Beyonce Knowles and Lady Gaga have joined with 34 other prominent women who signed a petition asking the G7 and the African Union to attempt to resolve poverty around the world. The petition drive was organized by the London-based organization ONE, which was founded by U2 frontman, Bono.
The letter they signed says that “poverty is sexist” and “women get a raw deal,” because in many countries, poverty disproportionately affects women and families where women are the heads of households. As reported by Yahoo! News, the letter is specifically addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will host the G7 summit in June. The letter is also addressed to the African Union Commission chair, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is South Africa’s Minister of Health.
The petition asks that both summits make the right agreements to help empower women and girls. It goes on to say:
“Poverty is sexist, and we won’t end it unless we face up to the fact that girls and women get a raw deal, and until leaders and citizens around the world work together for real change.
“If we get this right, we could help lift every girl and woman out of poverty by 2030…and by doing so we will lift everyone. Get this wrong and extreme poverty, inequality and instability might spread in the most vulnerable regions, impacting all our futures.”
Along with Beyonce and Lady Gaga, some of the other women who signed the petition include Charlize Theron, Meryl Streep, Rita Wilson and other prominent women in entertainment, business and politics. Deustche Welle reported that the letter was published after a study showed that women in poor countries were twice as disadvantaged as their male counterparts because they don’t have access to education, healthcare and agricultural equipment.
A report from the study, which was led by ONE, showed that if women who worked in agriculture had the same access as men, then the number of people starving around the world could drop by as many as 100 million to 150 million people. According to the study, women also represent two-thirds of the world’s illiterate people.
Beyonce and her husband Jay Z have long been involved in the fight against poverty. They participated in concerts last year organized by the Global Poverty Project, an Australian organization which uses free concerts as a way to bring attention to global poverty and its impact.
As the Inquisitr reported, Beyonce has also worked with First Lady Michelle Obama in her Let’s Move! campaign to end childhood obesity in the United States.
[Image via Huffington Post UK; Larry Busacca/PW/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment]