Originally published on LinkedIn Influencers on September 19, 2014
Last night marked the official launch of ALL IN FOR HER, a Call to Action and research report that is being released by Women Moving Millions (WMM) to kick off our annual summit in New York City. (I serve as the Chief Engagement Officer of WMM.) In it, we describe the current state of women’s wealth and the ways in which women are serving as leaders in philanthropy and as change agents in their communities. Our Call to Action is for everyone, but in particular women of means, to commit to going ALL IN FOR HER, by using every available resource at their disposal to help advance women and girls worldwide.
To open the launch event, we were honored to have former US President, Jimmy Carter, provide the opening remarks, the transcript of which is as follows:
“Hello and welcome. Thank you all for joining us this exciting evening as Women Moving Millions launches their Call to Action: ‘All In For Her’ inviting women (and men) to step into their donor leadership and catalyze unprecedented resources for women and girls around the world.
I am pleased to be addressing so many leading supporters of women and girls tonight. As you all know, there’s much work to be done when it comes to women’s rights. Too many women and girls face discrimination and extreme violence every day simply because of their gender. Many are still being forced into child marriages and sexual slavery. They suffer from domestic abuse, female genital cutting, and even in the most developed nations, are barred equal and vital access to the education, healthcare, political and social empowerment that allows them not only to survive, but to thrive.
Gender inequality is destructive to our global development, and as I’ve written in my latest book, A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power, unless we address the roles each of these issues play in perpetuating global gender injustice, women, girls, men, and boys the world over will remain barred from reaching their true potential. It is time we shift the frameworks in which we measure the value of women and girls, and reinterpret their roles across all cultures and all religions. In this process, we must also include women and girls in these conversations about change. There is an epidemic of violence and injustice against women that spans the globe, and until we urgently address all the factors that breed inequality, our global progress will remain at a standstill.
I sincerely hope that you will all embrace this Call to Action tonight with all your passion, purpose, and urgency. In my book, I wrote about the power of female leadership around the world to address issues of gender inequality in each of their countries. As leaders in women’s philanthropy, this is now your time to use your resources in order to change the future not only for half the world’s population but the world over. We’ve seen the evidence, and we’ve read the stories. We know that providing funding to women and girls works, and tonight we have the perfect opportunity with Women Moving Millions’ ‘All in For Her’ campaign to bridge the need of women and girls on the ground with our power and potential for impact.
Thank you for inviting me to share this important moment and celebration with you. Women Moving Millions is a truly special community who have stepped up to prioritize gender equality, and I am proud to support this urgent cause to advance global development.
It’s time to go ‘All In For Her.’”
Watch the video here!
President Jimmy Carter is no stranger to Calls to Action, as he has been a tireless advocate for the rights and advancement of women and girls for decades. Earlier this year, he released his own Call to Action, titled Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, in which he states that, “The most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls.” I could not agree more.
In the book, President Carter makes the case that the widespread discrimination that every nation in this world practices towards women and girls is one of the most critical human crises facing our world today, and that it is time for this discrimination to end. However you may feel about President Carter’s time as the US President, it is hard to deny that in the 33 years since he left office, he has been a steadfast promoter of peace, and a dedicated supporter of human rights, democracy, conflict resolution, and worldwide health. In 2002, President Carter was deservedly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and since its inception in 1982, President Carter and The Carter Center has tirelessly advocated against the growing worldwide wealth disparity, has been instrumental in negotiating peaceful resolutions to numerous international conflicts, and has implemented numerous world health initiatives, including the near eradication of the Guinea worm disease.
In addition to his philanthropic works, President Carter is a prolific author with over two dozen books in publication on topics ranging from his time as a US President to the peace process in the Middle East. Women, Religion, Violence, and Power is his most recent book, and while its contents are dire, its implications are incredible. How fantastic that this man, this influential and powerful white man, is standing up and unequivocally stating that the disempowerment of women and girls is the underlying problem to nearly all of the issues our world faces today. From violence against women, rape, prostitution, and sex trafficking, to honor killings, domestic abuse, female genital cutting, and religious discrimination, there is no topic that President Carter shies away from, and while the stories are hard to read, it is gratifying that someone so visible is standing up in defense of women and girls and the rights that are currently being denied to them in every country in the world.
I wholeheartedly support President Carter’s Call to Action, and it was truly incredible to have his support for the launch of ours, as we share the same overarching goal. The next two days of the summit are going to be jam-packed with sessions, panels, and discussion, all revolving around the concept of power, and how we can use our power in positive ways. Speakers include Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Pat Mitchell, Abigail Disney, Michael Kimmel, Demi Moore, Lisa Witter, and Malala Yousafzai, among others, and I can’t wait to hear what they all have to say. Last year’s summit literally kept me up at night processing all that I had heard and learned, and I have no doubt that this year will be any different. Stay tuned for updates.
The report is available on the #ALLINFORHER web-site. Link to other resources including 100 Facts on Girls and Women, and 100 BEST Reports.