner, Dascha Polanco, Kathleen Hanna, Ad-Rock, Emily Mortimer, Jemima Kirke, Phoebe Robinson, Joan Walsh, John Fugelsang, Alexa Chung, Dave Hill, Sally Kohn, Anthea Butler, Tennesee Thomas, Syreeta McFadden, and many more. The event attracted more than 30,000 viewers and raised vital funds, as well as awareness, about the issues impacting Texas women right now.

For more information about Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can Choose, and to view the telethon, visit Lady Parts Justice.

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Malala Fund Receives First Donation

Malala Yousafzai
IMG: via The Malala Fund

Malala Yousafzai is fifteen years old. Last year, the Taliban, who sought to silence her from speaking up for Pakistani women’s education rights, shot her in the head. They shot to kill, but Malala was stronger than they had reckoned—and she survived.

“Here’s what they accomplished,” said Angelina Jolie, who spoke at the recent Women in the World Summit in New York City. “They shot her point-blank range in the head—and made her stronger. The brutal attempt to silence her voice made it stronger.”

Malala, who was moved to England for recovery after she was shot, now attends school in Birmingham. But she hasn’t forgotten what it was like when she was in Pakistan. She formed Malala fund, an educational charity designed to help more women and girls become empowered and educated in Pakistan and around the world.

On Thursday, April 4th, Malala announced the first donation to the fund—$45,000. “Today I am going to announce the happiest moment of my life, and that is the first grant of Malala Fund,” Malala said in a recorded video announcement that played at the Women in the World Summit. “I invite all of you to support Malala Fund and let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls.”

The video was presented by Angelina Jolie, who pledged to give an additional $200,000 to the charity. The first grant will be given to a group in Malala’s homeland, the Swat Valley in Pakistan. It will help to educate forty girls between the ages of five and twelve who would otherwise be forced into domestic labor. By giving the girls a safe place to study as well as providing financial support to their families, Malala Fund paves the way for women’s education and empowerment in Pakistan. .