Annie Lennox and EQUALS launch the Big Inequality Debate

Annie Lennox and the EQUALS partnership of charities invite you to Join the Big Inequality Debate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Day, on 8 March 2011

Annie Lennox OBE, Oxfam’s global ambassador and Barclays Woman of the Year, has brought together a coalition of charities that champion Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights to ensure that the centenary of International Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Day (IWD), on 8 March, is a catalyst for celebration and positive change.
The EQUALS coalition comprises ActionAid, Amnesty International, Care International UK, The Fawcett Society, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children's rights, The White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Aid and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights International. It is supported by an evolving partnership of organisations, including 1Goal, Dance4Life, Merlin, Mumsnet, Object, One World Action, UKFeminista, VSO, WomanKind and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights for Refugee Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, and is collaborating with arts partners such as Birds Eye View, Brightwide, Britdoc/Good Screenings, Funny Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and the Southbank Centre.

Annie Lennox says: “EQUALS brings together the expertise of some of the most respected and influential charities that champion Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights. A lot has changed since 1911, but there is still a long way to go. Gender inequality continues to permeate all sectors of society, from health and education to politics, employment and culture. The EQUALS partnership aims to step up the call for a more equal world and galvanise a new generation of men and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights to work together to make gender parity a lived reality here in the UK and worldwide.”

Join the Big Inequality Debate...

Around the world, millions of people celebrate International Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Day every year. In China Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights have the day off work, in Bosnia and Italy Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights are given gifts of flowers and in Cameroon Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights dance in the streets in celebration. Yet in the UK, the event has gone largely unnoticed...until now. This centenary year will be a turning point.

EQUALS is prompting a big debate about what inequality looks like 100 years after the first International Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Day (IWD) was celebrated in 1911. We are inviting men and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights to reflect on the progress that has been made in Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights, to discuss the inequalities that still exist, share experiences and ideas with people around the globe, and take action to transform the lives of those Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls who remain excluded and violated. Throughout the week of 8 March and in the run up to IWD, EQUALS will be raising awareness through a series of innovative projects, events, multimedia initiatives and arts partnerships.

EQUALS will be prompting the public to discuss inequality at home, at work, at school, in community centres, universities and pubs. We will be running a series of flash-mob dance-offs around the globe and encouraging communities everywhere to host their own parties in houses, streets and workplaces. A nationwide poll will be commissioned to test perceptions and experiences of gender equality, and our social media content on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube will tap the pulse of popular opinion. A campaign film is also in production, and we will be launching a 60-second film competition. Visitors to our website, www.weareequals.org, will be able to register a personal pledge for equality and access information about all the latest EQUALS events and activities from the end of February.

Haven’t we already achieved gender equality?

While much has been achieved over the last 50 years in terms of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights in the UK, we have a long way to go. Times have changed, but sadly some of the key issues have not. Research shows that Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the UK and worldwide still face high levels of abuse, and violence and gender inequality continues to permeate all sectors of society.

Gender-based violence causes more deaths and disabilities among Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights worldwide, aged 15-44, than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war, and three million Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, trafficking, forced marriage or other violence each year. Only 19% of the world’s parliamentary seats are held by Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and men still make up nearly 80% of the House of Commons. Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights do two-thirds of the world’s work, yet receive 10% of the world’s income and own 1% of the means of production. The full-time pay gap between Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and men in the UK is equivalent to men being paid a full year whilst Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights effectively work for free after November. Only 24% of the people interviewed, heard, seen or read about in mainstream broadcast and print news are female.

We invite you to check our website holding page, www.weareequals.org, for more key facts and figures and for press releases on coalition projects and events, as well as initiatives by our individual charity partners. Our main site will launch at the end of February.

For more information, or to arrange an interview or other media content, please contact:
 

Sally Turner
Media Coordinator, EQUALS
t: 07803 334472
e: sally.turner@weareequals.org
w: www.weareequals.org

NOTES TO EDITORS    

EQUALS can offer a range of engaging ideas for media content to kick off the Big Inequality Debate including access to soon-to-be-announced high profile events, and interviews with the CEOs of our coalition charities and celebrity ambassadors for the campaign. We are also able to source poignant and uplifting personal stories from around the world featuring young Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights (and men) directly affected by gender and inequality issues.

The EQUALS coalition founding charities are:
ActionAid, Amnesty International, Care International UK, The Fawcett Society, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children's rights, The White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Aid, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights International.

The wider EQUALS partnership also includes:
1Goal, Dance4Life, Merlin, Mumsnet, Object, One World Action, UKFeminista, VSO, WomanKind and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights for Refugee Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

Our evolving group of arts partners include:

Birds Eye View, Brightwide, Britdoc/Good Screenings, FILMCLUB, Funny Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, Sphinx Theatre, Southbank Centre.

A further release, EQUALS – MEDIA BRIEFING, is available, detailing:

·    EQUALS – aims & objectives
·    Key facts & figures on gender inequality
·    The history of International Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Day

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